5 Ways To Beat the “Motivation Blues”

Last month I experienced my first dose of PMS since pre-pregnancy life and it was insane, you guys. I literally thought I was going mad. I was completely fine and then randomly my hubby asked me what I wanted for dinner and I started spazzing out. I just had this uncontrollable rage inside of me about how few choices there were in the fridge and I wanted so desperately to laugh about how I felt, but I was just too angry to laugh. My husband wasn’t sure how to handle me, and when he isn’t sure what’s going on, he usually just bites his tongue & slips into his silent world. That only enraged me more. I wanted him to talk to me. I wanted him to ask me what’s wrong. I wanted him to console me. One minute I’m a raging bull and the next I’m a blubbering whale, bawling my eyes out. I was literally lying in bed crying and this was how the conversation was going…

Me: “I just need someone to talk to me…” (hysterical crying)

Levi: “I am talking to you honey, what do you want to talk about??”

Me: “UH! YOU JUST DONT GET IT. YOU SHOULD ALREADY KNOW WHAT TO TALK ABOUT. WHY DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU WHAT I WANT TO TALK ABOUT??” (continual sobbing)

Levi: “Honey I’m just really confused.. how can I help you? I’m sorry. I’m here for you.”

Me: “THIS IS THE WORST. I’M SO ALONE.” (hahahah, true story.)

Long story short, I was such a mess and I couldn’t figure out why I felt so much anxiety and anger and sadness and loneliness all at the same time. The lightbulb finally came on in my head…”Oh, PMS…you son of a witch.”

Needless to say, I’ve been in need of a huge mood booster. And it hasn’t just been the PMS, I just have not been “motivated,” whatever that means, since moving to AZ. I mean, if I could name one animal that describes me these days it would be a sloth. And that is saying a lot to admit that because I think sloths are the creepiest animals. They seriously look like weird little humans with wolverine-like claws, but it is sadly true. I have been a sloth these days and how fitting because there are sloths here in AZ. There is literally a Sloth Rescue Center in Flagstaff. Someone rescue me for pity sakes, but anyway.

I decided today that the lack of motivation had to stop. Now, I don’t think there is anything wrong with feeling sad and unmotivated. Feel what you need to feel, but there comes a time when you need to pick up your body and just LIVE and feel the happiness that God intends you to feel. I’ve been really missing that happiness and enlightenment and joy that I could have in my life. As I took a step back and recognized how I was using my time, I realized that if I just changed a few things during the day it could make a HUGE difference in how I felt mentally and emotionally about my life.

Now, I’m not saying that these 5 simple things are like a magic to-do list that will make all of your problems go away. It’s not the list that’s magic, its the principle behind the list that is magical. The principle is simply that as we ACT, we will feel fulfillment and happiness in our lives. These tasks are the way that I choose to act so that I am starting to feel motivation, inspiration and happiness in our lives. My goal with this list is to help you to get an idea of things that you can do every day so that you are choosing to ACT instead of being ACTED UPON. 

P O D C A S T S

Now that I’m a stay-at-home mom and haven’t had as much intellectual engagement with other human beings as I would like, podcasts are the next best intellectual engagement I have found, plus they are super convenient. Unlike human interaction, you can pause them and play them when you are ready to listen to them. If you aren’t feeling it, you can turn it off and try again later. I typically listen to them in the car or to help me get going on the cleaning checklist.  There is just something super inspiring about hearing another person’s story, their struggles, their inspirations, their goals. I have had so many thoughts come to mind of things I can do or change in my life while listening to podcasts. The amazing thing about podcasts is that there are so many different genres of podcasts-literally anything you are interested about, there will be a podcast about it. I stick to podcasts that are mostly centered around motherhood, entrepreneurship, happiness, lifestyle, home inspiration, ideas for a better life, motivation, humor. You get the gist. I read a blog post on The Alison Show that helped me to find some good places to start with podcasts that you can find here.

