Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Things I have done this holiday season to bring the spirit of Christmas or a feeling of peace into my heart, and home

I realized early on this Christmas season that Christmas was going to be different for me, and for my family, I had this feeling start in early October.
For me Christmas has and always will be about the presents, giving them, getting them, watching others open their presents, seriously that is what Christmas was all about for me. ok it still is, but it's different this year.

I don't consider my self materialistic if that is what you are thinking, I consider Christmas time a time that can totally be all about the stuff you get,  but really, can you really remember what you got last Christmas from every one? I didn't think so. So for me Christmas isn't about getting presents it about the peace you feel when your present is received.  Let me explain:
I believe that the gift should be given in the right spirit,  are you excited, loving, genuine in the gift that you are giving? This right here has I think more impact on our willingness to offer the receiver of our gift than the gift it's self.  I will often times ask Why am I giving this gift to ____ ____(insert family member name here.) If it's not out of love for the family member I put the gift back and try again.

I really thought the more I planned the more peaceful the Christmas season would be, That went out the window well before Thanks Giving.  So it's not in the details so to speak. I think it's in our realistic goals we set. I always dream of amazing cookie exchanges with friends and family, and a wonderful family party, and crafting into the morning, and so on... But for me this season none of those are the case.  I have found the Christmas Spirit is most abundant in my home when as a family we did simple things, like frost cookies together and talk about how much fun Christmas is, teaching my children about Christ's birth, singing Rudolf the red nose reindeer for what seemed like the 50th time that day.  The Christmas spirit is in the unplanned, every day moments of our lives when we chose to feel peace.

I think being in the right mind has a lot to do with it. When we are rushed around we cannot feel peace, so how can we expect to feel the Christmas spirit if we can't feel peace. It's wonderful to keep family traditions, I love traditions, I thrive on traditions. I am finding that the only one tradition that really matters is being with your loved ones, your family, and celebrating the love between each other.  That tradition can be spread throughout the year, or a small card simply saying that you love them. So Traditions as fun as they are can hinder the Christmas Spirit, I have had to take a step back and say is this needful to my family's Christmas spirit, if not we slow down, rest and regroup.

Singing  loud for all to hear, is a great tactic that gets you into the Christmas spirit, I think it has something to do with that you are singing for other's to enjoy, YOU ARE SERVING, and blighting some else's day.  anytime that I need to feel the spirit of Christmas I will sing, or listen to It Came Upon a Midnight Clear. and that always melts my heart.
If none of these things are working, pray to understand Christ's birth. it works, it has worked for me time and time again. I usually find a new outlook on what Christmas means to me, and my family.

I Wish all my family and friends peace and love during this wonderful Christmas time.


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Positive Thinking and Personal Developement

Seriously? Really I thought, as my husband was telling me that he had, had enough of my grumpiness. He said that something isn’t right with me, I want the happy and smiling lisa back. (rolling my eyes because that’s easier than crying) and thinking to myself, easier said than done, and by the way if you would do this and this and this I would be happier, or if this and this and this wasn’t going on I could be happier. That also didn’t work in fact my thoughts were the root of my unhappiness. It was time to change. 

So talking to some medical professionals, they recommended that maybe a therapist would help me begin to see a better side to life, then my glass half empty pessimistic side to life, where as I had always been the optimistic person that always saw the bright side of things, even when what seemed like having faith that everything will work out was just enough, I wasn’t feeling that anymore. 

Don’t get me wrong I still had lots of faith, just not in the current every day things, and nothing would make me feel happy. It was as if I didn’t want to feel sorrow so I didn’t care if I had any joy. I believe you can live that life and still be you and do the things that you want to do. what I have realized  is that there is so much more to life than you’re self  or I could know, and for me it started with positive thinking. 

 I needed to retrain how I thought, and no medicine could do that. I just want to write about how one simple thing (ok not so simple ) has begun to change my life in a beautiful way I never thought could be. I realized life is full of tender mercies from our Heavenly Father, and that life can be so much richer than we could ever known, if you work hard at finding your happiness. 

