Transforming My Life

one day at a time


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Letting Go of Trying to Control

I am struggling.  I am angry and I am sad.


I am in that  place again, between wanting to scream, pull my hair out and cry and then, shaming myself because I don’t want to feel the way I feel because the truth of how I feel isn’t how I think I “should” feel.  Making sense yet? 🙂  Well, if you have been in this place you know what I am talking about.

This is the place I go when I want to control someone else and I can’t.

Wanting to change another person never works.  Never.  So why do we think today would be any different?.

Focusing on someone else is always a distraction to changing me.

You know that whole speck and log in the eye thing?  What is the log that I am ignoring in my own eye?

What  am I wanting to avoid in my life that I am focused on someone else?  This is a great question to ask ourselves.

I can only control myself (this is difficult enough! Breaking old patterns takes commitment and humility).

If we could change those around us, we would never need to change ourselves.   And this is good news because this is how we develop character.

And when we stop trying to change someone else and want to develop our character we will….

You ready?  

We will…..

Take 100% Responsibility for our own life.

Taking 100% responsibility means that you own the fact that you have choices.  You may not be able to change the choices you have made in the past but you can choose how you will respond and what you will do with your future.  If you are unhappy change it.  This means you give up blaming and complaining and take 100% responsibility for you.

“But…”

“But…”

I know, it is easier to make excuses and blame others but this keeps us stuck.  You are not a victim.  I am not a victim.

We may be powerless over someone else,

But

We have the power to change ourselves and to create the life, the relationships and the joy and peace we desire.

But…

We must choose.

 

Until next time….

Grace and Peace,

Sheryl

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Be the hero of your own life

40-strength-in-hard-timesComplaining,

We all do it.  We moan, we complain, we blame, we gripe.  But it never feels very satisfying does it?  Ok, well for a while it does.  Let’s just tell the truth and come clean here.  It feels like they are getting away with something doesn’t it?  It can feel like we got the short end of the stick, right?  And life can just well, feel plain hard.  And you know what?  You’re right.  Life is hard.  They are getting away with something, and yes,  your feelings do matter.  We need someone sometimes to say to us, yeah, I hear you.  I understand.  You’re pain is real.   How you are feeling makes sense.  You make sense.  And, I can see your pain, your suffering and that you are tired and worn out.  BUT, and this is a big BUT

We can not stay there.  We need others desperately, not to tell us what we want to hear, but what we need to hear.  We need to know we are not alone.  We need validation ,to know we are heard,  understood and THEN, we need to pick up our mat and walk.

You are not a victim.  We all have choices.  Feel your feelings.  Grieve, be sad, allow yourself to heal.  Express your pain.  And share your hurts with safe people.  It may take some time.  But staying there is not really loving yourself.  Feeling justified in our pain, and licking our wounds for too long, stunts our growth.  It actually keeps our hurts from healing .  Have you ever thought about how an animal keeps licking a wound and it never heals?  That’s because it needs air to breath and time to form a scab.  A scab may leave a scar, but scars make us stronger.  Others can look at our scars, our battle wounds, and see that we have made it through and believe that they can too.

Don’t blame others.  You are 100% responsible for the outcomes in your life.  It is not the hand you are dealt, it is what you choose to do with the hand.  Play it.  Don’t play twos, play aces.  If you are unhappy, figure out what you need to do to change it.  Ask for help.  Make a request.  Get the support you need but don’t blame somebody else.  Stop making excuses.  You are the author of your own life.

Be grateful.  I know, sometimes we get sick of hearing that.  Why?  Because being grateful works and sometimes we just want to stay stuck.  But staying stuck is not an option unless you want to be miserable.  It will never change you.  Have you ever been with a constant complainer?  It is draining.  Nobody wants to be around Debbie or Danny Downer.  Who do you want to be?

Believe, Visualize and Take Action.

Who do you admire?

Who are your heroes?  Have you ever noticed that our heroes are usually the ones that have overcome incredible obstacles?

We cheer for them!  We get energy from them.  Because they have overcome!

Heroes give us life.  They give us hope.  And, if we’re honest, we all want to be a hero.

I want to allow God to use my pain for good.  And I want to see His power at work within me.

It is our choice…

So how will we choose to live?

We create the life we live.

So let’s take 100% responsibility for our lives.

Figure out what we want,

and Create the outcome.

Get angry.  Fight the good fight!

Be a living testimony.   Be courageous.

Don’t just complain.  Do something!

One step forward.

Don’t look back.

Get rid of what isn’t working.

Create something new.

Make a request.

Ask for what you need.

Let us not think we can go it alone.

but let us reveal our scars to each other,

So we can all be beacons of hope,

Shining lights out in the darkness or at least in the rain,

Taking the ashes of  life and making them beautiful.

And asking God to give us the strength.

Hope and Peace,

Sheryl

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Celebrate Surrender

copy-th3-e1393117170985.jpegLet’s choose to celebrate today.  Surrender this day.  Let’s just try it.  Quit the striving. Believe we are enough.  That there is enough.  Enough time.  Enough of us to do what we need to do.  Enough of God’s loving care to help us through whatever we are facing and going through.

