What Kind of Words are You Speaking?

I just finished listening to Brene Brown’s book, Braving the Wilderness.  Wow.  Game changer.

Through the whole thing I’ve been challenged, overwhelmed, saddened, and encouraged.

I want to give you a few quotes from her book and I’d love to hear your reactions to these!  I’d love to hear if they challenge you, overwhelm you, make you sad, or encourage you!

“Don’t study this moment.  Be in it.”  -Brene Brown

I love this quote!  And it challenges me.  The context is she is a researcher.  She’s always trying to figure things out and gather information and apply it to whatever question she’s working on.  And she found herself doing this in her own personal time too; in conversations with friends and family.  She realized she was studying the moment and trying to figure out what was going to be the next best response instead of just listening.

Ummmm…. yeah.  That’s me.  Sigh.  So, I have been challenged to really live into the moment.  Listen fully.  Not just hearing so I can say what I want to say next.  I am practicing being in the moment.

“We’re hard wired to believe what we see.” -Brene Brown

Judge a book by it’s cover kind of thing?  She discusses quite a bit about stereotypes.  You know the way our culture assumes things because of a label put on people – on everybody.  We all have labels – self-given, other-given, and culture-given.  But what if we CHOSE to believe the best about people?  instead of assuming they are what we see?

You know how our minds can cultivate the worst possible scenario? Ok, my husband said he would be home an hour ago.  He’s probably dead in a ditch or has been abducted by aliens….  Brene suggests what if we choose to believe the best about someone or a situation instead?  How would that change our reaction and how would that change our stress levels?

Whoa!  Game changer!  This quote also challenges me.  To believe the best about others and to really lean into my faith too!  Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (NIV)  I am choosing faith in God first and foremost and faith in humanity next!

“Bullshit is a greater enemy of the truth than lies are.” -Brene Brown

Ok. Sorry for the bad word.  I don’t like it anymore than you do, but I really wrestled with her point here – trying to figure out the difference between bull…t and lies.  So, many times people just talk and talk and talk when they really don’t have a clue what they’re talking about.  That is the bull….t she is referring to.  This kind of talk isn’t productive and doesn’t bring people closer together.  And lies certainly don’t do that either.

What if instead of pretending we know all about whatever the topic is, we say something like, “I don’t really know much about that.  Why don’t you tell me about it and why it is so important to you.”

Doesn’t that feel good to read?  It felt good to me.  And that kind of statement challenges us to swallow some pride and admit we don’t know everything.  We must be real, honest, authentic, and most of all true to ourselves.  Because at the end of the day, we know exactly what words we spoke and if they were true, lies, or bull…t!

Have you read this book?  If not, I highly recommend it!  And I’d love to hear your opinions of the quotes above!

Just Breathe

So, I’ve had a pretty emotional few days and wondered what in the world I was going to write about today because I’m still in an emotional roller coaster. I decided to just write what was on my mind:

Sometimes life sucks.

Something unexpected happens and pulls the rug out from under your feet. Or something not so pleasant happens that you know is going to happen and it still sucks.

So what are we to do?!?!

My advice is to just breathe.

Breathe in the breath of God.

In Genesis 2:7 it says,

“Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”

Without God’s breath this man would not have come alive. AND, it is the same today. Every single being comes to life with the breath of God.

Have you ever heard a baby take its first breath and cry? Guess what?!?! God did that! He breathed His breath into that little, precious miracle.

In addition, every single breath we take we are filling ourselves with the breath of God. Imagine that resurrection power entering our nostrils, traveling to the lungs, entering the blood stream, and what that power is capable of. 🤔

Johnny Diaz sings a song called, Just Breathe, that is such a good reminder for me.

Last week I posted a video on my Facebook page about anxiety. And in that video I discuss one way of breathing to help calm anxiety. And sometimes we could use to focus on the breath to just make it through the day- whether we have anxiety or not.

From a health perspective, breathing can calm the central nervous system allowing us to process the emotions instead of storing them inside our bodies as toxins. (I love talking about emotions and our bodies by the way! Perhaps a blog post topic for the future.) The less toxic we are the better our bodies function and the better we think and feel.

Yes, breathing can help with all that. Wowie! So, today, in the midst of the emotional struggle I’m going to focus on breathing. Breathing in the breath of God.

What life events or struggles have you had that pulled the rug out from under you? Comment below so we can support, encourage, and pray for one another.

New Food Rules

Healthy eating can seem so complicated these days.

“Coconut oil is good for you. Coconut oil is bad for you.  Eat eggs.  Don’t eat eggs.  Stay away from low fat.  Only eat low fat.”  They say.

GOOD GRIEF!

How about let’s simplify that!

Here are your new rules:

  1. Eat all things in moderation.
  2. Stick to natural earth made products (without toxins).
  3. Eat what makes you feel good.  Period.

