Change is Your Friend

myselfThis week has been a week of growth. What is that other word for growth? Oh yea…Change. Gearing up to host a Letting Go Workshop makes me reminiscent of the first time I went through one. Going through my lessons from a year ago, it’s encouraging and comforting to see continuous growth.

lifeMy life has changed into a life of beauty and wonder. The lessons in the Letting Go Project equipped me with tools to continue to use when needed. One of the many gifts it gave me was feeling the change start to happen from within. It’s an unsettling feeling at first, but if you sit with it long enough, revelation will appear. I’m grateful that I can feel change stirring from within and let it flow out as a beacon of light upon the path God has in store.

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It’s always better when change happens from within to move outward into your life, versus life hitting you from outside and being forced to make changes within. That’s not a good feeling. It causes stress and uncertainty. Once I was at peace with myself, and began to like the person I was becoming, my life began changing accordingly. I didn’t need others to feel good about myself, or depend on them for goodness in my life. Change from within. It’s been a phenomenal week!

The Happiness Meter

What makes you happy? Do things, or people make you happy? Daily lesson…Happiness comes from within.

happyThe most difficult thing to come to grips with is to not allow outside influences steal my joy. Sitting in the present moment, and feeling a little off about something not within sight yet. Calming the mind and spirit, and breathing deep to allow time for the item to surface. Once it’s within view, whether it’s a comment someone made, or an action that was puzzling, releasing it out of the present moment will take away it’s power.

By diffusing the power in any situation, you will not be prompted to react. Breathe through the disturbance and if a response is needed, logically do so. It is always more effective to ‘respond’ verses react. Another diffusion of power.

If there is anything in your life that you could lose…don’t depend on it to bring you happiness. That’s pretty simple. I wish someone would have pounded that through my head when I was in my 20’s. When things are going well, it’s easy to be happy. It’s when things are not going according to plan that our happiness is tested.

happinessIf you don’t get anything else out of my Blog, please get this. You are not responsible for other people’s happiness! You cannot make someone happy. If I see someone struggling with their happiness meter, I can show them love. Help redirect their thoughts to find the path they lost. If happiness is at a low-level, it’s usually because I’ve stepped off the path God has for me. Time to turn around and try again!

Detox 101

This week…I ran myself through a 24 hour detox. This was not on my list of things to do but I’m grateful it happened! That is Lesson One of The Letting Go Workshop-Letting Go of Negativity. It specifies the importance of a gratitude list. Today I am grateful to be alive!

heartbeatA month ago, my daughter and I joined a gym and started working out at least 4 days a week. Yesterday, I didn’t have the amount of energy I desired, so into the kitchen I went for experimentation. I discovered a liquid nutritional product that I used to take everyday. Since joining the gym, I had focused on protein and other supplements, and hadn’t taken in it a while. This product reaches you at a cellular level, so I poured a glass and drank it.

A couple of hours later, I poured another tall glass, and drank that too. My daughter and I went out to run some errands and within an hour, every vein in my body was screaming! I started feeling achy all over and having cold chills. We made it back to the house, and I curled up in my favorite chair, with a blanket. My body was taking turns breaking out in cold chills and heating up. The Letting Go Workshops taught me to listen to my body and give it time to heal itself. Lesson Three has you write this out:

My body is a master of healing itself. I now commit to giving my body the time and space it needs to heal each day. I now trust my body to heal.

mistakesCurled up in the chair, I did a recount of what I did that day that was different. Between working out and drinking the large amount of additional supplements, I had stirred up all the toxins in my body! This reminded me so much of The Letting Go Project I went through. My body was pushing all the toxins through every pore, and the lessons I did each week did something similar. I was able to stir up everything that wasn’t ‘adding’ to my life and physically and mentally release them!

Upon completion of The Letting Go Project, I had a new mind and a new life free from toxins. Just like after the detox, my body seems new and lighter. I encourage you to contact me today if you’re ready to detox your life. I’ll leave one of my favorite quotes for you to ponder:

Do the things you used to talk about doing but never did. Know when to let go and when to hold on tight. Stop rushing. Don’t be intimidated to say it like it is. Stop apologizing all the time. Learn to say no, so your yes has some oomph. Spend time with the friends who lift you up, and cut loose the ones who bring you down. Stop giving your power away. Be more concerned with being interested than being interesting. Be old enough to appreciate your freedom, and young enough to enjoy it. Finally know who you are. -Kristin Armstrong

She’s Scary Beautiful and Does Scary Things

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One of Bailey’s edits.

I love my daughter Bailey. I am so proud of who she is, and who she’ll become. You see….I can boast about this beautiful girl because none of the credit goes to me. When I look at her, I see everything good thing, made by the hand of our Almighty God!

