Be

If you have read a few of my blogs, you may have noticed a trend. Ima “pro-active” kinda gal, and talk about things that I want to change in my life.

Its stuff that I can change. Not someone else.

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People are kinda unpredictable….it only took me 27 years to learn that one. Its important to be vulnerable and engage in relationships, but if you want real change in your life…

you have to change something YOU do. 

It would be really cool if the world rotated around you an me, and everything we wanted was delivered to us by the people in our lives. But that’s not going to happen. And it shouldn’t. Because that’s not a fair position to put anyone in.

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What you can do

If you need more friends, BE a friend. Don’t tally up how many times someone text you this month, and complain about it to other people if it doesn’t meet your standard. That’s not their problem, its yours. Think about picking up the phone and YOU calling or texting. Be the friend that you want to have.  People are not out to get you.

If you have a new project idea and have been waiting on the right people and circumstances to carry the load with you….I understand. Its  VERY hard venturing out into things you don’t know anything about. But people don’t really jump on board to things until they see it moving. Take action, even if you do it alone.

And give people the benefit of the doubt. When you give someone the benefit of the doubt…it says ALOT more about your own character than it does theirs. Don’t always believe the worst in people- give them the same grace that you want extended to you.

Complaining

I complain. I would be lying if I said I didn’t. But its like eating a Ding Dong. We are all going to have a weak day and eat the thing…..but eventually it will get to you. It will take over your life and you will be miserable.

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Griping about circumstances or people does nothing to change anything….except make people wanna run away from you. And make you want to eat another Ding Dong.

People aren’t put on this world to make us happy.

They will….when we share life together, but realize that your happiness and purpose come from you and Jesus workin’ together…..on you.

Your life is to precious and too short to waste it. Be the best YOU can be….and take the pressure off others to preform for you.  Be the change you want to see.

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Blah blah blah.

I think one of the most common excuses people have for not pursuing what they want is fear of

“Not being original”

“Someone in my area is already doing that”

“Everyone has a blog”

“Everyone has a photography business”

Blah blah blah blah. 

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“Everyone is this….So I cannot be it. I have to wait and think of something more original. I need to wait and think of something unique that has never been done before.”

Blah blah blah blah.

Well love….you are going to be waiting a long freakin’ time. I don’t know if you have noticed but the world is old. And there are a lot of people in it. I am not saying you shouldn’t continually be thinking and creating with the intent of being original. But if you are waiting to START because you want to do something that has NEVER been done before….well….

Crickets.

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What makes something original and unique is YOU. Not the idea…not the business…but you. The way YOU do it. “Everyone is doing it” is the lamest excuse ever. Everyone is breathing too…you going to stop doing that? If you want to write…THEN write. Yeah there are one million other books out there…woopty do. If you are going to keep yourself from being happy and thriving JUST because you are afraid you wont stand out- that’s selfish.

Don’t do everything to stand out- do things to effect and better people and make yourself happy. And THAT will make you stand out. 

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You may think everyone is already doing what you love- but they aren’t. You notice people who do things because you want to be doing those things. If you really pay attention you will see that not “everyone” is doing. Most people react to life, they don’t produce, they don’t thrive. They could. But for some reason many choose not to.

To me, if you see a lot of people doing what you should be doing….that’s not a sign that there isn’t enough room for you in that market.. Its a sign that you are behind in the ball game and need to get at it.

Do what is INSIDE of you to do. No matter how many people are already doing it. You will never be happy other wise.  Quit crying that everyone is doing it….and just join the party.

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Fraid.

Some people say fear isn’t real. That’s not true. Anyone who has experienced true fear knows that its tangible….and pretty real. Its an outside force that can literally cripple people.

Fear leads us to do crazy things. It gets a wrap for all the things it keeps us from (like pursuing this or that) but it also causes us to do things as well.

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Like control situations or people. Or arrange our entire lives in a predictable manner that cushions us from any unexpected blows. We cover our ears and refuse to explore new thoughts, or learn anything new, or expand our social circle….because that pushes us far out of our comfort zone. We wouldn’t be in control then- and that would be pretty scary.

Researchers are now studying the plasticity of our brains and discovering that we shape and mold who we are (literally!) by what stimulus we are continually exposed to. The more we focus on something, the stronger our neurological “connection” in our mind to that thing becomes.  If we are constantly focusing on what we fear, it literally becomes our reality. Our brain knows nothing different. We have built our mind, physically to become fearful, and except no other truth.

We make “positive thoughts” into this cute little, half-creepy, sugar pill…when  in reality it is literal science. Real. Physiological.

