Have you ever just hit it off with someone? Not a love interest, but just another person along your path. It is an amazing feeling. As you are talking, you find that your lives intersect over and over again. And when that one connection becomes many, there is power. Being surrounded by like-minded people is exhilarating and comforting all at the same time.
When you share a common goal with others, there is an automatic connection. There is a comfort level within that connection that makes them easy to talk to and be vulnerable with. You experience within yourself a shift from that me-against-the-world survival thinking/living to a we-can-do-this mentality!
Ultimately, when you surround yourself with those who share your goals and passions you get inspired, energized and stronger! You feel understood, validated and supported. And your fears don't carry nearly the weight they do when you are in it alone.
The great news is that you don't have to just wait for it to happen...you can choose to bring this goodness into your life. Go and make this happen for yourself. Many people don't even know what they are missing, I know I didn't.
Give yourself this gift - make connections with those who are walking your path. Feel the comfort and the exhilaration that being a part of a group of like-minded people creates. That kind of power changes lives!
Have you ever heard the saying "Attitude is Everything?" I am not sure who said it, but they were very WISE!
If you look around you at the people who you consider happy or successful, you will see people with a POSITIVE attitude. Those that seem stuck or alone are typically grumpy and negative. Our attitude is such a driving force within our lives. It can push you to do great things or pull you down into the pits of unhappiness.
While it is true that humans are born with certain tendencies, our personality and attitudes are developed through our relationships and experiences. Our attitudes begin to develop in childhood and evolve and change as we grow through daily interactions and experiences.
All the "stuff" you have been through and all of the people you have known throughout your life can have impact on your attitude. That impact could be positive and have taught you that you can do anything. Or it may have been negative, which has only created a poor attitude towards life within you. DO NOT WORRY...you can change your attitude - there's always an opportunity for change!
Here are a few things you can do to begin to make that change:
1. Be clear with your self about what you want to change about yourself.
Dig deep and name it. Seeing the problem clearly is the first step in making any change. What do you want to change? Do you want to be more optimistic, more social or more patient...name it!
2. Find a role model.
Find someone who has the kind of attitude you want to have and do what they do. Let yourself be inspired by their choices and words.
3. Think about what the end result will be.
What will it look like if you change your attitude to a more positive one? Will your marriage be stronger, your family life be happier or your relationship with your child be calmer? Really focus on all the good that will come with a renewed positive attitude and you will have a better chance of reaching your goals.
4. Surround yourself with people with positive attitudes.
Make new friends, create new support systems. Negative attitudes are toxic...stay away!
5. Believe that you can start over.
Usually our biggest hurdle is ourselves. If you believe that you can adjust your attitude every day, you will do it!
The reality is that the quality of our attitude directly impacts the quality of our every day, every relationship, every challenge! Strive to have a positive one in all things. And what I know for sure is that with some deep digging and a belief that you can start new every day, you will get there!
When I started out as a Mom of 3 boys, I felt great about my Motherhood. I was sure that on my tombstone it would say..."She Was a GREAT Mom" Then in 2001, after we adopted our 3 girls, all I could hear was the sound of a sandblaster removing those words from my tombstone in preparation of replacing them with... "She STUNK at Being a Mom"
My Dad always taught me to "work smart", which was basically the concept of using the right tools for the job. Well, a few months into my new job it became pretty clear to me that I was NOT EQUIPPED with the right tools for my new job as Mom to my daughters.
It was a little deceiving to say the least. I mean, a Mom is a Mom is a Mom...right? I was doing well at being a mom to our boys - my toolbox of tools was working. If the tools are working for one child, they will work for all of the children - what's the big deal?
Well. it was a big deal! My focus was on having tools, but I missed the part about having the RIGHT tools for each job. Choosing to be equipped with new and different tools for each of our children was the change that made the biggest difference in my family's happiness and in my effectiveness in my job as Mom!
Getting equipped is an intentional choice in life - it is ultimately in your control!
Being really equipped for any role you have is powerful! It takes letting go of old ways, tweaking your mindset and seeking out help and support. The incredible end result of being equipped with the right tools for the job is that it empowers you to feel competent, successful and filled with HOPE. It is then that you can really make great impact on the world, better your lives and the lives of those around you, and be the change that makes the difference in your world.