Bailey and Tyler Ward
Bailey and Tyler Ward

Bailey is musical and loves photography. The girl who people think should be in front of the camera, stands humbly behind it. She has recently become passionate about photographing concerts. At the young age, of almost 15, she steps out in faith and contacts press managers of her fav boy bands and artists. Depending on God to open the right doors to the concert He wants her to shoot. Last night, she got more than she imagined at the Tyler Ward concert in Austin, TX. She was there to shoot his show, but was blessed beyond measure. Thank you God.

Girls try to look beautiful. If they only knew to wash off the makeup, put some clothes on that cover private parts, and let the light shine from within. You can BE beautiful without even trying.  Bailey doesn’t know she’s beautiful. Take that and her walking around filled with the Holy Spirit…she’s scary beautiful. Guys her age just stare at her. They don’t have the time spent on earth to have achieved a successful relationship, so they don’t even approach. If they do approach, they find out rather quickly she’s very mature for her age, and they walk away. Guys age 18 to 25 stare at her too! They are trying to gauge if she’s 16 or 18, and sometimes approach. Bailey knows once they find out her age, they don’t walk, they run.

When girls see her, they stare as well, but with daggers in their eyes. This saddens me because Bailey is the most loyal friend a girl could ever have. Those girls probably think she has a line of guys drooling after her, and they hang on tightly to their boyfriends. This is not true. As a matter of fact, she receives so much rejection, from people’s insecurities, she’s not interested in dating. She has a ginormous God, and is waiting for who He has in store.

arealmanThe post to the left is one of her fav sayings. Another one she lives by is from Max Lucado. “A woman’s heart should be so hidden in God, that a man has to seek Him, to find her.” With a literal handful of really true friends, she goes about her day seeking God and His plan for her life. The stares have started to take a toll on her this year. Little Miss Scary Beautiful cannot fathom why people won’t approach her, or even be kind. Then God sends someone with wisdom, right when she needs it, to pour it on her.

Someone reached his arm around her last night at the concert and said, “You are so beautiful! You are just so beautiful! Now…you wanna selfie?” She stood there, mouth hanging open in utter disbelief! It was Tyler Ward saying this to her. The look on her face in those selfie snaps are priceless. She will never forget that moment. God sent someone over to grab her and tell her what He knew all along.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Thank you God.

Grace

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As I was standing on the pier this morning, singing and praising God, I spotted the largest duck I’d ever seen on the far end of the pond. At first, I wondered if it was a black swan because of it’s size. It would dive under the water, swim a distance, and come up with a fish in its beak. I asked God to bring it close enough so I could get a good look at it, and a pic. That instant…it popped up right beside the pier so close to me, that I was able to snap the one above.  I just watched in awe of the duck, and how quickly and simply God can give us what we ask.
I watched it dive under water, and make its way toward the far end of the pond again. Then it raised up into the air and flew at a low-level. It’s wings were wet, so it was going to take some time to reach altitude. He flew right toward me, adjusted his speed and flew right over my head! He started circling the pond, drying his wings and with each lap gaining altitude. Each lap, I was able to stand with my face pointed toward the sky, opening my eyes at just the right moment to capture his beauty and grace. He was finally dry enough to make it over the house, and what an exhilarating experience!
I went to the pier, like a lot of mornings, to praise and worship God, and to talk with Him about what was on my mind. With my coaching business, I had thought that I was taking a huge step of faith out of the boat. To walk on the water, no matter how rough it got because He would be there. Today He showed me to dive under the water and go deeper. If I started to feel weighed down, shake the excess off until I could fly. I also learned to become a Letting Go Coach, I must be my first and best student.
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Little Bit of Everything

Life happens. It’s what we choose to do with it that matters. We can continually deal with what it throws at us, take a side step and live in denial, or step up and make a shift. Ask yourself, “What are three options?”, toward every situation. Then take a step toward what’s best.

I’m a country girl, and love country music! Being young at heart, my fav artists are Brad Paisley, Luke Bryan, Chris Young and Keith Urban. These guys sing about love, having fun, enjoying a simple life and getting through the rough spots. These are not your, “Let’s get drunk and shoot Mama, or push her off a train,” kinda guys. Their songs will make you smile. Keith Urban actually laughs during some of his songs! One song in particular by Keith opened my eyes to endless options of what we can receive from life. A Little Bit of Everything.

The beginning of the song, Keith mentions hanging a disco ball from an old oak tree. Having an old oak tree in my backyard this worked for me! Why not?

discoball

The song is about endless options. Keith doesn’t focus on how to quickly fix his situation. He projects options and leaves the door wide open for ‘a little bit of everything’ to occur. It’s not about what we think we need, it’s about taking the limits off what could happen. He sings, “Well, I know that I don’t need a whole lot of anything…I just want a little bit of everything.”

