Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Breathe reminders

I wanted to have some kind of reminder of my B.R.E.A.T.H.E. strategies and had been looking for something for a really long time. 

It wasn't until my sister came to visit and I took her and her husband to Seattle.  It was while we were walking through Pike Place Market that I found this little stone where the word Breathe was written into it.  I knew instantly that this was what I had been looking for.  It fits perfectly in the palm of my hand and when I am having some anxiety, I hold it and close my eyes and breathe!

I then decided that I needed more "Breathe" reminders in my life so I kept my eyes out for anything that said "breathe" in any way.  I found the above right picture to remind me to not only breathe, but to laugh.

Then I found the picture to the left that I now have hanging in my craft room.  It reminds me to enjoy every moment that I breathe and especially every moment that takes my breath away.

Then for Christmas I received this necklace that has "breathe" on it so as I wear it, it is my constant reminder that I need to keep following my B.R.E.A.T.H.E. strategies as well as just to breathe and enjoy each moment.

Also at Christmas my friend Heather gave me this beautiful stepping stone as another reminder.  I love having these things around me and plan on keeping my eyes open for more!


Friday, January 21, 2011

If you always do . . .

It was sometime after Thanksgiving a few months ago when I thought about this phrase - "If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten."  Apparently Tony Robbins said this (I looked it up online).  I have heard it many times, but as I thought about it this time, I decided to take it to heart and to just change everything  (well, not quite everything).  I was finally feeling better after years of anxiety and depression and I just wanted things to be different.  I started with simple things, I changed how I did my calendar (check out cozi.com, so cool!), then I changed how I was running my business (check out renaemcbarron.myctmh.com) by spreading the work out and committing to work hours, I changed how I looked at finishing projects around the house (they don't have to be done and finished all at once or immediately, really they don't), I changed how I was sending newsletters to family, friends and customers (check out mailchimp.com) and more.  I decided to take the month of December to put things into place so that come January 1st, I was ready to roll.  The morning of January 1st I set it all into action and was particularly looking forward to Monday, the first day of the business/school week and I just knew things were going to work great.  Well, Monday came and my husband ended up having the day off and that altered my plans a little.  Then Tuesday morning my daughter woke me up at 4:00 am covered in hives which totally altered how that day went from then on and so on.  But I kept at it and things started to improve, the last few weeks have worked really well.  I'm not so rigid that I can't make changes as needed, or rest if I need to (see "Maybe that's Okay" post earlier this month).  Then this morning I woke up thinking, I need to change a few more things.  I thought how it is time to start loving myself more, eat better, exercise more and feel my emotions more (I usually shut them up inside, but I've been working on it).  Last week I had decided that I was going to start walking 3 miles a day so I did that on Monday and Tuesday, then this morning I thought, I really hate doing that.  I have an awesome treadmill, but an hour every morning doing just that I decided was way too much.  So this morning I decided to change it, because if I was already dreading it on day 3, it probably wasn't a good plan to start with.  So I changed to half-an-hour on the treadmill and then doing something fun like Just Dance for Wii or my yoga DVD that I really enjoy.  I am looking forward to this new plan and I remind myself to just keep taking everything one day at a time.  Just now when I was looking up the above quote online, I found another version and I loved it so much I wanted to share it too.  "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you always got, and you'll always feel what you always felt."  I loved the addition of "feeling."  It goes on to say a few other comments and then ends with this, ". . . you have to be the change you want to see in your life" (submitted by Lisa Turner to quickandsimple.com).  I guess that is what I am finally doing, being the change I want to see in my life just by reminding myself that if I want different results, I need to change what I am doing and feeling.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Maybe That's Okay

