Conquer your mind, control your thoughts and get the hell out of your own way

get out of your own way

Everything in this world is fleeting. Everything. Life is hard – it literally kills us all at some point. Knowing the first two statements are true, how do you begin to live differently today?

I have been asking myself this question for a long time now. Worrying is in my blood and so is this relentless need to want to know everything. Perhaps that is called impatience? Yep, that is what I’ve got deep within my bones. A whole lot of it.

I have noticed some of my closest friends in the same boat – rowing and rowing and seemingly getting nowhere. This could be with a relationship, a job, parenting – you name it. As I’ve listened to stories and lived my own, I continue to search for ways to master myself because my mind is the biggest part of the battle.

It sounds easy to change your mindset or conquer your thoughts. There are so many things in life that I can easily learn and apply whether it be a new skill, understanding a mathematical equation or a challenge at work. But, this is not the case when trying to conquer my own mind. Some times are easier than others, but to consistently have the frame of mind to take you to the next level in life is something I am sure very few people accomplish in a lifetime. I am bound and determined to be one of them, though!

I tend to take bits and pieces of things I’ve read or seen and put together my own puzzle in terms of helping myself with anything. My mind challenge has been no different. So, here are the things I’ve learned so far to start to truly live above the daily grind and constant worry about tomorrow.

  1. Focus first on staying true to who you are and who you want to be

This includes doing all of the things you want to do while on this earth. Quit talking about everything you want to do and pick one thing and do it. Just one. Don’t sacrifice your personality for anyone. Don’t hold back for anyone. The right people will be in your life no matter what. I am guilty of this – over and over I am guilty of it. I hold back. So, I made a list for this one. My list includes every area of my life and every role that I play that is vital for keeping me true to myself. Tip: if you write it down it magically becomes easier to focus on. I am going to sign up for golf lessons next month. That is my action step. Keep me accountable!

  1. Take your time whenever you absolutely can – sit in the traffic jam instead of choosing the fast lane and see how your decisions change

I’ve read this before as practice the pause. My daughter recently wanted to get a pixie cut (and still does). When she makes up her mind to do something, she wants it right then and won’t even stop to think about it. It eerily reminds me of me at her age.  Now that I am older and wiser I try to teach her these lessons but they just don’t seem to sink in very well?! I settled to let her get her very long, beautiful and thick hair (that I wish I had!) cut to above her shoulders.

There are so many times in life that once I get through something or give it time, my thoughts and feelings about the situation completely change. Practice the pause. Let go and let God!

  1. Be ok with the spotlight not on you

Pride and ego. Both can be so ugly and can highlight insecurities that you never even knew you had. My top two strengths from the Strengthsfinder assessment are Achiever and Competition.  While these two strengths drive me to great things, they also get in my way. I always want the next title at work. I want to be the best at certain things. Those things drive me and that is ok. I don’t want to need recognition or attention, though.

I read once that “beautiful things ask for no attention.” Yet here I am continuing to want attention. All. The. Freaking. Time. I am working on this one. It has been an eye opener for me as I have tried to pinpoint the deep reasoning behind certain thoughts and behaviors. My goal is to serve others, recognize others and be content in the shadows, behind the scenes. There is this song I listen to and some of the lyrics are “I don’t need my name in lights. I’m famous in my Father’s eyes.” THIS. SO MUCH THIS.

  1. Respect yourself and demand the same of others

Make a list of your standards in life – for anything – your job, relationships, faith, etc. Respect yourself enough to stick to these standards. Speak up for what you believe in. Speak your truth even if your voice shakes. Don’t let yourself be disrespected first and foremost by yourself. And certainly not by anyone else. I am a people-pleaser and accommodating by nature, which makes this one especially challenging for me.

  1. Never put the key to your happiness in someone else’s pocket

No one is responsible for your happiness but you. Relying on someone else for it is the surest way to be disappointed.

  1. Smile

“Let your smile change the world but don’t let the world change your smile.” <— That is a sign I got from my parents once. I have a ginormous smile and an obnoxious giggle when you really get me going. At times I have been self-conscious of both. I was told recently that my son shares my exact laugh. I never noticed that before, but one thing I did notice many times was how much his laugh makes me smile.  So, I have decided to smile and laugh my own crazy laugh as much as I possibly can.