Participating in a Letting Go Workshop, we learn to ‘Let Go’ of what is not serving us or anyone around us. I collected a lot of material and mental debris over the years. When it became obvious it was time to start downsizing my home, I would have never guessed it was going to take me where I am today. A lot of time, energy and money go into maintaining a large home full of stuff. What if that same time, energy and money was available again? What would that look like?

If my plate is full, or overcrowded, that doesn’t allow room for anything new! God has cleaned my plate many a time over the past 10 years, and there’s always change involved. I live in a house that is 5 times smaller than where I began.  The material items are minimal, but each one brings me joy! The same amount of time spent to clean one bathroom before, is spent cleaning my entire house today.

I have time and freedom which is precious.

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Be careful how you spend your time and who you give it to. It’s one thing we never get back. This is what The Letting Go Workshops are all about. To look at every option, choose one at a time and examine it closely. Feeling overwhelmed? Pinpoint the source and see if it’s needed. Have unhealthy relationships dragging you down? Evaluate how that serves you and decide what is best for you. These are couple of things that needed addressing immediately in my own life. I had been skirting the issues, and lived to just get through another day. I wasn’t excited about tomorrow either! That is NOT living my friend. That is called…’SURVIVING.’

As I was going though The Letting Go process, I realized these methods would continue to serve me throughout everyday life. The downsizing of material things showed me there’s a huge difference between want and need. What brings you joy?

I love to go Antiquing. Traveling through charming little towns in Texas, and stopping in these lovely shops is relaxing and brings me joy. I don’t make purchases at every shop because today my focus is quality of life, not quantity. Once in a while, something will speak to my heart, and I’ll stop and ponder if I have to have it. My daughter always asks me, “Do you love it?” Some shops believe in quantity, so if I spot a set of plates I like, I keep moving if I have to purchase the entire set. My life today doesn’t require a seating for 12 people.

Recently, I came across a set of tea cups, plates and saucers that made me smile. There were four of each piece, which is perfect for my daughter and me. That gives us enough to have a guest or two, allow for breakage, and we’re not married to it because of investment. We have several sets of four plates, place mats, and cloth napkins to enjoy. This is another one of life’s simple pleasures. It’s been over a year since I’ve purchased paper napkins! Antique shops have beautiful cloth napkins, and there again, stay away from the set of twelve. Buy four or six, to change out regularly and enjoy the colors and patterns. Throw them in the wash, and they continue to bring you joy! A little bit of everything is better than too much of anything.

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Time For A Haircut

God has a plan. He promises it to be a good plan. If my life doesn’t reflect God’s goodness, then I’ve probably been working my plan, not His.  My reflection in the mirror revealed it was also time for a haircut.

I had the same hairstylist for years. She knew exactly how to cut my hair, how short to go, and how close to the edge she could step. Now that I’m an hour away, and enjoy my country life, I have started trying hair stylists that are local. I always say the same thing to them, “Have fun! I like short and edgy, but just make sure I can go out in public with it.” They have my permission to be creative.

Change is all around us. We can embrace it, or resist it, but it’s a constant in our daily life. Sometimes a change will occur, and it will affect our circumstances. By then, we feel the need to ‘fix’ our problem instead of facing what caused it. Learning to self evaluate, and make changes prior to seeing the circumstance, is a better way to live. You get to be proactive in your life. Pick your life…don’t let it pick you.

The Letting Go Project offers the opportunity to do this. It’s about making small alterations in the way we think and to our behavior patterns on a weekly basis. An easy way to see this is by looking at an over stuffed closet, or better yet, a storage room. Why are Storage businesses popping up on every corner? We cannot let go of our stuff. When looking at what I keep in my life, I ask myself this series of little questions:

Does it/they love me? Motivate me? Encourage me? Inspire me? Enhance me and/or Bring me joy?

If the answer is ‘No’ to any of these, then it’s time to reevaluate and prepare for change.

So…the haircut. The stylist I met with obviously knows the secret of change. She cut my hair in a specific way, the smallest sections at a time, to lay exactly as she intended. I usually leave a salon, go home to wash my hair, and get it back to my normal style. What looks normal to me anyway. No matter how hard I try to style it now, it lays in the fashion to which she cut it. Straight down and to the side, with a small spike at the crown. This frustrated me at first, but then I realized, I gave her permission to make a change.

Once you give yourself permission to change, things will fall into place. As long as I continue to style it the way she intended, it will look great! It’s when I start messing with it, and try reverting back the style I’m used to, it looks like a beaver that’s been electrocuted. Our lives have unlimited possibilities, and our God has no limits. It’s time to Let It Go and embrace what’s new. Quality of life you will enjoy the rest of your life.