Monday Thoughts

Crying is how your heart speaks, when your lips can’t explain the pain you feel.

I watched part of a TV show early this morning and had such a strong reaction to the one scene, it took me completely by surprise. It is not uncommon to be triggered by a song (they played ‘Iris’ by Goo Goo Dolls) or a storyline that resonates with a part of your history (a family suicide, questioning life and the aftermath of it all, was the theme here), but I guess my heart was holding onto a lot of pain and the tears had to fall, in a very powerful way. The kind of involuntary, ugly cry that makes your whole body vibrate.

I am sharing this to remind you, that you cannot be strong all the time and sometimes you need to let your tears out. Honour your pain and unbury your emotions. It is in your best interest.

This is not a sad post. I feel a lot better now. I think we often try numb or stop the pain too fast and this morning I realized it can be healthy to embrace it and push through, as hard as it is, and really feel it all, no matter how raw.

Iris

 

Grow Slow

Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? If so, are you still on track? If you aren’t, there is no reason to give up. Simply jump back on board and keep going. Every day is a fresh start. It is good to have goals but too many goals keep us in a cycle of hustle and stress. It can suck us into the comparison trap, and we fail because we start too big, go too fast. That is why I am taking steps to keep things small and manageable.

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We are two weeks into January, and it is easy to start feeling overwhelmed already. Yesterday, while paying for groceries, I saw strips of marshmallow Easter eggs at the till point. The Christmas leftovers have barely been digested and here come the chocolate bunnies. It is more difficult to appreciate the abundance around us and enjoy the moment, when we are constantly being propelled forward to the next thing.

2019 for me was a huge year of growth, good and bad, happy and sad, from physical challenges to emotionally ones, with weird and wonderful projects (including the potato challenge!) thrown into the mix. I never imagined how much stuff would take place in just 12 months, and am grateful for it all, but now I need things to unfold a little more slowly.

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As I type ‘unfold’ my brain jumps to last night. I was folding and packing away washing when my husband came home, and he said something funny about me doing it ‘again’. I had a laugh.

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Housework does have a magical ability to keep piling up as soon as you think you’re done. We can all relate to that! Whether it be a pile of laundry, 2020 goals or relationships, it is better to work on them step by step and not get discouraged by the mountain we see in front of us. Accept it is process and don’t procrastinate. Those socks will still require folding, even if you ignore them for days (unless you have a ‘fairy’ in your house).

Sometimes it is one step forward and two steps back. Other times it is the other way around. Keep going. Even if you grow slow, keep at it. It’s worth it.

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Peanut Butter And Peace

A day without peanut butter is like…

…Just kidding. I have no idea.

It has been an interesting week and it is not over yet. With my husband out every night with various commitments, I have had a lot of time alone to think.

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Jokes aside, between the deep thoughts (and evening baking sprees!) I have also helped friends with various challenges, from where to buy peanut butter in bulk, to how to pursue peace when you’re waiting on God. After chatting back and forth, we had success and all parties left feeling satisfied.

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I am more of an expert on peanut butter than peace, but I hunger for both and am willing to make great sacrifices to have them! I am far from perfect but making progress.

Yesterday was World Mental Health Awareness Day and anxiety was a hot topic. Anxiety is a problem for many people and I relate to this struggle too.

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Constant worry is also something that drains us and is totally useless. Usually we worry because we are afraid things in life won’t turn out as we hope. We even worry about things like a traffic jam, which we cannot control, and being upset won’t change it. We worry about what others think of us. What the future holds. If we want to have peace, we have to give up worry.

At first it may feel strange to let go and enjoy each day, without trying to figure out tomorrow. We get addicted to stress, strife and being busy, without even realizing it. It takes courage to say yes to rest, in a culture where exhaustion is often seen as a status symbol. If you sincerely want peace in your life, you have to pursue it and make this a priority. It doesn’t just come. We need to trust God in all things, beyond what we see and beyond what we know.

Peace is power. Peanut butter is too. And in my humble opinion, both are good for you!

Recovery Is Not A Race

Over the years I have grown more aware of my thought patterns and make a constant effort to think about what I’m thinking about. The mind is powerful and I have overcome a lot of struggles by keeping a positive outlook and not letting negativity poison my mind and rob me of the ability to enjoy my life.

This isn’t always easy and when there is a lot of stress at the same time, I do battle. I have suffered from anxiety since I was a child and it still plagues me today. It isn’t something that goes away; it’s something you learn to control. My running helps in this regard but sometimes it has the opposite affect and triggers an attack. Instead of helping me, it becomes part of the problem. Recently I was blind-sighted when the feelings hit and I suddenly felt my heart beating faster and my hands getting clammy. I have had some nasty falls in the past both on the road and the trails and while running this weekend, every step felt like I was going to trip and my mind went wild.

It is hard to explain to someone who has never experienced this firsthand but imagine you miss a step on the stairs and your stomach lurches. Anxiety feels like that but lasts much longer. During a panic attack you can’t control your body and you may have difficulty breathing. There can be chest pain, dizziness, nausea. Symptoms vary. You cry uncontrollably and tremble. I have also experienced a feeling of pins and needles all over my body, which I now know is called Paresthesia.

Why am I sharing this? I feel it is more common than we realize and if this is something you relate to, I want to encourage you don’t ever give up. You are not alone and this isn’t unique to you. The more you change your mind for the better, you will notice your life will change for the better too. Keep a positive mindset, full of faith and hope and remember, a bad day doesn’t mean a bad life. Tomorrow will be better. Be patient with yourself. You are capable and brave, even when it feels like you’re not.

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