  1. 24 hours at a time – nothing more

God gave us life in 24 hour chunks for a reason. He said he would never give us more than we can handle or tempt us more than we can bear. We do this to ourselves by thinking beyond the present moment. We are not guaranteed tomorrow. We are all one phone call, text message or media blast away from tragedy that personally impacts us. This is why we have many “before this” and “after this” moments. These are the lines drawn in the sand when we experience something that changes things so profoundly, nothing is ever the same afterward. And, no one is immune to these things. Living for 24 hours also helps us know we can get through anything. You CAN get through the next 24 hours and then the next 24 hours and then the next. Time has a mysterious way of making things ok.

I have been working on the 24 hour rule for a good year – not that I haven’t always tried to live this way – but it has been one of my main focuses. I don’t do this perfectly every day. I do take a deep breath and remind myself of living for the day when my mind starts to get too far ahead of itself. Living for 24 hours at time allows us to enjoy surprises as they come. Living for the day helps with worry. Worrying only makes us suffer multiple times instead of just when it happens – if it even ever does.

  1. EVERYTHING in moderation

80/20 rule. Not just with food and exercise, but with everything. You can literally over-indulge on anything other than seeking God. Give yourself a break and then get right back on track.

  1. Everyone you meet knows something you don’t

You will benefit from having a conversation you didn’t want to have or shy away from having. A quote that sticks out to me is “don’t be afraid of the conversations you are having. Be afraid of the conversations you are not having.” How true is this? It applies to all areas from the stranger sitting next to you on the airplane to your kids to your significant other to your co-workers. Put yourself out there, smile and ask someone a simple question in order to learn a whole lot. You never know who you will meet or what it will lead to.

  1. Have a forgiving heart

Holding grudges literally kills our soul. Try really hard to put yourself in someone else’s shoes when you find it is difficult to give grace and forgive. Not a single one of us is perfect. We are human and we sometimes unintentionally hurt others (sometimes intentional too, I know) and unfortunately, often times hurt the ones we love the most. Give the benefit of the doubt first. Most of the time it is a lack of communication or simply coming from different perspectives. We assume that others think the exact same way we do. It is human nature. However, that is not true. The biggest distance between two people is misunderstanding. Love unconditionally. Be the nicest to those who aren’t the nicest to you. This will set you free.

  1. If you see something in someone or feel something for someone, SAY IT

There is nothing worse than suppressed thoughts and feelings. You also just might make someone’s day when you express yourself. This is something I read every single day to remind myself:

Missing someone? CALL

Want to see someone? INVITE

Want to be understood? EXPLAIN

Have a question? ASK

Don’t like something? SAY IT

Like something? STATE IT

Want something? ASK FOR IT

Love someone? TELL THEM

I will give fair warning right now that the list I made above is not an easy list to follow. I do better at some of them over others depending on the day, but I am constantly trying to live my life this way. I figure if I have one small win everyday, it will add up to a big difference. A difference where my mind is clear and I actually notice and enjoy all of the little things or surprises throughout the day.  A difference where I worry less and tackle the hard stuff as it comes to me, instead of trying to tackle things in my mind, of which 90% + won’t even actually happen.  A difference where I dismiss the vision in my head of how I want things to be and LET THEM BE AS THEY ARE. A difference where I give up control and just be me, loving the hell out of the people in my life, telling them daily and respecting myself enough to take care of every morsel of my being – mind, body and spirit.

What to do When Your World Comes Crashing Down on You

World crashing down – Day 3.

Well. I didn’t think I would be writing this post but here I am. On Monday morning I found out that I was being laid off from where I had been for over a decade.

I am actually thankful to be unemployed right now. I need situations that I’ve never been in before to make me stronger and better. I know that when I get to the end, I most definitely will be both. It doesn’t make it any easier or less scary, but it does give me motivation and hope for the future. I looked for other opportunities a few times over my tenure, but never did anything that took much effort because I never knew if I could actually pull the trigger and leave or not. I also wanted to stay. I loved what I did. I loved my team.