We seem to make things so complicated, and it doesn’t have to be.  If you finish eating your meal and you don’t feel good, then it might be time to re-evaluate what you’re eating.

Now, if you have an allergy or are trying to heal or overcome a lifestyle disease like diabetes, gut issues, etc. then you will obviously want to eat a little more cautiously.  AND, I bet if you really listened to your body it would tell you (in forms of pain, headaches, heartburn, allergies, etc.) that it doesn’t like certain things at the moment.  Begin to tune in and listen.

You might have heard the idea that what we eat either prevents disease or causes disease.  And I believe that is true.

 


Here’s what God says about food:

Genesis 1:29 “Then God said, ‘I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it.  They will be yours for food’.” (NIV)

Genesis 9:3 “Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you.  Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.” (NIV)


 

Healthy eating doesn’t have to be complicated.  Shop the perimeter of the grocery store to find those natural God made products like veggies, fruit, and meat.

You can do this!

And if you need help to take that first step or continue in the right direction, let’s talk.

With Peace and Love,
Carrie

Who I am.

Wanna know a bit more about me?  I recently took the Gallup Strengths Finder 2.0 online test. I thought I would share what I discovered.

I really didn’t find my results surprising.  However, it is really helpful to know your strengths so you can focus your efforts on what you’re good at doing.

Here are my top 5 strengths:

#1 LEARNER

“People who are especially talented in the Learner theme have a great desire to learn and want to continuously improve. In particular, the process of learning, rather than the outcome, excites them.”

I am definitely a life-long learner.  My husband often gets frustrated because I’m always wanting to go, try, and learn new things instead of keep going with what I know.  It’s just in my nature to learn, and I have an intense deep desire to do so. Bring on the self-help books!

#2 INPUT

“People who are especially talented in the Input theme have a craving to know more. Often they like to collect and archive all kinds of information.”

I think this goes right along with being a learner.  And yes, I do store away little tidbits of info – like the names of the different kinds of columns in the Greek era.  Haha!! Or that the area of your entire digestive system is the size of a tennis court.

#3 EMPATHY

“People who are especially talented in the Empathy theme can sense the feelings of other people by imagining themselves in others’ lives or others’ situations.”

Me being an empath is super great for my clients!  I am compassionate, understanding, a great listener, and can guide you where you want to go.  On the other hand, being an empath is challenging for my personal self.  I often take on the feelings of others as if they were my own, large groups of people overwhelm me, and I cry at Folgers Coffee commercials.  Haha!

#4 CONNECTEDNESS

“People who are especially talented in the Connectedness theme have faith in the links between all things. They believe there are few coincidences and that almost every event has a reason.”

I definitely believe in divine intervention, and that God puts people in certain places at certain times.  My faith is strong and I use it to guide me daily.  I also believe the best about everybody.

#5 ACHIEVER

“People who are especially talented in the Achiever theme have a great deal of stamina and work hard. They take great satisfaction from being busy and productive.”

Earlier in my life I would’ve called this part of myself perfectionism (my friends called it over-achiever).  While I’ve had much counseling on being a perfectionist, I feel like that part of me has dwindled away almost completely (not totally though! Ha!).  If I have an assignment or a task that needs accomplished you can bet your little tush it’s going to get finished.

2018-01-15 11.44.40

So, why learn about your strengths?

Learning about your strengths can give you an idea of where to focus your talents.  If you’re a construction worker, then you’re not going to focus your time on trying to be the best cake maker out there.  It’s not relevant to what you’re trying to accomplish.  In the same way, we have the opportunity to focus on our strengths as related to our goals and possibly outsource the other tasks to someone else.

Yes, perhaps a construction worker needs a cake for a daughter’s birthday.  But, there are a ton of places that bake amazing cakes.  And if the construction worker doesn’t have time to bake a cake, then outsourcing that task to someone who’s talents include baking cakes could be a time-saving, energy-saving, stress-reducing choice.

Same with us.  If it’s not in our bag of tricks, it drains us, or we don’t have the time (Let’s face it, we could all use more time, right?!?!) then perhaps outsourcing parts of what we need to do would not only benefit us, it also allows others to share their amazing strengths with us.

What is something in your life you could use a little help with?

 

I am willing.

Imagine this:

You’re a young girl, engaged to the man of your dreams, life is amazing, and then…. you get pregnant.  And it’s not his.

Stop for just a moment and imagine what you would be feeling, what you would be saying, what you would be hearing….

This probably wouldn’t be the highlight moment of your life.

Your soon to be husband would probably leave you, your family might disown you, and your friends – well – no longer friends.  Life is all of a sudden not so amazing.

2017-12-19 16.02.58

But for Mary all was well.  But not because of her.  Because God.