Light it Up, Babe

No, I’m not referring to what you are thinking, although I hear that does calm the nerves (haha). I am referring to CANDLES, actually! You guys, have you ever realized how lighting candles can change the entire ambiance of your house?? Therefore, changing your entire ambiance? It is the the greatest miracle. I’ve always been a huge candle sniffer. You know, a person who sniff’s all the candles at the store, that’s totally me. I justify spending way too much money on candles because I truly do believe in the effects they have on the home and individuals. Psychologically I feel like choosing what scent you choose to smell is controlling the controllable. It’s like saying to yourself, “I can’t control the circumstance that I am in, but I can control what I am smelling while in the circumstance.” Does that sound completely silly? For me, it just emotionally helps me to feel like I am in control over my life. Also, smells just tend to bring you places, ya know? It’s like every time I smell pumpkin I am immediately brought back to Fall, crunchy leaves, Thanksgiving, Halloween, hot cocoa, my mom’s chili etc.. Smells have a power to do that. When I am feeling down in the dumps, a good candle can usually do the trick. I also love have a wax warmer in my kitchen that I am obsessed with. My favorite wax has been coconut, it smells so heavenly. If you don’t believe me, try it. I guarantee lighting up a candle will rock your world and lift your spirits.

Make a Deliberate Playlist 

When it comes to listening to music, I think it is much to easy to listen to music that doesn’t uplift, inspire and enlighten. Not to say that is the purpose of listening to music, I’m guilty of listening to many breakup playlists in my day, but I do think there is something empowering about choosing the type of music and lyrics that we allow into your heart and mind for the day. Generally speaking, I think we are much too passive when it comes to listening to music and whether you choose to believe it or not, music does influence our thoughts, feelings and actions. As I have decided to make a deliberate playlist, meaning I am really listening to the lyrics and listening to how the music makes me feel, I have come to realize that music is an incredible tool for inspiration. I’m a huge music lover and making a good playlist is already a hobby for me so I found it really enjoyable to sit down and make a deliberate playlist, but I encourage you to try this at home. Sit down and really find those songs that uplift and inspire. I’m not saying that the same music that uplifts and inspires me is the same music that uplifts and inspires you. I’m also not saying that uplifting and inspiration music has to be upbeat and talking about sunshine.  All I am saying is-don’t let yourself be acted upon by the mainstream music industry. Do your homework! Research your favorite artists and find other artists that are similar. Figure out what artistic style is inspiring to you and figure out why it is inspiring to you. I promise you that there is Gold in them Hills (a great song to add to the playlist & pick the Chris Martin version) for the hardworking playlist makers. Novo Amor is an amazing artist to start with.

Eat Some Lucky Charms

I have always had a pretty big sweet tooth. Back in Junior High, I literally ate a Hersey’s Cookies & Cream bar with Pink Lemonade every single day for lunch. I would also eat an entire Ben & Jerry’s container of ice cream at every sleepover. I have an addiction to sugar, it’s bad. I do pretty good now that I’m an adult and need to be healthy or whatever, but I have found that when I am just having a rough time a good bowl of my favorite cereal does the trick. Our bodies are going through a lot as women & during our PMS hours,  a little TLC to our bodies gives the message that we still love them, even though what they are doing to us sucks. Now, regardless if you are having PMS or if it’s just a regular day, I absolutely love the principle behind choosing to eat a favorite food. For some reason food can sometimes become this restricting and binding thing for me where I limit myself to what foods I will eat or “should eat.” I will go to the grocery store and just buy the same things over and over again because that’s the routine and that’s what cheapest or whatever, but what if you decided to buy foods that were more expensive but SO good. What if you decided to make an amazing healthy meal that you loved even though the ingredients cost a boat-load of money? What if you just ate 3 bowls of ice cream because you loved that ice cream. I guess what I’m trying to get at, is to not let food control you. Don’t let eating become a restrictive thing. Just eat. Enjoy food! Cook, bake, explore new tastes and foods. I have found that as I try new recipes and buy new veggies & fruits that I’ve never cooked with, I feel free and inspired again. If that food is Lucky Charms for you, go and buy Lucky Charms. Eat it and enjoy it.

DECLUTTER 

I have found that when my body is out of whack, my house is completely in sync with my body. There are so many projects that have just been sitting & waiting for the “motivation” to kick in, but I’m here to declare that motivation seriously doesn’t exist. I am trying to kick the belief that I have to be motivated before I act because that belief is completely wrong. If we wait around to be motivated before we act, we are going to be stagnant our entire lives. Acting is what gives us motivation. Acting is what gives us fulfillment. Acting really is what gives us the most peace and contentment in our lives. When we choose to get up and act, there really is a power that comes into our lives and THAT is when the motivation, inspiration or whatever you want to call it, comes into our lives. So get up and clean your room! Put away that crap on your dresser. Throw away the junk in your closet that you never use. Donate those clothes that you’ve been holding on to because they are a Nordstrom brand but you secretly don’t even like them (I’m totally guilty of that). The more room you free up in your house, the more creative room you will have in your lives.