I do not have a choice now. It is like God was trying to get me to open my eyes for a long time and I wasn’t budging. So, he had to force me down a different path. I am trying to figure out what that path looks like, but I do have faith even though I cannot see. I started reaching out to my network and sending resumes on Monday at probably 10:00 am because I couldn’t sit around and do nothing, even if for a day or a week. Not when I have my kids’ wellbeing on the line and too much to figure out for our future. Being divorced, I do not have anyone to come home to that I can lean on in terms of a spouse, so it’s all on me. I already had a phone screen on Monday, I have coffee with a recruiter tomorrow morning and another phone interview tomorrow, as well. I will do my part. And, it could still take 90 days or more to land a new position, I know. I am fully preparing myself for that possibility. It scares me, but I do know it will all be ok. I have actually been through worse and it was all ok then. That’s how I know it will all be ok this time.

So, what do you do when your world comes crashing down on you, like mine did this week? Below is my advice and what I am trying to do with every passing hour:

  • Pray and give thanks – for me this is so number one. God does not put us through anything he will not give us the strength to get through. I am strong enough with God to get through this and any other tragedy that will most definitely strike my life. I thanked him right away. I still have so much to be thankful for. And I am constantly praying because I can’t get through this without constantly praying.
  • Only focus on getting through the next 24 hours – this is big for me because I like to get way too far down the road in my thinking and planning. However, I simply cannot do that right now. I can only focus on today. I am not worrying about tomorrow. Today has enough worries of its own.
  • Do not make any rash decisions – my dad told me this right away. Hmmmm do you think that maybe I’ve made some of these in the past? For sure. I was already talking to him about moving on Monday. He was just shaking his head and said verbatim: “Lindy, do not make any rash decisions.” Got it.
  • Spend time with your parents, if you can. I know I am blessed to have my parents so close to me. I went to their house the very next morning because I needed to be “home.”
  • If you don’t want to talk to or see anyone at any point, don’t. I tend to go inward when I am trying to get myself through something. I’ve had a lot of phone calls I haven’t answered because I am just not ready. I am telling myself that is ok because I know that at some point I will be ready.
  • Use your network – I haven’t went into full blown networking mode, but I have reached out to the vital people in my network that can start to move mountains for me in terms of getting my name and resume in front of the right people. When I am ready, I will do this more and with people I don’t even know.
  • Soak in the love – while I haven’t let everyone in quite yet, I do have a close circle of family and friends that have been here for me. It can be difficult to accept help but sometimes you are the one that needs the love and support. This is the time to soak it in and allow it to happen.
  • Don’t lose your sense of humor – I drove to my sister’s house right away after leaving the company. I have a garage door opener to her house and it wasn’t working. I found out it was because the power was temporarily out. I laughed to myself at the time, though, because I was like “I have literally lost access EVERYWHERE!!!” Haha.
  • Allow yourself to be sad, but don’t stay there. I am a person that needs a mental health day every quarter or so. I need to get the tears out and just be depressed. I need to lie around and do nothing and throw myself just a little pity party. I’m sure this will happen a few times during the next few weeks and months. I will just not let myself stay there or pity party too long.
  • Don’t eat too much…or too little. I can go either way. This week it has been more of not having an appetite and who knows next week. I am trying to make myself eat the right amount and healthy foods.
  • Day drink – I haven’t done this yet but I fully plan on it. 🙂
  • Believe in yourself – I talked to my old boss on Monday morning. He was one of the first people I called. I will never forget what he told me. And that was that this is NOT the time to not believe in myself.
  • Go on a long drive and sing at the top of your lungs or cry your eyes out…or both. My dad actually drove to Minnesota with me yesterday because I felt like going on a drive. Not many dads will do that with their 37-year-old daughter, but mine will. And, he will even listen to my Christmas playlist with me on Halloween (and sing along). My mom would, too, she just couldn’t get out of work yesterday. 🙂 I’ve also cried alone in the car a few times this week. One of these times was after I had to clean my office out on Tuesday morning. That was a difficult moment.
  • Give grace and don’t hold grudges – but it is ok to not want to see or talk to some people ever again in your life. Don’t feel bad about that.
  • Clean house – sell all the stuff you haven’t used, touched or worn for a long time. I am kind of digging eBay. Why not make a little extra cash to stash when I need it most?
  • Embrace being an at-home mom (or dad) while you can. My kids and I slept in this morning because I didn’t have to rush to be at work early. I am leaving to pick my daughter up from school in five minutes. I am scheduling my son’s conference for during the day. Because I can!
  • Give back. The best thing I could do right now is help someone else or give money to someone who needs it more than I do. This is what God has called us to do.

