Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Inspiration for May

I am sick today, which has been a blessing in disguise. I so rarely allow myself to really relax and let up on the demands I make for myself, and doing that today was much needed. It also means I finally have a few minutes to blog, so here is the belated list of the various things I found on the internet that were inspiring last month:

:: A General Conference talk about the Lord's constant presence through joy and trial

:: A powerful column about support during postpartum depression

:: Proof that we're all just doing the best we can.

:: A mother who pursued her dream to be a writer, too

:: Confessions from a fellow introvert. Would you all forgive me if I did this from time to time?

:: The divine gifts of women -- a must read

:: A beautiful film about the divine gifts of women -- and a great analysis, too

:: A meditation on Mother's Day for different women

:: Comparing the difficulties of new motherhood and postpartum depression with baseball (it works, I promise)

:: More excellent advice on how to increase the awesomeness in your life.

:: The grace of letting it go (cue Elsa here)

:: Comparing that unglamorous time of month to the Atonement (again, I promise it works!)

:: Commonalities of motherhood

:: Having faith before everything is made clear

:: How I feel about books.

:: On achievement and reaching for the moon.

:: Defining motherhood based on being rather than doing.

:: What the human soul is thirsting for

:: Don't be perfect -- be good enough.

:: How to love and accept yourself

:: A birth story that shows the blessing and power of personal revelation

:: On dreams, and choosing the right ones

:: A list of all the women in the New Testament. How handy is that?

:: Thoughts on an art exhibit about the Savior.

:: Live for your dream, not the biggest dream

:: Help in carrying our burdens

:: Empowering women to have births that result in a healthy baby and a healthy mother

Whew, there was a lot of goodness out in the internets this month. I hope you found something that added a little inspiration or beauty to your day.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Happiness Project: May Recap and June

It is June 1st, which means that I have completed month 1 of my personal "happiness project." How did May go? To be honest, I was hoping that I would have accomplished more. I didn't really lose any weight and I found it harder to stick to my resolutions than I expected. The no sugar thing did not last long, although I will say that I am finding it easier to not eat it every day. Eating out only once a week and getting salads otherwise would have worked, except that we went to Arizona for a weekend and ate fast food almost every day because we were traveling. Whooops. I think I worked out 4 times a week for two weeks, and 3 times a week for two weeks. So, not excellent but not terrible. However, I did do great at eating at least 7 servings of fruit and vegetables a day. I think I reached this goal all but a handful of days. Apparently I am good at meeting goals that require eating, rather than abstaining.

While at times I have felt discouraged, one of the quotes that really resonated with me from Gretchen Rubin's book was (in summary) that resolutions are something to aspire to, as opposed to goals, which are met and struck off a list. You have to keep resolutions daily; you don't finish them. So while I wasn't perfect in keeping my resolutions, all is not lost. While they are not my focus for this month, I will continue to try and stick with them.

This month, I had planned to focus on Marriage. I figured I should tackle some of the more important areas of my life first. However, today as I was praying at the end of my fast, I felt strongly impressed that I should focus on Peace instead of Marriage this month.

It has been a crazy month. It has been a crazy life these past few months with work, and I have really struggled with balancing everything. Everything has been weighing heavier than usual lately, and I have had to really consider whether working is the right thing for our family. The short answer is that I believe it still is, but that doesn't solve the problem of the toll it is taking on me and my family. Since at the moment it seems our situation will not be changing, I feel like I need to do some work to change myself so that I can deal with the loads I carry more effectively.

My list for "Peace" is a bit longer than my list for "Health" was. In addition to resolutions, I have some projects I would like to accomplish in this area. Because I wasn't considering this topic until today, my thoughts are not as organized as they were before, so I might be making some changes, but as of right now, here are my thoughts on resolutions for Peace:

:: Journal daily -- this helps me clear out my mind so much. Writing has fallen to the bottom of my list for the last few months and I think renewing it will really give me an outlet and a stronger sense of serenity.

:: Meditate daily -- in residency we were given meditation classes by a Zen priestess of Buddhism. It was an amazing experience. I have always been interested in meditation but find it difficult to make the time for it, even though when I do take five minutes I feel so much more centered and able to tackle my obligations. I'm planning on using what I've learned and meditating for five minutes a day.

:: Record my patriarchal blessing in my own voice -- kind of a weird one. I felt very strongly impressed to do this, maybe because I often feel like reading it is another task that weighs on me, but listening will be easier.

:: Go to the temple -- I haven't made it to the temple in a while. With the time spent away from Cal for work, I feel guilty for any time I spend away from him. And sometimes I too jealously guard my time after he goes to sleep. I need to make it a priority to go.

:: Search for quotes, songs, scriptures, etc. that promote peace -- Reading is definitely one of the main ways that I learn and grow. I feel like any time I want to work on an area of my life, I read a book about it. I want to spend some time in the scriptures learning specifically about peace, as well as finding conference talks, books, etc.

What do you find promotes peace for you? I am definitely looking for more ideas and insights!
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