Take a Step Back & Evaluate 

Long story short, if you are feeling “unmotivated” in your life, I think it is wise to maybe step back and evaluate your beliefs. If you have the belief that you need to feel some sort of motivating feeling before acting, that belief is probably going to result in feeling a lack of motivation and thus a lack of acting which ultimately leads to unhappiness. Believe me, I would know. Happiness always come when we choose to act, even when we don’t feel like acting. And yes, I am the worst person to be giving this advice right now because I haven’t been the best at acting. I have been the best person at NOT acting and excusing myself for my behavior. I have let myself off the hook for not exercising because its “too hot” outside to exercise and I don’t have the money to buy a gym pass. I have excused myself from developing new relationships because I “don’t have a car” and “Clair’s schedule complicates things” etc… Not to say that these things aren’t true because YES it is too hot outside and YES Clair’s schedule does complicate things, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t try to act. That doesn’t mean that I have an excuse to mope around the house and to feel unhappy. Those things just mean that I need to work harder and be more creative in how to make things work.

I hope this post was helpful in some way. I know that I have needed to write these things just to give myself a little bit of a kick in the rear end to take a step in the right direction. Again, like I said at the beginning of this post, these 5 things are placed in my daily routine to give a sign to my body that I am going to act today, that I am not going to be acted upon, that I am going to be working towards the goals that I want, that I have control over myself and my happiness. I have found that as I include these things in my daily routine, I end up doing may productive & creative things throughout the day. It really is magic. So, my challenge to you is to come up with your list of 5 things you will do each day to signal to your body that you choose to act and choose to be in control. As always, I would love to hear your comments and ideas!

xoxo

 

3 Steps to Mental Clarity

I most recently posted on Instagram about how I have started a mental journey of cleansing. This cleansing process entails a few things that I would like to discuss today in hopes that I can inspire and motivate you to take the same journey. I believe this journey will be beneficial for anyone to begin, reason being that over the years, we all build up a bunch of beliefs that might have been helpful at one time in our life, but aren’t necessarily helpful in the present time. Or sometimes we develop beliefs that have never been helpful or supportive to us. A personal example of this idea would be my belief that I developed in High School, that being skinny equals being acceptable and beautiful. Because I had that core belief about beauty, I was never happy with my body unless I was bone thin. That belief also drove me to develop an unhealthy relationship with food. It wasn’t until years after graduating High School that I realized the truth of my problem. A healthy calorie intake every single day wouldn’t fix me, changing my belief about beauty would change me. The trick with all of this is learning how to become aware of our own beliefs so that we can ultimately change them, if needed.

Processed with VSCO with a5 preset

Becoming Aware of our Beliefs

Alright, so here comes, what I feel, is the hardest part of the journey. Learning to become in tune and aware of our beliefs. I think the first step in coming to an awareness is learning how to listen to our thoughts. Truly listen to what we are thinking and noticing when a certain thought leads us to feelings of negativity. Here is a great example of this process. I heard this example while listening to a Tiffany Han podcast while she interviewed a woman named Lacy Young. I have had the exact same belief in the past so I really related to what Lacy expressed and will share a summarized version as follows:

I have a lot of friends who work out at the gym, which is super great for them but I’m just not a gym person. In the past, I would see a picture of them working out at the gym and I would have the thought ‘I don’t go to the gym,’ which would then be followed by the thought, ‘I won’t ever have a fit body.’ I would then start feeling and thinking negative things about my body image.

Did you catch mine and Lacy’s underlying belief there? Essentially we believed, “I can only have a fit body if I have a gym pass,” which really isn’t true. I can have a fit body in a number of different ways. For whatever reason, I don’t like the gym and I shouldn’t have to feel bad about that. I can still be a happy person just because I don’t like the gym. I don’t need to feel bad about myself and believe that I’m a fat person. You guys, this process happens all of the time within the walls of our minds. An idea will come to our attention, either organically developed through an experience or through another person’s opinion, and in that moment we have the choice to let that idea become a belief or let that idea blow away. Sometimes we encounter a really persuasive person and all of the sudden we start to feel like we aren’t living our life right anymore, am I right? I mean, who’s ever been to Sephora and conversed with a makeup expert there? I always leave believing that my skin NEEDS these specific products and that without them I won’t have beautiful and healthy skin. The point is, we all have developed beliefs that aren’t serving us anymore and might be weighing us down from enjoying a life free of negativity.