Sometimes you have to get through your fear to see the beauty on the other side. That is how I am living today and for the near term anyway. I am facing my fear head-on. I know my kids will be ok and I will be ok. I know we will be taken care of. And, that’s all I need to know in the next 24 hours.

I’ll keep you all posted on my journey. Thank you for all of your support.

Lindy

12 Daily Reminders

I saw this today and loved it. It is so true.

1. The past cannot be changed
2. Opinions don’t define your reality
3. Everyone’s journey is different
4. Things always get better with time
5. Judgments are a confession of character
6. Overthinking will lead to sadness
7. Happiness is found within
8. Positive thoughts create positive things
9. Smiles are contagious
10. Kindness is free
11. You only fail if you quit
12. What goes around comes around

Here’s my take on the above:

Stop running back to what hurt you. Don’t look back, you are not going that way. Yesterday is over, tomorrow is not promised so live for today – moment by moment. Always remember that you have no idea what someone else is going through. Time IS the ultimate healer. I read recently that if you wait on God, he will act on your behalf. I will probably write that hundreds of times because it is so simple, yet so profound. Be patient. Give time its proper time. Overthinking is a tough one. But if you can get past it at least some of the time, you will not worry about 99% of the things you worry about that never actually happen. We can choose to be happy or not. But, I believe that it is ok to let yourself feel the full spectrum of emotions. Have a sad day. Just don’t stay there. If you think you can or cannot, you are right. You can never go wrong with being nice. Laughter is essential to living a well-balanced and fulfilling life. Surround yourself with those who can make you laugh. Don’t give up – slow and steady wins the race. The tide always turns.

Don’t forget to live

We get so busy in life that we sometimes forget to live. We spend time capturing or recording a memory instead of just living in it. I read this last week and it was too good not to share on this topic.

Here is Bob Moorehead about the importance of the little things:

“The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years to life not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things.

We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships.

These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.

Remember, to spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.

Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent.

Remember, to say, “I love you” to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person might not be there again. Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.”

Let’s live this life. We only have one.

Life really is as simple as this

I’m making a vow to myself right now. This is like a moment when there is a line drawn in the sand – a before this and an after this.  I’ve been living life too much on my thoughts, hopes and wishes. I have the greatest dreams and goals, but life keeps getting in the way of me truly pursuing them. Like for real pursuing them. I do little things here and there, however I do not do enough to ACT and have a relentlessness energy to run after what sets my soul on fire.

I was spending my 15 minutes loving myself today and this was my revelation.  It is time for me to just do – even if the road looks long – I’m going to chunk it down so each day is manageable and I truly do something that matters in the pursuit of the dreams and goals I have for myself and my children.

I need to figure out exactly what this looks like, but I am at a point where I know I am ready to take some crazy action. And possibly some risks, which is a little scary for this kind of, sort of risk-adverse person. God is putting things on my heart for a reason, so it’s time for me to take a step closer to the woman He wants me to be, with my eyes closed and standing firm in my faith. I want to allow myself to be surprised beyond belief at what faith can do if you not only fully surrender, but fully ACT.

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Quotes to read over and over…and over

Beautiful things ask for no attention

I still believe in 398.2

Never apologize for saying what you feel. That’s like being sorry for being real.

Waiting for someone to make you happy is the surest way to be sad

One day can change everything

Don’t be afraid to lose what wasn’t meant to be

Actions always prove why words mean nothing

Blessed are those who give without remembering and receive without forgetting

However good or bad your situation is – it will change

Your children only get one childhood

Don’t forget to fall in love with yourself first

What’s for you won’t pass you by

See the light in others and treat them as if that’s all you see

Embrace the current season of your life

The less I needed, the better I felt

As much as you want to plan your life, it has a way of surprising you with unexpected things that will make you happier then you originally planned – that’s what you call God’s Will.

Trust dreams. Trust you heart and trust your story.

The woman who does not require validation is unstoppable!