I thought happiness was something more physical like new scrapbook supplies or something new for our house. It wasn’t in fact, we were swimming in clutter and stuff and I didn’t even realize it. Now looking back happiness for me is a husband that comes home every night and my kids running to give him a hug. (that happens once in a while.) a far cry from what I thought happiness was 8 months ago. 

How did I come to the conclusion without an intervention? Lots of soul searching. And lots of prayers and conversations with friends, I am sure my friends sometimes screened their phone calls when they  saw that it was me (I know I would have it was me.) Thank heaven for awesome family members and friends.
I am a fairly independent person, I like to solve my own problems, and I don’t really like having people telling me what to do. So a therapist sounded like an ok whatever thing to do to help the “lisa cause.” I did felt broken and that I needed to be fixed. I still feel that way. When the therapist said that I need to retrain how I think, so I pondered on what I thought that meant. Her suggestion didn’t seem to work for me, , it was to wear a rubber band on my wrist and every time I had a negative thought pass through my mind I was to snap the rubber band I seriously would have never stopped snapping that rubber band, there had to be a better way… There was.

I researched and pondered enough to know that really what I needed was to know that I am doing something extraordinary with my life. (still having troubles seeing it but I am feeling the positive energy now whereas before I  felt more negative energy.) Most nights I go to bed doing the same thing over and over and watching everyone else succeed in life and I am there to guide them, being a stay at home mom is one of the most hardest but most rewarding job there is. Although I will say when you are in the thick of raising kids and helping your husband succeed in his job it’s hard see the accomplishments you are doing.  Talk about a personal development downer huh? No wonder I don’t feel happy right? I mean I do what I can with the time and crazines of the day that I can do and hope and pray for an easy bed time. (we really like evening prayers that end with please help us all to get some sleep,) just so I can have some time to myself. Which is something my therapist said I need a lot more of, I wish I know what that was, it truly sounds amazing to have time to myself but then I think ohh lisa that is so selfish and self centered, normal good moms don’t need that me time stuff, and besides you will get that when your kids are going to school during the day,( if that day ever comes.) 

So now that you know all my back stories here are my tips about positive thinking:
First thing I do every morning, is think or write down these 5 things, (I really like writing things down, that way it’s not in my brain any more. )

1.       List 5 things your grateful for
2.       3 things you accomplished yesterday
3.       How can you make someone smile today
4.       How can you show love to someone today
5.       How can you surprise some one today
6.       And how can you have fun today.

The list can be simple or long, the reason for this exercise is to start the day off with positive thoughts and energy, I truly believe positive energy attracts more positive energy, and negative energy attracts more negative energy, start your morning off positive and your day might be more positive because you are thinking more positive. 

I came up with these questions from a you tube video from Brendon Burchard, a life coach and new York best selling author, I had a take it or leave it  attitude but I am a believer in positive thinking and Brendon helped with this. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCySH3WVP-5d4aJIfn8-WoPA

You might say to yourself I am not a writer, or I will pick and chose one or two of these questions but I can’t commit to doing all of them.  That is fine stick with it, do the first two every day and start building onto it. I take about 15 minutes each morning. I also am finding that it’s a very creative time for me which I crave.  I have found that this exercise is tough to start. I originally had an alarm set on my phone to ponder the 6 questions but that wasn’t very helpful as I forgot what I was thinking and I needed to write it down not just think about it, but for some people that might work for them. I needed to retrain my thoughts so writing it down was best for me. 

To be grateful is a virtue all to itself I believe, and one of the best qualities you can have when it comes to family life. So my lists are sometimes the simple ones or they can be personal, just be genuine, I think about it as if my grandchildren or children are reading this. So in the gratitude part I write about my children’s milestones, and my ah ha moments that left me speechless.  Don’t get me wrong I also have the I’m grateful for the sunshine and water and a house but I try to dig a bit deeper. 

