3 Keys to Creating Change

There’s a voice in my head that sometimes tells me I’m not good enough.  Do you ever have that voice?  I’ve spent many years working on this piece.  Its many facets seem to show up in different areas of my life. I have been working on healing this negative voice facet by facet.  In my journey, I have found three keys that, when implemented, propel me toward success in my quest to heal, grow and move forward.
Anytime you want to create change in your life, a few ingredients must be present for you to succeed. This is not an exhaustive list, just the three I consider the most important.
Consistent – You must have consistency. If you are working on stopping an established habit or belief, you will need a plan that is carried out on a regular basis. Maybe one of your strategies for change includes starting each day reminding yourself of your goal, the reason you want to change the habit or belief, the good you will get out of it. It’s up to you to be consistent and look at your goals every day.
Transparent – You must be honest with yourself and others about what’s really going on for you. If you are trying to hide the very part of you that you want to change, you are not likely to have success. Get honest, get real and be transparent with trusted people, which leads to the next key:
Support – You will need people around you who are for you. These are not the people who you like to hang around because they tell you everything you want to hear. These are the kind of people who tell you the hard things, the truth. They also have your best interest in mind but not in a care taking, it-depends-on-them way; they care about you, they like you, they are willing to journey with you. Some of your support people might come in the form of a counselor, coach or mentor.
I can tell you from first hand experience, change is possible and it is incredibly rewarding!
I’m cheering you on!                                                                                                                                                                    Karen

One Thing

We realize there’s something we need to change to enjoy our life better but day after day we don’t do it. Sometimes it’s because the goal we set for ourselves is too big or unrealistic. How about breaking it down into just one thing. What’s one thing you can do differently today that will have a positive impact on your life?

Contentment or Dread? You Choose!

I had the opportunity last week to drive about 8 hours roundtrip in one day.  My van sort of died on our way home from visiting family. A few days later, with little explanation from the mechanic, it was revived enough for us to drive it home, a miracle of sorts. You know, the kind where the person’s heart stops beating and everyone thinks she died but then she just wakes up and is fine. That’s my van. It has 196,000 miles on it…one of these days it will die and not come back to life.
This particular day offered me one of those opportunities where I had a choice to make. I could be pissed off at God or my car or whatever that we had to drive back to the place of my van’s pseudo-death and drive it home. Or, I could choose to be content. I chose contentment. I do not say this to win accolades but to reinforce the concept that contentment is a choice despite our circumstances. I recognize fully that my circumstance was a first world problem. My husband and I had to drive together in one of our cars to get the other car. Some people have no car. I get it. But I do live in a first world and this was a problem I (and many others) face.
There’s no magic in choosing contentment. You just consciously, with intention, do it. In my case, I looked at the drive as an opportunity to listen to a bunch of speakers I admire and learn from.  Before we left I downloaded a bunch of podcasts from Henry Cloud, John Townsend, Elizabeth Gilbert and Brene Brown. They are my current favorites. I also downloaded a Story Telling podcast on the topic of addiction. The drive turned out to be intellectually exhilarating. I learned powerful lessons on that drive. Lessons I might have missed.
Every aspect of our lives is rich with meaning and purpose if we are willing to look under the surface and find it. We can! We have the amazing ability to look, to think, to question, to understand and accept. I love this about us!!! So today, how will you approach your circumstances in a way that inspires you toward contentment rather than dread?

Another Anna Update

Anna was at Duke University Clinic last week for a check up.  She had a bronchoscopy (bronch) and learned she does not have rejection!!!  No rejection means longer spans between bronchs and are a sign that her body is, at least for now, accepting her gently used lungs.  She has an infection and started a round of antibiotics that should take care of it.  It’s not debilitating and she continues to go to classes and work on making friends.  She says Pepper has more friends than she does.  This is not hard to believe because cute fur balls who love people generally attract a lot of attention! 🙂
Today is a big day for Anna.  It is her Golden Birthday!!!  In case you don’t know the magic of the Golden Birthday, it’s the day you turn the age of your birthdate.  Today is September 24th and Anna is 24!!!  I seriously can’t believe I am the mother of a 24 year old.  I’m turning 50 at the end of this year so I guess it makes sense, but I still have a hard time believing how quickly my first-born has reached this Golden Birthday!  We are all certainly thankful she has!  I don’t really care that I have to get older in order for my children to age.  There’s something about the years marching on that brings me a sense of “this is how life should be” and I like it.  I could do without the slowing metabolism, disintegrating muscle tone and loose skin but if that’s part of the price I must pay to watch my children flying out of the nest and on into their lives, then so be it.  I’ll try to keep my vain complaints to a minimum 🙂
If you want to wish Anna a Happy Birthday you may do so at her blog or on her Facebook page.
Happy Thursday!
Karen

Fear is Essential to Growth!

I remember hearing Dr. John Townsend talk about a man he knew who made sure he did something every day that stirred fear in him. He wasn’t looking just to be frightened, not like telling ghost stories, but doing something that put him outside of his comfort zone. Lately, I am noticing that nearly every day I feel fear. I am taking strides to increase the ripples of my work. I genuinely want to help more people than I currently am. Since February I have been working on some secret goals. Someday I’ll tell you what they are, but not yet. I bump up repeatedly against a part of me that is scared out of her pants! Sometimes I freak out and talk myself out of going for it. I’ll say things like, “You can’t do this.” “Who do you think you are?” “No one is going to like it.” And a variety of other lovely self-sabatoging statements. Right now, I’m giggling because I know they are ridiculous. Sure, they could be true but I’m not going to let that stop me because I won’t know if they are true if I don’t try. I would rather go for it and fail than not try at all. At the end of the day, or the end of the self-sabatoge session, I get back to a place of peace knowing I want to go for it despite the risks of failure.
What are you afraid to do? Why? With whom can you talk about your fears? If I tried to go through this experience alone, I’d be a mess! We all need trusted people who can sit with us as we go through life. We especially need them when we want to grow!