Some steps to begin to be equipped with the right tools for the job...
-Surround yourself with like-minded people, those that are walking your path
-Find a mentor or coach
-Be open to change
-Be willing to try new things
-Share your story...the good, the bad and the ugly...then listen
-Seek out education - over and over and over again - we are never done
-Keep your eye on the good in your life
-Choose to hold onto HOPE
You CAN do this! Take action today...work smarter not harder!
Be empowered, be equipped and be filled with HOPE!
Remember...you are NOT alone!
When HOPE Waivers...
Life is so crazy. Just when you think you have everything "in order" or that you have found the plan that works, something happens and in a moment everything can be turned upside down.
In those overwhelming times, it is very hard to hang onto hope. As a matter of fact, sometimes it seems utterly hopeLESS. The great news is that hope IS always there...and one thing I know for sure is that it is in these times you need to make the CHOICE to dig through the rubble of your life to find your hope again and then pull it in as your guiding light!
Hope will fuel you.
Hope will empower you to forge ahead!
Hope will shine the light on your new path helping you see it clearly.
Hope will equip you with the new tools and techniques you need to get up again and live the best life possible!
With HOPE, you absolutely CAN do it!
Is it always easy to just choose HOPE? NO it's not. But do you deserve a great life? YES you do! You don't need to be able to do it all at once. You don't need to be able to see everything clearly in an instant. You don't even need to be positive it will work. You just need to keep trying...make it your goal and work a little on it every day.
First, take care of you...get enough sleep, try to get some sunshine and move your body, be honest and open about your struggles, do things that fill you up - even the small things, ask for help...be good to you, this is hard.
Second, make it your goal to find some good in every day and then in everyone when you can. Again, it doesn't have to be huge - the little things count too!
Third, just take it one day or even one hour at a time for a while...that is okay!
Finally, you've got to keep moving forward...one baby step at a time if that is all you can do. Eventually you will move through the muck and each step will get easier and easier.
HOPE is the goal. Choose it, Fight for it, Hang on tightly to it! You CAN Make it...you can turn your life upright again! I know that you will have the best life possible because you will be empowered, you will be equipped and you will be filled with HOPE!
Remember...you are NOT alone!
Live Your Truth...No Matter What It Is
Don't be afraid to be upfront and honest about your journey! There isn't anyone in the world that doesn't have hurdles - the question is are they brave enough to put them out there? Maybe not, but the hurdles are there just the same!
There is nothing more painful to watch than those people who are struggling, who are not happy, who can't seem to find what they are looking for, and who hide those pieces of their lives.
People don't live their truth for lots of reasons, such as the fact that they are worried about being judged, that they maybe don't believe they are worthy of anything better or because they are "looking the other way" because they don't know how to change things and can't ask for help.
The reality is that unless we claim our own journey, bumps and all, we are going to be hard pressed to change it for the better. Lots of times Living Our Truth means we will have to step up ourselves, dig deep and tweak our expectations. Change and challenging choices often go along with Living Your Truth. Throw in some bravery, an open mind and developing a strength you never knew existed within you and you can do anything. You can proudly and loudly...LIVE YOUR TRUTH!
Your pay off...a freedom like none other. New and clear insight becomes your guide, and renewed energy fuels your drive forward. Those moments, behaviors or people that were your hurdles before are now just pebbles on your path. Others will be drawn to you and they will fill your tank and hold you up along your way. Your new clarity will help you be of support to those around you as a strength they can lean on. You will find each other in the honesty and boldness of your story and in your vulnerability.
You don't have to be perfect. There is no such thing...there is NO such thing! Rather, share your TRUTH...allow yourself to be vulnerable - this is where healing happens!
Start today - Live Loud and Live Proud...Live YOUR Truth!
It has been an incredibly busy 2 weeks and we just finished off with a weekend that was CRAZY!
I am SO exhausted!
I haven't been this tired in a long time. I would like to curl up on the couch, cover up with a cozy blanket and veg all day...not making any decisions, not dealing with anyone, not worrying about anything at all!
But, I learned a long time ago that those days are past! My kids need me to stay emotionally PLUGGED IN! Even 15 years later.
