Becoming Content with Oneself

 

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It is often we as humans find ourselves in the cycle of codependency. Whether this pertains to friends, family or boyfriends/girlfriends – we can find ourselves becoming almost addicted to being with or talking to this person to the point that it is hard for us to be content with being alone. The truth is however, dependency is not always bad, in fact you can have a very healthy dependency. This type of healthy dependency is called an interdependency. In order to have this type of relationship, it is crucial you take care and love yourself first and then bring that connection to the relationship and vice versa. This creates a safe and trusting relationship.

However, when you don’t care for and love yourself, you become dependent on others for things they can never give to you – a sense of acceptance, worth, confidence and purpose. Just as stated before, as no one can breathe or eat for you – the same principle applies to loving oneself. No one can ever “make you” be enough, worthy, valued or beautiful. You are ultimately responsible for everything going on within you. This requires self-care which is both a liberating and terrifying principle that requires being personally responsible and honest consistently with oneself.

It is easy to let distortion creep in and have distorted thoughts and false beliefs from the adversary linger in your mind. However, the truth is, it doesn’t matter what you have done or where you have been – your worth is infinite and will always stay the same no matter what. The whole concept of self-care is treating yourself the way you would if you truly believed you had infinite worth.

In many cases people tend to distract themselves from these false beliefs and lies the adversary tells them by falling into the trap of distractions which can then lead into addictions. Technically, we can be addicted and therefore codependent to many things including working out, watching television, or even activities that are generally healthy for us. However, consuming all you do on one thing is never healthy no matter what it may be. Instead it is crucial to maintain a balanced life. It is important to remember that you can show characteristics of addictive behavior and not necessarily be addicted to that person or thing. However, if this becomes a pattern you will soon find yourself in an addiction most likely being performed to distract you from the distortions you are feeding your mind.

You may find you are even co-dependent on receiving validation from people.  It’s almost like a drug you are craving. This is a sign that you are not giving yourself the proper validation you need. Because validation is necessary, it’s important to be able to give ourselves this validation and not fully rely on others for it. This way you are capable and in control of your own life rather than desperately seeking any source of validation you can receive. Once you are able to do this, you will notice yourself starting to validate those around you more. You are no longer trying to seek out that validation because you already have it; rather you have a clear mind and an ability to focus on the needs of others.

 

Okay so how do I give myself this validation?

Remaining emotionally honest with yourself and listening to what your soul and body need and then making a plan in which you can control (not controlled by others) in which you can obtain these things. Listening to yourself and how you are feeling will lead you to really become deep within yourself and figure out what is driving your decisions in your everyday life.

Self-Care is about reversing habits of self-neglect, control, and distraction. It is developing the habits you would if you truly believed in your intrinsic worth. It is also recognizing and breaking habits that distract you from feeling, understanding and accepting/surrendering uncomfortable emotions. When you practice self-care you are humble and teachable and are taking responsibility for self, being emotionally honest and transparent, being conscious of what is motivating you, and challenging distorted thoughts and beliefs by reframing them into the truth.

Being conscious of the “why’s” (why you do things) will give you awareness of your motives (why and what is supporting you to choose the things you do?). Awareness of – and being responsible for – your motives will support you to be emotionally honest and personally responsible for any of lives choices you make and the outcomes those choices create.

 

Ask yourself…. are you being motivated by self-neglect (distorted thoughts & false beliefs) or self-care (self-love, reality & truth)?

 

Self-care is motivated by: Emotional honesty, consciousness of your motives, humbly following through with commitments to self and others, acknowledging and being honest about your vulnerability, validating yourself and others, and being willing to be responsible for the outcome of your choices. Self-care is connection.

 

Self-neglect is motivated by: Unwillingness to be emotionally honest and personally responsible, excusing or denying commitments made, lack of awareness of oneself, taking things “personal,” and the lack of self-validation. Self-neglect reinforces false beliefs and distorted thoughts.

 

Your Personal Self Care Plan:

 

Emotionally: How do I want to care for my own needs and desires?

 

 

Mental: How do I want to develop my mind in order to think more in the truth?

 

 

Spiritual: How can I connect with the Lord?

 

 

Physical: How do I plan to care for my body?

 

 

Social: How do I want to connect with others?

Indulge in Something Healthy AND Tasty? Totally Possible!

 

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Who says healthy food can’t taste delicious? This tasty snack is not only healthy; it is also extremely easy! Seriously! This is one of my go to snacks and takes very little time to make! It also gives you that burst of energy and protein you need to keep your day going strong!

 

 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Energy Bites

INGREDIENTS:

  • ⅔ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (dark is technically “healthier” but doesn’t make that much of a difference so treat yoself on this one ;))
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • ½ cup ground flax seeds
  • 2 tablespoons honey

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Combine all 5 ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir to combine.
  2. Roll into medium sized balls.
  3. Place in the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes.
  4. Eat to your desire! You can store in the fridge for up to a week!