Processed with VSCO with b1 preset

What I’m starting to learn is that we have to actively decide what we will and won’t allow inside of our little “belief” section of our minds. It’s just too darn easy to just consume whatever is being fed to us through our lit up screens without really being an active participant in that consuming. You feel me?

Another way to start to become aware of our beliefs is to observe the words that come out of our mouths. Really be aware of those words because our words are the puzzle pieces to our inner beliefs. A simple example might be, “That stupid idiot driver made me so mad today.” I know that I’ve been guilty of that sentence many a time in my lifetime. So what belief is linked with that sentence? I’m basically saying that my emotions are tied to outside influences that I can’t control. Wow, that’s going to be a disaster if I keep that belief up my entire life. I will be basing my emotional well-being on things that are completely out of my control. Not a good belief to have.

It will take patience and diligence in trying to figure out your inner beliefs, but it is worth the effort because the pay off equals freedom of unnecessary stress and burden. For me, I am looking forward to inner peace and the ability to only focus on thoughts that are relevant to my true desires. I know that I’ve spent too much time focusing on irrelevant matters that aren’t helping me to have joy and fulfillment in my life. Goodbye false & useless beliefs!

We Have Desires for a Reason

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Ok, so once you’ve started the process of weeding out false and irrelevant beliefs, it is now the time to focus on figuring out your TRUE desires. As I talked about in a recent post about my personality,  I am a major idealist and dreamer. I have all of these bottled up desires and hopes and I catch myself pushing them away because I feel like I shouldn’t have them or am incapable of achieving them. That is a FALSE belief, by the way. I truly believe, and I will hold on to this belief forever, that we have our desires for a reason. Our desires are what motivate us to work hard, educate ourselves, meet new people, stretch ourselves. I believe that our desires are the means by which God can help us accomplish greatness in our lives. They are the core of who they are, rooted deep inside our hearts, and when we don’t act according to our desires, it is almost as if we are betraying ourselves. Now, with that said, I don’t think all desires are good but I believe that we are capable of refining and molding all desires into something good and pure, the way that they were always meant to be.

For example, one might have a desire to be an independent business owner so as to provide for their family and to become financially free. This is a good desire. However, for whatever reason, that pure desire might turn to greed. A desire for money and influence might start masking the once true and original desire. Because of this potential, it is important to figure out your pure and honest desires. Those desire are there for a reason. It might look like those desires are impossible to achieve, but do not tell yourself that you are dumb for wanting it. For example, I have always had a desire to be a musician. When I was little, I would write songs on the piano and submit them in contests at my school. I would win little awards for it and I felt so accomplished and happy. Somewhere along the way I have let that desire be swept under the rug, so to speak, and feel like I could never become a musician because I’m not “good enough.” Because I believe I’m not good enough, I’m not pursuing it, and as a result I feel like I’m not fulfilling my potential and I feel unhappy at times.

So what I am saying is to figure out what your true desires are and trust them, believe in them. Don’t push them away. Don’t be frightened by them. They are there for a reason, and it’s important that we acknowledge them and embrace them.

Draw Your Desires to You

Processed with Snapseed.

The last thing I want to cover is learning how to draw your desires to you. This might sound a little mystical, but lets face it, I am a mystic (haha), and I truly believe that what you visualize and think about creates your reality.  Positive energy attracts positive energy. Negative energy attracts negative energy. I believe all of those things. In order for visualizing to really work, you have to believe that it will work and that you deserve these good things in your life. Something that I really liked from Lucy Young’s podcast was her saying,

“Don’t worry about the how, it will happen. Just focus on your intent & stay connected to how it feels to want it. It will happen. Trust that it will come.”

If you have always had a desire to take a trip to Europe, picture yourself there. Stay connected to that feeling and desire. It will happen eventually. The how will work itself out. People and things and opportunities will be drawn to you and your life will suddenly be working out for your good and benefit. Honestly I can say that this has been true in my life! I’ve been wanting to connect with different bloggers in my community and have had that desire for some time and it has been amazing to see people and opportunities start to come into my life. When I have chosen to focus and think about what I really want, things will happen. Try it in your own life! I’m not saying that it will happen in the way that you expect it to happen & I’m not saying you can just sit there and wait for it to happen. But I am saying that if you want something bad enough, it will come to you. I mean, what does Jesus teach us about faith? We can literally do and have anything when we ask in faith. I believe that when we are following true & honest desires (key words there), we are capable of having those true & honest desires through our faith.