Accomplishments, oh that’s always a tough one, unless I physically saw something that I did do, or had done that day I can struggle to write down, I mean how many times can I say, got all my kids to eat their food or ahh they are all healthy and sleeping right? But for now my accomplishments are small like small brush strokes on an impressionist’s painting that will be part of the big picture. 

The next four questions I feel could all be tied into 1 simple question and that is how can I show the ones I love just how much I love them.  The answers to these questions are usually the small and simple things about life, example how can I show love to some one: bring some lilac’s to grandma c since lilacs are blooming in our back yard. Or it is as simple as devoting my whole attention to my husband when he is talking to me.  The key to these four questions for me is to take one day at a time and one question at a time. I have found a lot of comfort writing an answer to one of the how to show love questions from a problem I’ve been dealing with from certain family members. For example when trying to teach little miss to read I would ponder how to teach her and love her at the same time, I realized that what she wanted was cuddles and compliments so when the question how to show love to a family member came up the next morning I was able to put an action plan together to help little miss want to read more and it’s been such a blessing. 

For me I thought happiness was lots of time for myself so I could make stuff. Never mind that my house was a mess and that supper was a frozen something for like the last 3 nights, I was doing what I loved. But lots of things were missing from our family, like a mom who was loving and caring because she knows that’s what is really important. I really only cared about what I wanted to do, and because of that I became grumpy at the world when I couldn’t have an hour stretch each day to do what I loved. Positive Thinking changed all that slowly, it took about 2 months to really feel the change but it is worth doing for my mental well being. I can truly see a transformation in how I perceive things and how I think.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Dance Party

I love to dance with my kids, and when cousins come into the picture it’s a Dance Party! (Dancing with my kids is my exercise when I can’t get out and walk the dog. So here are some fun ways you can keep your kids entertained and dancing for an good hour, yes I promise a good hour of dancing exercise for momma’s and kids here is  my game plan:

Lighting: multi colored Twirly flashy light ball -  I wish I knew the name of this said thing but you can find one for about $17 on sale, I got mine at Lowes and then bought another one because 2 is better than one. With the multi colored twirly light ball going I turn of the lights and just let the colors dance around the room.
Things to dance with: puppets, cheer leader pom poms  scarfs, dress up clothes, silly hats, ribbon streamers , makes sure if it’s to dark you use another light  room to put in the dress up cloths so no one gets hurt. 

Music : we like to dance in our living room so we will put on Pandora on, if it’s really impromptu I have my smart phone with Amazon Prime music on it with a blue tooth speaker to use for more sound. I like Rover Beats T12 for this, it’s small and portable, so if we are outside its great as well. I like to put on Amazon Prime play list for a long dance party, my favorite play list is Songs to bug your parents, honestly one hour of dancing to this music will be enough for a long time but it’s great songs to dance to because they are so silly.

Other tips:  I like to dance, with my kids, once I stop they usually will too, that’s just how it works. I also like to put in some our our family favorite songs, along with silly ones like the Chicken Dance. Oh yeah and move furniture out of the way so you have plenty of room to dance, better yet go out side! We have lots of fun!

Winter Hand Scrub

How to Make Sea Salt Hand/Body Scrub
  • 1 cup fine Sea Salt)
  • 1/2 cup Oil
  • 5 - 15 drops Essential Oil (optional)
Mix together ingredients in a small bowl.  Massage gently into skin, then rinse off with warm water.
Winter hand scrub
1 C Epsom Salt
½ C Grape Seed Oil (Coconut oil works well also just melt the ½ C before trying to mix in the Essential oils.)
20 drops of Lavendar Essential Oils
16 drops of bergamont Essential Oils
10 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oils
Makes 12 oz of scrub, pefect fit for a jelly mason jar to give as a present.
Extra Additions
If you want to take your sea salt body scrub to the next level, try these extra additions:
  • Add 1 tbsp of honey for additional moisturizing benefits
  • Add 1 tbsp dried lavender, rose petals, or other herbs (Where to Buy)
  • Add 1 tsp of Vitamin E oil to repair skin and help with fine lines and wrinkles
  • Add 1/2 tsp of lemon or orange peel zest for an invigorating scrub
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