One of the things that happened over the past several years is that I quit cooking for my family.  One day I was talking to my therapist about it and feeling guilty about it, she said, "maybe that's okay."  All I had been thinking about was what a bad wife and mother I was being because I just couldn't bring myself to cook.  Food was not really important to me, what everyone wanted to eat was different, previously I was making dinner co-dependently (I never made what I wanted to eat), and then there is the whole "kitchen" issue (a whole different story that I will save for another day).  I just quit cooking, so we were eating out a lot.  But all it took was her saying, "maybe that's okay," for me to look at it differently.  One of the first things my therapist noticed when I started seeing her three years ago was that I said "should" a lot.  I wondered after she brought it up if my whole life was a lot of "should's" and no "want's."  It really does have a completely different feel and instead of feeling guilty about what I "should" do, she suggested saying something like "if I really wanted to, I would . . . ."  Learning that maybe what I am doing at the moment is okay for now and that if I really wanted to do something, I would has been really helpful for me as I have started learning to be a better person.  Maybe it is okay to take a nap when you want to and you are tired, maybe it is okay that today I don't have the energy to exercise, maybe it is okay to do something you like to do.   When you are co-dependent, you don't give yourself the luxury of feeling "okay" about what you are doing in your life, especially if you dare do something for yourself.  I felt like if I wasn't doing things "perfectly" then I was a horrible person.  Maybe it's okay if I don't do everything perfectly, maybe it's okay if I'm human and just make mistakes, maybe it's okay if I relax for a minute.  Maybe it's okay . . . , a phrase that has let me quit trying to be a perfectionist, live each day more relaxed and breathe.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A New Year, A New Me

So here I am in the wee hours of the morning on January 1, 2011.  I got home about an hour ago from picking up my daughter and her friends from a church New Year's Eve dance.  When I left to pick them up, I stepped out the front door and the brightness of the stars took my breath away.  I just had to stop and look, there were millions of them out and so bright, I haven't seen them that beautiful in a really long time, maybe never.  All I know was how immensely breath taking they were.  As I started my long drive to the church, I began thinking about how last year when it turned 2010 I was so grateful!  2009 had been an extremely challenging year for me and I was so glad when it was done.  2010 had difficult moments, but also good moments and I couldn't help but wonder what 2011 has in store.  I'm hoping that in this new year, I can be a new me by reaching back to a time in my life when I was really happy and loved myself and reaching forward with all the new wisdom I have learned the last few years and combining them.  Almost a month ago I was listening to a business talk that really inspired me.  It really gave me some good ideas, not just in my business, but also with my personal life.  The last few years I had really withdrawn from life as I tried to work through things.  This talk gave me the pieces I needed to step forward in a way that would be easier for me and believe it or not, it was through online social networking.  I remember thinking how I could do their suggestions because I could reach out, but still be in my home where I felt safe and comfortable.  So I started preparing, I spent the last few weeks putting things in place.  One friend told me about an online calendar system, cozi.com, that you can put your calendar items on, then it sends you emails with your schedule for the week and can also send text reminders (I put my kids chores on the calendar and it sends them a text each day to remind them what they need to do - how awesome is that?!).  I put everything on there and then created another calendar just for my business items.  I planned everything out and got it all organized.  Then I found sparkpeople.com, a free online site that helps you with your food, exercise, etc.  You can join groups and earn points and all kinds of cool things.  I started my blogs (this one, one for my son's mission to Brazil eldermcbarron.blogspot.com and one for the things I create renaecreates.blogspot.com).  I had already started on Facebook over a year ago so that I could check in with my kids but realize now that it has helped me connect with people without necessarily having to leave home.  One thing my therapist tells me is to find a way to "make friends" with things I'm having difficulty with.  Since I withdrew, reaching out has been hard, but the social networking is a way to "make friends" with reaching out.  I even just joined Twitter (renaecreates is my user name) to reach out even more.  Then I started an account with mailchimp.com so I could send online newsletters to friends, family and Close to my Heart customers.  I finished putting all my plans together and everything in place to help me accomplish it by the last day of 2010.  You know that saying about how if you keep doing things the same way that you always have, you will always get the same results.  Well, I decided I wanted things to be different, so I changed so many things and here I am starting the New Year with a "new life" and I am so excited about it.  I feel really good about 2011 and I'm finally feeling good about me too.  A new year, a new me, who knew?