 

SERVING SIZE:

Eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full! –Advice from Mamma Morgan

 

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Less Really is More 

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Sometimes we can be SO focused on accessorizing we end up overdoing it! Something I have found is that less truly is more in terms of fashion! It can be hard to know where your eye to even go when you are covered head to toe in accessories – don’t get me wrong, I love to pair myself with some good ensembles and you even can wear a necklace, bracelet, & earrings at the same time, it’s just all in the way you do it!

First off, choose one piece that will be your “statement” piece. This may be big earrings or a chunky necklace – whatever you feel best goes with your outfit!

Next, if you still feel like you want to wear more, make the remaining pieces simple. For example, if you were to wear statement earrings, pick a necklace that is small and doesn’t have a lot going on; same applies to bracelets and any other accessory you desire to add on top of your “statement” piece.

If possible, try and match the color tone of your statement piece to your shoes. Let’s say you were wearing a pink dress with a big gold statement necklace – match with your shoes by incorporating the same brown/gold color family to tie it all together!

All in all, people should be able to see YOU and not be so distracted with so much going on that it becomes overwhelming. Using the one “statement” piece and small remaining pieces will make certain you look fashion forward in a clean & classy way!

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Escaping The Noise

What does your escape look like? Is it going to a quiet spot and journaling? Maybe meditating for five minutes? In order to be able to truly connect with yourself you need to be able to create a connectable environment.

It can be uncomfortable to be still at times and often takes lots of practice until it feels somewhat normal…but if you keep at it, even just five minutes a day of stillness will lead you to a clearer mind and an open connection to yourself and others.

 

Some ways in which you can practice this stillness:

Guided Meditations: There are lots of great apps that will walk you through meditations – my favorite is the “Calm” app! This contains podcasts and meditations for any setting or topic you desire!

Become the Observer: Close your eyes and simply observe how your body is feeling. Start from your toes working all the way up to your head including as many details as possible.

Simply Breath: Focus on your breath by

-Breathing in for 4 seconds

-Holding for 7 seconds

-Exhaling for 8 seconds

Finding a quiet spot and connecting through some form of meditation every day can do a variety of things for your overall health as well including:

  1. Decreases inflammation in the body
  2. Improves immune function
  3. Increase longevity & reduce cellular stress
  4. Less anxiety
  5. Improves mood
  6. Better focus & attention
  7. Less cognitive decline
  8. More stable blood pressure
  9. Lower stress levels

I challenge you to spend at least five minutes every day this week finding your escape from the world. This stillness will lead you to feel a deeper connection with yourself and in return, others as well!

Boundaries – The Greatest Sign of Self Love & Respect

 

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The first step to healthier relationships is to set and share boundaries. This may be boundaries ranging from “I can’t play at any soccer games on Sunday” or “I do not feel comfortable/safe talking to Jake because he is a bad influence so I will leave the room anytime he’s present in respects to myself.” Some of the time you don’t have to share your boundaries with the other person (like in the Jake example above). However, if you plan to still keep a relationship with the person it is crucial you communicate your boundaries. Over time, this will create real and meaningful connection – as you both share your wants, needs and feelings. This will also help validate both parties as you are being responsible for your own needs and supporting the other person to do the same.

So what are the steps? 

  1. Clearly state your boundaries, including the specifics of your boundaries (what, when, how long, why, etc)  
  • Understand your feelings, needs, wants, and thoughts regarding what you need to feel safe and heard in the relationship.
  •   Be clear and direct in the specifics of your boundaries and be assertive so the person knows what you mean and that you will honor your boundary.
  • Use “I” when establishing your boundary. Make sure your boundary is about you and not anyone else. Your boundaries are about you and your needs, not about controlling another person‘s feelings or behaviors.
  1. Clearly state outcome/consequences of the boundary not being honored and how are you will enforce the boundary
  • Share your boundary with the person.
  • The consequence of not honoring your boundary is something that you will or will not do – not what the other person will or will not do.
  • Hold your center when your boundary is being tested (because it will be). Stay firm and strong and look for the help of other people to support you in holding your boundaries until you feel that you can hold them on your own.
  • Let people know what you will think, feel and choose to do if your boundary is not honored/respected.
  1. Don’t set a boundary you are not going to follow through with 
  • If you make a boundary and don’t enforce it, that boundary will be another empty threat which will reinforce that you do not stand up for yourself.

Boundaries are tough, however, they give so much love to you and are incredibly necessary. I challenge you to use this three step method anytime you feel a need to place a boundary with someone – may it be big or small! Please reach out for any further questions regarding this topic. 

Hollydays 12 Days of Christmas Countdown

 

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Join me with the Hollydays countdown calendar! 12 days of pure service and love leading right up to Christmas! I have created this list in a way in that almost all of them are free! I hope you are able to join us in this exciting Hollyday Countdown and really see how just 12 days of service can make such a huge difference in your life and the lives of others! 