What does all this mean? It means that yes….fear is real. But- we have control over it. If we are deliberate.  Don’t be a weirdo and walk around humming  to the Universe.

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But recognize fear when it comes.

It delivers the message of “cant” (inability, unworthiness, etc). It constantly asks “why?” (not in a good way….but a whyshouldyoudothatyousuck kinda way).

It causes you to not trust…other people.. or yourself.

You choose who you become. Literally. Quit blaming others. We have all been through our own personal versions of hell- but we do not have to live in those places forever.

Read a book, and learn. Step out.

Discover what you are capable of doing, and like Jon Acuff says “Punch Fear in the Face”

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Naked

One of the hardest parts….okay THE hardest part of “starting something” is being naked.

Yup. Naked.

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This goes before the part of actually doing this “thing”

(like creating your new Facebook page, writing your first blog, implementing your new workout, filing for your LLC, setting a date for your new devo/accountability group, etc etc).

This is the stage where you just admit to someone, “Hey! I wanna do this________”.

Most people go, “Awwwwwww yeah! That’s awesome!”

(AKA, “That’s cute you sweet little kid, and precious. You are precious.”)

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People might not take you seriously. And you feel kinda naked.  This is something that is very personal to you, something you may want to do with your LIFE, andddd you kinda feel left like you are defending it. Trying to prove to people that its reasonable, or grown up.

So most of us in this stage, the naked, the exposed stage…...just stop right there.

We never actually follow through, because even mentioning that idea, made us feel stupid. Or like a cute little kid eating a lollipop.

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That’s why I skip this stage. Now when I have an idea, or want to do something- very few people know about it until I am already doing it. 

Its important to guard your heart. No matter what “stage” you are in….

Admitting it Stage

Starting it Stage

Doing it Stage

Not quitting doing it  Stage

Still not quitting Stage

Still going Stage

Waiting Stage Stage

………Succeeding Stage

Applause never becomes at the beginning. You don’t go to a movie theater and  see everyone clapping and shouting at the beginning. Nope. They sit quietly till the end, and then tell everyone how great it was.

Your “applause” will come later.

Till then, guard your heart.

Plug your ears. Don’t take criticism to heart. People come and go.  Its easy to talk its harder to do.

Be a doer. And only listen to doers. You don’t need approval before you begin. 

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“I Will When”

My life has been kinda cra cra lately. Not crazy…. straight up cra cra.

And I haven’t “found” the time to do somethings that I want to do. Its like I am maintaining my life instead of pursuing it.

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I have to tell my self constantly that time will remain the same, things wont necessarily get easier and I wont find some “extra minutes” under the couch somewhere.

At some point we need to say no to our current task…(that never ending one you have…that you could spend hours doing and still not finish)

And GIVE time to pursue, to create, to thrive.

Some of us have to work, to pay bills. Have to study, to get the degree.

There are things we “have to do” . Obviously.

But we  also have to GIVE time for those pursuits and passions that are inside of us. They will never come about if we wait for “the time to do them”.

Don’t be okay with pushing those things to the side. They are the ones that bring satisfaction and purpose to your life. They are why you are here on earth.

We weren’t meant to dread our days. Give time to the things you love, the person you want to be.

 

 

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Likes or Lives?

There seems to be an unspoken fight.

Who can appear to be “more” of this or that.

Who seems to love their life more, be the most confident, love Jesus the most, have the best family, have the most clients, have the most answers, enjoy life the most……………………………………………….and seem to have no struggle.

Its a bunch of bull crap.

Its something that I continually have to check myself on….the temptation to put on a big show...or actually be effective, productive, and real. Which will I choose?

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There are a lot of jobs out there, that aren’t the most amazing (from the outside).

There are ministries out there that do not involve standing before a crowd, and receive VERY little public recognition.

Some of the most valuable relationships in your life, and could never be justly be explained or displayed on social media.

Some of the most special moments, can not be replayed.

And sometimes your most beautiful hair days cannot be accurately captured on a selfie.

Does this mean that these jobs, ministries, relationships, moments, and beautiful hair days are less valuable? Do they loose their worth because they do not continually generate applause or “likes”?

Does your life have less value because you haven’t discovered the tact to generate public interest into what matters to YOU?

No.

At the end of our lives we will be faced with the effect we ACTUALLY made in this world, the lives we impacted, the people we loved, and the person really became.

Somethings you do will receive a lot of recognition- and it should.

But our goal should be to be truly effective, even if its never seen.

And no picture was ever taken.

How you appear does not have an impact, who you ARE has the impact.

 

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Laugh in the Dressing Room (For Women Only)

Okay…if you are a guy...you can read this, you just might not want to.

I warned ya.

