Thursday, February 26, 2015

Self-improvement vs. Self-acceptance

I shared a talk I gave at church a few weeks ago and in that talk I shared how I love self-improvement books.  But as I was preparing I had a sudden thought, "should we be working on self-improvement or self-acceptance?"  This was an entirely new thought for me, but when I did a search on self-improvement vs. self-acceptance I was surprised that this was something already talked about and considered.  I loved reading other people's thoughts on the topic.  At first I thought I should have been working on self-acceptance not self-improvement all this time, but as I read more I realized that both thoughts have their pro's and con's. 

Self-improvement seems to be recognized as the process of making yourself a better person.  In fact, I started on self-improvement long before I started therapy.  I just always liked the thought of making this better, like when I'm doing organization I'm looking for the most efficient way of doing things.  To me that is the bottom line of self-improvement, being the best and most efficient I can be.

Self-acceptance seems to be recognized as the process of being happy with who you are.  As I think about it now, this is probably what I was able to do through my therapy process.  I didn't love myself, I didn't accept who I was with all the good and the bad.  To me I now believe that self-acceptance is loving who you are no matter what you look like, what you do or do not do, believe you are worth everything you have and will have in your life.

After pondering self-improvement vs. self-acceptance and reading various articles online I see that both are important, but I do feel like having self-acceptance first will benefit anyone before tackling self-improvement as it is too easy to take self-improvement to a level where you cut yourself down.  In the end, I'm back to my teeter-totter analogy, its the bouncing back and forth between self-improvement and self-acceptance that creates balance.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

But If Not . . .

One of my favorite scriptures is in Daniel 3:17-18 where it says:

If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.  But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

I love that they have so much faith in God that He will deliver them, but they also know that if not, it will be okay, it will be God's will.  Elder Neal A. Maxwell in the October 1994 Ensign said it this way:

We will [not] always be rescued from proximate problems, but we will be rescued from everlasting death!  Meanwhile, ultimate hope makes it possible to say the same three words used centuries ago by three valiant men.  They knew God could rescue them from the fiery furnace if He chose.  'But if not,' they said, nevertheless, they would still serve him!

I try to remember this as I face challenges in my life, I pray for what I think is right for me and hope that He will give it to me, but if not, I know that I will be alright!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Grandma Time

How exciting is this, I'm going to be a grandma for the first time in early September.  I got to see Lil'm (it's a nickname for the baby) at my daughter-in-law's first doctor appointment which was so amazing!  This ultrasound was at their second appointment you can see Lil'm's arm reaching out, so very precious!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Imagine It, Feel It, Receive It

I've been reading The Power by Rhonda Byrne again, its her second book after The Secret and I just love it!  It is all about learning how to love yourself.  There was something that I read that I didn't really remember reading the first time around.  Just as in The Secret she talks about the Law of Attraction, but in this one particular line she said, "imagine it, feel it, receive it," and also had you do it with more of a meditation action along with it.  She suggests doing this every day for just 7 minutes.  How cool is that, just 7 minutes to relax, close your eyes and "imagine it, feel it, receive it."

I have a really hard time getting to sleep at night as my mind is busy, my body is uncomfortable and so on.  I decided to do the "imagine it, feel it, receive it" process before going to sleep since I'm laying there awake anyway just hoping I will fall asleep soon.  I just think of a goal and imagine myself doing it as well as imagining how it would feel.  It has been working great as I do feel like I am moving towards my goals fast and I tend to fall asleep easier too.  So I think I'm going to just keep on imaging, feeling and, of course, receiving.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Foundation Answers

A few Sundays ago in church we were talking about the basics that we all should be doing which are prayer, reading scriptures, attending church meetings and Family Home Evening.  Often these basics are casually referred to as the "Primary," "Sunday School," or "Seminary" answers.  Then a lady shared a story where she had attended another ward and someone tried to refer to these basics in one of the casual ways and the teacher said that they didn't call those that, that they only refer to them as our foundations.  I loved that so much, they are out foundation and if your foundation is strong and sure you are doing the basics.  So for me now on prayer, scripture study, church meetings and Family Home Evening will always be the Foundation Answers to remind myself  that if I want a strong foundation I need to be doing the basics.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Moving Forward Financially

We have started to look at the possibility of being able to retire down the road (those thoughts start to cross your mind at 50, hopefully others let it cross their minds earlier than that).  As we look at our finances we can see our many mistakes over the years, but we can also see what we can do currently to get on track for the future. 