This is such a freeing and enabling knowledge to have! How many times have I gone to church and learned about faith but failed to really exercise it in my life. I don’t think faith is ONLY to be used in spiritual matters, I think it can be used in ANYTHING in our lives. Why not? Why wouldn’t God want us to succeed and accomplish the desires in our heart? He does, and He will.

In a Nutshell…

Here’s the 3 takeaways from my long insight I have just disclosed:

  1. Figure out your beliefs.
  2. Figure out your true & honest desires.
  3. Draw it to you.

Challenge Time, if you are up for it: Re-write 2 aspects of your life, whether it be relationship, work, habits, hobbies, etc., and re-write them until they feel good and more aligned with your desires. Simply put, if your relationship with your spouse isn’t the way you desire it to be, well how would you want it to be? Visualize it and believe that it can become that way.

I hope that this post was helpful. I know that I am still learning and trying to figure out how to make these mental changes but I really do want to see improvement in my life. Please comment and keep me updated on your journey’s & how you’ve been able to overcome mental obstacles in your life. I would love to hear from your experiences! Thanks for reading, I know it was a lengthy one. 🙂

xoxo

Vulnerability

With the overcast skies and the bright blooming flowers all over campus, I am feeling especially nostalgic and inspired today. It’s been years since I have posted, but I am finally at a point where I’ve decided to try and weed out all of the chains in my life, fear being the biggest root of them all. To preface this post just a bit, I think it would be best to go back  a few years and explain why fear would ever play a part in writing a blog.

Two years ago I felt like I had things figured out. I thought I understood who I was, what I wanted from life and what life wanted from me. Looking back now, I see through the masked grin that I plastered to my face. Writing back then was easy for me because I thought I had things figured out. I was confident in what I wanted to say. Things haven’t been so easy due to what has happened since those days.

My Portland

Two years ago I decided to leave Utah and serve a mission for my church for 18 months. I served in Portland, Oregon and fell in love with the lifestyle, culture, and scenery. Portland was a time where I came to understand that I actually didn’t have anything figured out and that life as I knew it wasn’t exactly reality. During my time in Portland I changed. I saw the rawest parts of life where I came to see that I have had it pretty easy my entire life. I saw in the eyes of the people that I met pain that was foreign to my understanding. I longed to ease their pain, but I was helpless, only God could bring them healing. I saw and felt incredible things while in Portland. I spent all of my time trying to teach people about Jesus Christ, and why Jesus Christ would ever be relevant to them in their “Portlandish” lives. What I have come to know as truth through study, and experience is that when we choose to believe in Jesus Christ, learn of Him, and then test out His word, we experience the ability to change anything in our lives and to become our best selves. I saw that happen over and over again with the people of Portland, Oregon, and I even began to see it happening within myself.

IMG_0538

With all of the change that I experienced while serving my mission, I came home after 18 months and realized that I didn’t want the same things out of life that I used to want. I didn’t feel like I had anything figured anymore. I craved change. Not just any kind of change, but the change that only a higher power, Jesus Christ, could offer. Change that cleansed and healed as it went through you, not the change of abandonment, scars and defeat that I knew before.

IMG_0857

It is because of this change that I have been scared to write. Scared to let go of who I used to be. During my mission my old blogs and writings were somehow all deleted and destroyed. I came home to ash, having only my memories of what I wrote burning through my head. I was angry, upset and hurt. I had changed so much on my mission, and felt like God had given me a second chance at life, but I still wanted to hold on to my old life. I think all of us are like that at time… wanting change but unwilling to let ALL of the old go. We want to hold on to just a little tiny bit of it. I came home and didn’t have a choice. Time has helped me to realize that it was a gift to be given a completely clean slate. My fear has been that I won’t be able to write or express myself the way that I was before, but now I am seeing that I can write about the world through different lenses now. I’ve seen so much and felt so much. I can still be a beautiful writer. I can still inspire change within myself and others. I’ve been reluctant to let all of my old desires go, but I’m ready to become something greater. I’m ready to let myself change and to BE inspired every day. Just like a budding flower in the early spring, I am vulnerable and exposed but I am not afraid.

skr