God sent an angel to Joseph to let him know to go through with the wedding, and Mary hadn’t been cheating on him.   Mary’s family was excited and she gained more friends and support than she could’ve ever imagined.

We’ve probably heard the story of the virgin birth a bazillion times.  Yet, something new popped out for me this year.

So, in Luke chapter one, an angel comes to visit Mary to tell her she’s going to have a baby.  And not just any baby, but the son of God.  And it’s not going to be Joseph’s.  Here’s the part that jumped out at me:  She says, “I am willing to be used of the Lord. Let it happen to me as you have said.”  (Luke 1: 38 NLV)

“Let it happen to me as you have said.”

Did you catch that?  She didn’t freak out, fuss, argue, complain, or throw a fit.  She said, “I am willing.”  How many times has life thrown us a curve ball and we’ve just said, “I am willing.”  I’m pretty sure I’ve never said that.  HA!

Yet, I’m also pretty sure that when that curve ball is from God, if we choose to go with the flow and allow God to do his thing, then all will be well (not meaning perfect, but well).

Mary had her baby.  Not at home with a midwife, but in a barn far from home with Joseph (who was probably freaking out, right?!?!).  And the baby was perfect – literally.  All was well.

I’m willing to learn a lesson from Mary this year.  When God tugs at my heart, or calls me to a higher purpose, perhaps next time I’ll go willingly, knowing the one who hung the stars is working on my behalf.

I encourage you to open the Christmas story again for yourself this year.  Perhaps something new might pop out at you too!

Merry Christmas!

With peace and love,

Carrie

If you need encouragement this Christmas season, reach out!  To me, to someone you love, a friend.  Don’t put off for tomorrow what you could do today.

 

Simplify

Life is complicated.

Jobs are complicated.  Relationships are complicated.  The internet/cable service is complicated.  Politics are complicated. Religion is complicated.

So, how are we to live a simple, yet fulfilling life in the midst of all this complication.  (I’m not talking about a simple, boring life!  I’m talking about a simple, abundant life!)

Good question!

Here are 5 tips for simplifying life to create space for fulfillment and abundance.

1.Declutter

Your external environment is a direct correlation to your mental state.  If you live, work, or play in a place full of clutter you are likely going to be stressed and anxious.  Your life will not feel simple.  It will feel complicated and messy.  Take 5-10 minutes a day to pick up, clean up, get rid of, or organize.  Breaking it down into chunks will help remove the feeling of overwhelm.  I might also recommend  de-cluttering your schedule as well.  What are activities or events that drain you?   What can you let go of?  Fill your calendar with things that nourish and fulfill you instead of clutter.

2. Meditate/Pray

Take a few minutes a day to clear your mind and just breathe.  This can be a prayerful time too!  There have been abundant studies to show that taking time daily to meditate/pray makes you more productive, more compassionate, less anxious, happier, and focused.  Who doesn’t want that in their life?!?! In addition,  it helps you to feel more grounded so you can make better choices to simplify your life.  Opening your mind and heart in prayer can also give you guidance so you can take the next step forward.

3. Take a walk

There are soooo many reasons to get outside in nature.  We all know the benefits of  exercise.  And, so many of us think exercise has to be complicated to be beneficial.  Actually, it doesn’t.  You don’t have to do zumba, pilates, rock climbing, or surfing (But if those bring you joy, then by all means go for it)!  We just need to move our body in a way that feels good for us.  Taking a walk is easy on the joints, gets us outside, works our heart muscle, and gives us time to think or enjoy the company of a friend.  Simplify your exercise routine to help create a simpler life.

4. Take a day (or a week) off

You have vacation days.  You have sick days.  You are allowed to use those!  Take a day (or week) for you!  Send the kids to school, the spouse to work, and lay in your pj’s all day, binge a Netflix series, get a massage, take a bath, or whatever!  Simplify by using this time to fill your cup.  When we do all the things all day,  everyday we become depleted, sick, and life feels complicated because we don’t  have any energy or patience left.  Take some time for you to renew and rejuvenate.

5. Don’t expect so much from yourself

Of course, do your best.  And do your best at a few things.  You don’t have to do all the things.  God created the entire universe in 6 days.  He didn’t do it all in one day.   And you don’t have to either.  This is one thing near and dear to my heart because it’s a struggle I’m having right now, actually.  And I recently read a book called  The 12 Week Year.  It has opened my eyes to the tasks that are most important in achieving my goals.  AND it has helped me make a step by step plan to reach my goals.  AND I’ve taken several things off the to-do list because of it.  I highly recommend this book if you’re someone who has big goals, a large to-do list, and overwhelm.  Whether you read it or not, simplify by removing items from your to- do list (or get help doing them).

Remember:  life is short.  Do what’s important in the long run!  Simplify now so you have more space/time/sanity later.

For more help on simplifying your life email Carrie at needahealthcoach@gmail.com