So, I can proclaim it Pajama Day and lay on the couch if I want to, but as for the checking out emotionally and not making decisions, that causes lots of anxiety at my house.
My children not only need me physically present, but they do best when I intentionally choose to be emotionally present as well! In the long run, it turns out best for all of us if I stay plugged in emotionally - they feel safe so behavior is good thus I can continue to take care of me a bit!
So, Pajama Day it is! I have got the schedule in place. Food planned and prepared. A list of movies we can count as educational. And blankets ready for everyone! Staying Plugged In and Filling Myself Up!
Don't forget to take care of you too...Remember you are NOT alone!
You just can't listen to the negativity or the questioning. You can't let it lead you astray...you've got this!
After being in the adoption field one way or another - parent and professional - for 15 years, I am still in awe of how the stereotypes, misthinking and lack of real knowledge about adoption and fostering permeates our society. There is so much work to be done!
In the mean time, I want to remind you that you can't let yourself be swayed by the naysayers! Any voices in your life who are being negative or questioning, who seem to be judging your choices or comparing your child to "other children their age", should be ignored.
ABSOLUTELY DO NOT let them cause you to question yourself! If you are not sure and would like to bounce things off of someone...find someone that walks your journey!
Questioning yourself is destructive to your relationship with your hurt child. Your child needs to believe you have "got it all covered" and will sense when you have doubt. That doubt and uneasiness will create unnamed fear and anxiety in her which will become a wedge in your relationship and a slowing in her healing.
There's a lot at stake....sometimes you just have to plug your ears and don't listen!
It's not about being rude or disrespectful, as the reality is that most people in our lives are "trying" to help. They can't understand all that we have to do to help our children heal...I mean, a lot of our stories are painful to hear and nobody wants to believe that children have been through so much and can be impacted in such life-altering ways. Trying to make sense of it is difficult. The other piece is that these are often people we love and need in our lives. So, while we can't allow ourselves to be swayed by their words we can give them GRACE because they are not able to truly understand.
We have to stick together and support one another. Unless you have walked this path, it is almost impossible to get it!
You CAN do this. Follow your gut. Remind yourself of your original motivations. See your child as his whole self...with impacts of trauma, diagnoses and history always at the forefront of your mind. Remember his emotional age in every moment. Surround yourself with the support of those that get it. Nurture your closest relationships. Fill yourself up often.
Don't be led astray by the questioning of others or of yourself. YOU'VE GOT THIS!
If there is one thing I know for sure, it is that there is no such thing as the "magic pill" to help our kids heal, BUT staying in it for the LONG HAUL is REALLY The Game Changer!
Undoing old beliefs, habits and thinking patterns is the first phase.
One thing leads to the next thing and then even further to things you didn't know existed. It takes time! More time than most would ever think!
Dumping in all that you have to offer is the second phase.
Your Love, your morals, your dreams, your time, your knowledge. It takes time! Time that doesn't always show clear results!
Being the "Bridge" for your child is the third phase.
Gapping relationships, pulls from the outside world, his belief about himself and being the unending source of HOPE. It takes time. More than most believe they can endure!
Clearly seeing your "whole child" and meeting them there is the fourth phase.
Living the reality that this is who they are. Still feeling lost sometimes, still not trusting sometimes, still abandoned, still hurt. Still needing YOU. This takes time. A lifetime!
Being fully committed to being in it for the long haul takes consistent support, education, the right tools & techniques, and HOPE! Push to make sure you have all of these all of the time...You can DO this. You can be the BIG WINNER--Happiness and Healing!
Just Keep On, Keepin' On! Remember, you are not alone.
Happy New Year to YOU!
I am Proclaiming 2016 as the YEAR OF HOPE!
Hope is at the root of happiness and health, of thriving relationships, of contentment and joy.
Hope is our motivation to try, our fuel for the long haul and our most powerful gift to others.
Hope causes us to cheer, allows us to dream, and empowers us to be our best selves!
Hope can be held, shared, given away and best of all...HOPE IS A CHOICE we can make every day!
I am so excited to be part of your YEAR of HOPE. As a whole we are such a powerful force of HOPE!
Let's DO this thing!
Let go of the old, take hold of the new and believe that this will be your year of HOPE!