 

 

Day 1: Learn a new recipe and make a meal or desert for someone in need. Write down the recipe on a card and drop it off with the food! For more of a mystery – DON’T write who it’s from – keep it a secret and sign it as “someone who is thankful for/loves you.”

Day 2: Write 10 reasons why you are grateful for someone and give it to them along with another card of 10 things you love about you and give that card to yourself! 😉

Day 3: Reach out to someone totally new who you wouldn’t normally talk to and ask them how they are doing/tell them you’re thinking of them!

Day 4: Clean for someone you live with (make a bed, unload dishwasher, etc)

Day 5: Call a family member (uncle, aunt, cousin, grandparent, etc) and tell them how much you love them!

Day 6: Smile at 3 random people who look like they could use cheering up

Day 7: Write a letter to someone and list their best qualities

Day 8:  Send a friend a video that has inspired you this holiday season (Bible video, Service video, etc.)

Day 9: Give 5 people a genuine compliment!

Day 10: Create a “love jar” for someone you love and put all the reasons you love them inside on small pieces of paper folded up (add a big red bow and write down qualities on red and green colored paper to add a little more holiday to it!)

Day 11: YOU decide! Offer your favorite service activity to someone you don’t know (open a door, pay for meal in front of you, etc.)

Day 12: Send one of your favorite scriptures or quotes to three people you think could need a friend this holiday season!

I’m so excited to start this countdown and encourage you to share your results with us! Merry Christmas – remember how incredible you are this Holiday season!

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Drama Free Livin

 

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False beliefs affect your thinking, feelings and behavior. The way they influence you is by provoking these pathways to pain in your life:

  1. Self-Neglect – A lack of boundaries or positive habits that maintain your health and safety.
  2. Control – Attempting to evade fear and vulnerability by engaging in vain attempts to control the emotions and behavior of self and others.
  3. Distraction – Attempting to avoid pain by engaging in denial in order to not recognize (and believe you are not responsible for) the reality in front of you. Staying mentally and emotionally distracted with anything other than reality (truth).

 

Every Drama Requires Characters

Drama’s characters are the victim, the persecutor, and the controller. All three play very distinct roles and they each have clearly perceived “needs.” The “needs” that you think you have when you are in drama are lies. The truth is that what you need is to be out of drama. You need honesty, responsibility, and humility. Entering into drama creates pseudo-relationships that perpetuate distorted thoughts/false beliefs, and distort reality and truth.

Distorted thoughts and false beliefs are the cue that drama is present. In the following example, notice the dramatic roles (victim, controller, persecutor) being played out.

 

Victim

“Needs” to be irresponsible for oneself

“I’ll never be understood.”

“It’s not fair!”

“You’re always mad at me.”

I can’t do anything right.”

 

Controller

“Needs” to control people, situations, & emotions

Heroics

Enabling

Fix things/”help”

Manipulative – wants a certain emotional outcome

 

Persecutor

“Needs” to be right, aggressive

Views situations as threatening

Judge & jury; everything goes by me

Feels threatened – justifies aggression

Is perfect/never makes mistakes

 

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Outcomes of Drama

An outcome of participating in drama (lies) is that false beliefs and distorted thoughts (lies) are reinforced. As we engage in drama (lies), our attention is shifted away from ourselves as though others are the source of our problem (which is a lie).

 The instant you:

  1. Choose to be responsible for your feelings
  2. Choose to be responsible for your distorted thoughts
  3. Choose to be honest about your motives

….you will exit drama.

AND, you will re-enter drama gain if you:

  1. Choose not to take responsibility
  2. Choose not to be responsible for your distorted thoughts
  3. Choose not to be honest about your motives

 

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It is vital that you understand that the feelings you experience when you are in drama are NOT accurate or in truth. Being in drama is evidence you are inside your own distorted thoughts/false beliefs. Therefore, your emotions are an outcome –a reaction- of those distorted thoughts, and will be “off,” skewed, and not in truth. It is so important to not react to your emotions and believe that because you feel something intensely that it must be the truth. That philosophy, belief, or reaction is NOT the truth – and it leads many people away from finding the truth, because they aren’t willing or open/humble to get curious about why they feel the way they do. Look for the thoughts that are creating and supporting the emotions (strong or mild) and identify if those thoughts are in truth or distortion.

 

Don’t react to emotions without becoming curious about the thoughts that are creating them.

The way out of drama is to connect (be honest, responsible and humble).

-If you’re in drama, what you need is validation.

-If others are in drama, what they need is validation.

-If you “don’t feel like” giving yourself or others validation, you are in drama.

 

To truly exit drama you must:

  1. Ask questions of curiosity to identify distortion
  2. Identify feelings/triggers
  3. Receive validation from self and/or another person
  4. Reframe distorted thoughts back into truth

I encourage you to pay close attention to yourself this week on when you notice yourself slipping into drama. Don’t become upset with yourself, just keep practicing on getting back into the truth of the situation and you will see your life gradually becoming more meaningful as you are livin drama free!