Rest.  

Trust.  

Let go.  Believing God longs to show us compassion and is abounding in love.  If we choose to believe this, maybe we can relinquish some of the control we so desperately hold on to. Worry.  What are we worried about?  “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?”  (Matthew 6:26)  If God takes care of the birds, will He surely not take care of us?  How often I miss the feast because I am too busy making mud pies. (C.S. Lewis said something similar but way better)  We all need a little grace today. Let’s choose grace.  Believe in it.  Live it.  Radiate it.   

Live Abundantly.

Believe there is enough.

You are enough.

Just the way you are.

 

Fix your eyes on what is true, noble and good.

Imagine….

Letting go of who you think you need to be

Embracing who you are.

 

You are worthy of love, belonging and joy.

Stop struggling and striving.

No more perfecting, and performing.

 

Honor vulnerability.

Be.  Where you are now.

Give yourself permission to be imperfect.

Let in the love.  Let in the compassion.

The grace in all that is good.

 

Courage to…

Feel, to

Throw off the mask, to live

Free from the expectations of others,

to say no, to say yes, to be true to yourself.

 

Celebrate

who you are.

your children, your spouse.

Picture each of them.

Acceptance, freedom

to be imperfect, flawed,

Permission to be yourselves.

No matter what, you belong.

 

Unique.

Each of us.

Beautiful

Just as we are.

 

Let in the love.  Let in the compassion.

Love with your whole heart truly, deeply,  

And Dare Greatly.

The themes of my poem,  I took from Brene Brown’s book, Daring Greatly, which I love and highly recommend!

Grace and Peace,

Sheryl

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What kind of Parent are you?

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In Jennifer Wyatt’s book, Getting to Calm –  Cool -Headed Strategies for Parenting Tweens and Teens, she describes four parenting styles that can help us on the journey to creating healthier relationships with our teens.

Are you a kibosher?

This style is heavy on control, power struggles, and about who is more “right”.  This can result in guilt tripping, shaming, and lecturing.

*Do you tend to find yourself making heavy-handed attempts to control your teen?

*Do you find yourself making statements like, “You are grounded for a month.”  “How dare you talk to me like that!”

*Do feel responsible to put an end to your teen’s rudeness right then and there by coming down too hard?

*Do you find yourself trying to manage your teen’s behavior and their thoughts and feelings, too?

*Do you tend to lean towards “right” and “wrong”, “black or white” thinking?

By the time a teen reaches the teen years, a parent that is intent on pure control of rudeness and bad attitude can be in for a nonstop power struggle.  Constantly focusing on and trying to control your teen’s bad attitude, and trying to get it to change can bring a lot of strife and struggle.

This style of parenting damages the relationship with your child.

“Children reared by intrusive parents who demonstrate this kind of ‘Psychological control’ are more likely to show patterns of guilt, dependency, aggression, alienation, social withdrawal, low self-esteem, and depressed feelings.”  The paradox is that this style of parenting leads to exactly what no one wants – loss of control.

The Romantics –

This style of parenting swings to the opposite extreme of the kibosher’s.

*Are you excessively indulgent and permissive, without adequate authority?

*Do you have idealized notions of trying to be the perfect parent?

*Do you hover and find yourself trying too hard to stay close to your children?

*If you are honest about it, do you find yourself feeling needy to be liked by your teen?

If you fall into this category of parenting style you will find yourself struggling to hold your ground against your mouthy and moody teen.

“Rules and consistency – ingredients of good parenting – fall by the wayside.”

The Bouncers – 

This parenting style is a combination of the kibosh and the romantic.   These parents often guilt trip and shame only to find themselves feeling guilty and then caving in.

*Do you find yourself swinging between ruling with an iron fist one day and permissiveness the next?

*Do you find yourself overcome with outrage at your teen’s obnoxious ways and rush in to ground him for life?

*At other times do you find yourself too tired to take on your teen and give in and let it go?

The Shrewd Choosers –  

This is the most effective parenting style.

These parents are clear in their authority and at the same time there is ongoing give and take with their teen.  They pick their battles, based on parenting rule number one:  Keep a mostly positive relationship.

A useful standard is five to one.  Each negative interaction needs to be balanced with five positive ones.

“Teens are moody by nature, and shrewd choosers accept that their children might have negative feelings about them, particularly during this “individuation” phase of life – and especially when teens don’t get what they want.”  Expect teens to express their upset.  Whether dealing with a smart mouth or making a parenting judgment call, these moms and dads walk a fine line – they hold the standards and values they put into place while being open to negotiate new privileges when appropriate.

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No Shame On You

beautiful_nature_wallpaper_1920x1200“Love is patient” 1 Corinthians 13:4

 “Love never gives up” The Message Version

Most of us are familiar with the passage on love from 1 Corinthians Chapter 13.  We hear it used at weddings, funerals, and in sermons.  We see these sentiments on plaques and anniversary cards.  These words can be so cliché that we don’t take the time to ponder the impact they can have on how we relate to others and ourselves.