A few weeks ago I was in a dressing room trying on swimsuits (scary word, right)?

I heard the coolest conversation.

I wasn’t eavesdropping because the ladies next to me where pretty loud. And I heard the whole conversation.

I never saw them….but it sounded like a mom and her little girl (maybe 8? 9?)

The mom was trying on bathing suits, and her little gal was helping her.

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Mom: “Man! I don’t like this one!”

Daughter: “Meeee either Mommy…that doesn’t look good”

Mom: “Yeah! Ew! This one doesn’t look good on Mommy at ALL!”

(Then they would both laugh)

Then I would hear…

Mom: “Ohhhhhh man! I look gooood in this one! Wow!”

Daughter: “Oh Yeah! You look great Mommy- wow, I like that one!”

This conversation went on awhile (I obviously was trying on a lot too). And they went back and forth laughing about the ones that looked bad on her- and “oohing and ahhing” about the ones that looked good on her.

I never saw the lady. Never saw her body type- her suits- anything.

But I left thinking…THATS the kind of mom I want to be. Being honest with my daughter about

“Yeah this doesn’t look good on me”- (and laugh)

AND

“Dang! Mom looks good in this!”- (and laugh)

Bigger gals get insecure about too many curves- Littler gals get insecure about not enough curves. We will always have something about us we don’t like,…..but this mom acknowledged to her impressionable daughter….”yeah this might look bad on me….but THIS looks good!”

I loved that. I loved that she laughed about not looking good in something. She wasn’t ashamed and didn’t have a breakdown…she showed her daughter that it wasn’t HER that looked bad, the suit just wasn’t for her. And they laughed. They moved on….and she felt good about the next one.

Sometimes confidence is thought to be no acknowledgement of the things we don’t like about ourselves. I think that’s just being fake. Being confident is

1) Admitting the things you don’t like, but not dwelling on it.

2) Admitting the things you love;) and not being arrogant about it (arrogance is the true sign of insecurity)

Anyway, thank you to the random lady in the dressing room, who I will never meet, but who gave me some of the best parenting advice I could ever be given.

Laugh in the dressing rooms. No matter what happens.

 

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The Little, Tiny, Life-Saving List.

There are SO many voices. Geesh. If I were to listen to and apply all the “advice” that I am given…I would need about 50 more hours in the day to…..

make Pinterest crafts/make all meals homemade/ sell 50 products/ have a 4.0/ but don’t go to school because women need to “focus on family”/ but still get my PhD cause I am a woman and women need to “conquer the world”/be involved in the community/but not too much because I need to make my house look perfect (with Pinterest’s help)/ eat clean- so I can live long/ not eat clean because that annoys people/ go to the gym to look good/ but don’t look too good because that annoys people/ go to all meetings/bring dishes to all those meetings/have more kids/dont have more kids/be authentic/but don’t admit to having any problems ….and learn Spanish. ………….etc.etc

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Brene Brown (PhD , Researcher, Author, my superhero) recommends taking a littttttle piece of paper (like one inch by one inch) and writing the names of the people whose opinions truly matter to you in that space. It is intentionally small, so you are forced to narrow it down to your top 3 or 4 people. The people who will love you in your pretty-life-awesome moments, and wont change their opinions of you of you in your tearful-Oreo binge- ugly moments.

When the time comes to make tough choices, to keep going when people are ragging on you, when you feel like you can’t take one more ounce of criticism….pull out that piece of paper.

Remember whose opinions truly matter. The people on that one inch sheet of paper will be there till the very end. Most people you know now will not be an active part in your life in ten years. Their role can be valuable and important now, but if they are not pouring life into you…remember your list.

And add your name to that list.

In the end it will be you, God…and those few people. Apply outside voices only when helpful.

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What good is Freedom?

When I was a kid I remember thinking that “when I grew up” I would do everything.

That I could do anything.

I dreamed of all the amazing things that I would become, and all the professions that I would have.

I was going to be an gold medalist figure skater…..and an astronaut.

(Yes, those were my two big dreams).

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Point is….I knew that I would gain more freedom when I got older, and with that freedom I dreamed of what I would do with it.

I believe the most honoring thing we can do with our freedom is use it.

Freedom is not given so you can eat Cheetos and lay around. Its given so you can work, and become something.

We have the freedom, the right, & the choice to be healthy.

We have the freedom, the right, & the choice to get any level of education that we desire.

We have the freedom ,the right, & the choice, to develop and succeed at an organization, a business, non profit- anything we can dream of or imagine.

So instead of celebrating freedom by laying on the couch because we can…

Remember as a child that you associated freedom with Becoming.

Become who you want to be. Because you can. That’s real freedom.

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