I love the goal list by Dave Ramsey and I have been working on this, here is his list in order of what he feels they should be accomplished:

     1-$1000 savings for emergencies
     2-debt snowball (except house)
     3-3-6 months emergency fund
     4-retirement savings
     5-college funds
     6-pay off home
     7-build wealth to give away

I'm not sure where I got this quote, I found it among some notes and I really like the idea so I thought I would include it:

But paying down your debt should not be your only goal. I want you to avoid accumulating a large debt load like this in the future. How? It's easy. Save some money you don't have. Here's how that works: Every raise, promotion, tax refund or windfall must be split 50/50 between you and your savings account. This is money you don't yet have, so you won't miss it. I want you to fund an emergency savings account while you are paying down your debt with a goal of stashing at least six months' worth of living expenses.  I know that sounds like a lot, but once you get going, it will take on a life of its own. Pay yourself first. That may mean you will have to skip a few meals out or make other small sacrifices during the month to get going. But the sooner you do, the better you'll feel.

I also added an app called "Debt Snowball" to my iPad that lets me put in my debts and then see how quickly they can be paid off by increasing payments each month and I find that really exciting to see.

I've also started keeping better track of retirement accounts and even Social Security accounts.  I think just paying attention to these things on a consistent basis will really help us move forward!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Cycle of Energy

I remember the first time that my therapist shared this cycle with me, it was so new to me and I told her that I think I had just been moving between Impulse and Action and back again. 

I can't remember what my therapist actually called this cycle, but I like to think of it as the Cycle of Energy.

First, we have an Impulse or an idea and I have come to realize that sometimes this stage may last for many days, weeks or even months.  If for instance I don't have what I need to act on the Impulse I will end up waiting or even if I don't have the energy needed for the idea it will also take more time.

Next in the cycle is Action and this happens when everything needed for the Impulse falls into place.  I love this stage, the whole experience of getting something done and seeing the result is very fulfilling for me.
 
Next is Recuperation, this is the part of the cycle that I didn't understand was crucial.  After expending energy for the Action the body needs to recover.  Because I failed to allow myself to recuperate, I exhausted myself beyond more than my body to recover easily and it took a very, very long time to reach a full recuperation.  Now I understand this this step in the Cycle of Energy is extremely important.
 
The next stage is Reintegration, the definition of reintegrate is:  to renew with regard to any state or quality, to restore, to bring again together into a whole.  Essentially, this means that after we have completed Recuperation we become whole again.  This is where I go to my teeter-totter analogy for balance, you have Action on one side and Recuperation on the other and the "bouncing" back and forth achieves balance, in other words, our energy is whole again when we are balanced between the two.
 
The last stage is Homeostasis which defined is:  a state of psychological equilibrium obtained when tension or a drive has been reduced or eliminated.  I liked how one definition I found referred to Homeostasis as when conditions remain stable.
 
I really believe in this Cycle of Energy now that I understand how it works and how following it keeps me balanced and stable.  I love the word "homeostasis" it just sounds like being settled and even-kill, like the calm before the storm.  I just need to remember to recuperate after the various storms of life and I know that I can be back in Homeostasis before I know it.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Unshaken Faith

Last year we had a speaker in a Relief Society Meeting bring a picture of Jesus walking on the water with Peter walking toward him after leaving the safety of the boat and that speaker really made me look at this story in so many different ways.  Recently I was reading an article in the 2013 March Ensign and author Ricardo Reyes Villalta shared what seeing that picture meant to him in a moment when he was doubting his ability to pay his tithing and his bills which I just loved and wanted to share.  This is what he said:     
 
Heading home from work one afternoon after getting paid, I thought of all my debts. I closed my eyes and prayed, “Father, what am I going to do?” At that moment I opened my eyes and noticed on the ceiling of the bus a poster of Peter sinking into a stormy sea with the Savior reaching out to rescue him. At the bottom of the poster were the words “Unshaken Faith.” I realized I needed to pay my tithing if I ever wanted to pay off my debts.