I was reminded the other day how impatient I can be with myself.  Arriving at a school field trip to the Des Plaines River with my 7th grade daughter,  I had not realized I needed to wear boots and jeans.  I began to beat myself up as they were sharing how muddy it was, that we needed to douse ourselves with insect repellant and to make sure to check for ticks.  When they began to tell us to look out for the poison ivy and oak,  my face felt flushed and my heart began to sink.  I looked at the other Mom’s as they turned and looked concerned at my athletic skirt and cute, new sporty shoes I had just purchased last week!   I was so embarrassed.  I was reading their minds, “Doesn’t she read the parents page?  What an air head!  What was she thinking? How irresponsible!  Wow, and I thought I was disorganized!”  All these critical voices were shouting at me.  I had to remind myself to fight the shame.  Thankfully my daughter’s friend’s Mom(I have always liked her and now I really like her!) ran me by her house to loan me a pair of boots and jeans.  I was so grateful I could have cried.  I was tempted to beat myself up and try to save face by repeating how stupid I felt, but I didn’t.  I reminded myself to be patient with my shortcomings, to practice self-love and acceptance.  I gave myself the grace to make mistakes and learn from them.

Shame is toxic and we are no match for shame on our own.  We need safe, compassionate others to be patient with us on this journey.  We need to give ourselves the love and grace we desperately need when we feel shame rearing its ugly head.  Those of us who grew up being held to a standard of perfection, where criticism lurked when we made mistakes, are especially vulnerable to these shaming messages.  I often have to remind myself to be conscious as I parent my own children to not shame them when I am tempted to do just that.

Today I will choose to be patient with myself,

To love myself,

 To accept myself,

Right where I am today,

I will give myself the freedom to make mistakes,

to make things right when I am wrong,

I will choose to love myself apart from the approval of others,

and commit to giving and receiving the gift of patience and grace towards my shortcomings,

imperfections and inadequacies, knowing who I am is more than enough.

Today I will be tender with myself.

Today I will give myself the grace, compassion and self-love that I deserve.

For I am a child of God and

I am loved.

Grace and Peace,

Sheryl

 

 


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The Hamster in Your Head

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We all have them!  Thinking patterns that spin around in our heads, sometimes consciously, sometimes unconsciously.  They keep us stuck and limit our happiness whether we recognize them or not.    Usually, these “hamsters”  strike most often when we are feeling vulnerable and exposed.  We might come upon situations in our lives that trigger fear, uncertainty, and feelings of rejection.  It is comforting when a friend reminds me, “It sounds like that hamster is in your head today spinning on his wheel!”   Sometimes it’s nice to know I’m not the only one.

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  Human beings all struggle with thinking that keeps them from fulfilling their potential.  These distorted beliefs hold us back from being successful and connecting with others.  These thoughts attack all areas of our life, social situations, taking healthy risks, and stepping out of our comfort zone .  This sucks our joy and keeps us from deeper relationships.

Let’s identify a few of these limiting beliefs and see if you see yourself in any of these:

“If only I was better looking, thinner, made more money, then……(fill in the blank)

 I am not enough.

If you really knew who I was you wouldn’t like or accept me.

I am not smart enough.  I am not good enough.

I am not lovable because…..(fill in the blank)

This relationship will never get better.

It is no use trying.  Nothing will change.

We all suffer from mistaken beliefs.  If we are willing to have courage to identify them, face them and do the work that we need to do, we can transform the way we think, one day at a time.  As the saying goes, “How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.”  This is a process that we must commit to if we desire lasting change in our lives.

elephant-21 A Certified Life Coach can help you to begin to change your thinking.  Here are a few steps to get you started.

1.  Log your thoughts.  In order to change your thoughts you need to able to recognize what is limiting you.  Keep a journal of what you are thinking and feeling. Note what you think is holding you back, i.e. from reaching out, taking risks  or engaging with others.  What do you believe will happen?  What are you afraid of?

2. Write down a column of your beliefs and another column of new beliefs to replace the lies. Many of our thoughts have to do with what we heard growing up and are simply not true.  We have to work through what we were taught and learn to replace these thoughts with new beliefs.

3.  Modeling –  If you want to lose weight, join Weight Watchers, if you want to run a marathon, join a running group or find a running buddy.   If you want to grow your business,   find a mentor or friend with who has successfully taken this path. There are many business development groups to help you set goals and keep you accountable.

4.  Support- Get around others who will accept you and can speak truth into your life.  When I am feeling discouraged, I call supportive people in my growth group to remind me of  my capabilities, gifts and when I am thinking thoughts that are not true.  They help to lift me up and cheer me on when I feel like giving up.

5.  Have a growth mindset.  Be willing to step out of your comfort zone and make mistakes.  In order to grow you need to be willing to fail and keep on going.  The only way to grow is to be willing to get in the game and play!

Join me on the journey,

Sheryl