Overcoming Fear of Follow-Through

I have a huge fear of follow-through. You can read more about that here:

Fear of Follow-Through

 I have been trying to figure out how to overcome this fear and what I have learned so far is how complex this all really is. I cannot even begin to explain to you how frustrating this all is. I have struggled to know where to start.

Every Monday afternoon I attend an institute class entitled Jesus Christ and the Everlasting Gospel. I love attending this class. It calms me. It centers me. I always feel the spirit.

This past week in class I learned something through the spirit.

We read in the Bible, in the New Testament, the accounts of the Savior’s time in the Garden of Gethsemane. This is where Christ took upon our pains, sins, weaknesses, temptations, our sorrows and our afflictions. Before, Christ could intellectual understand all we have and will ever go through but here, in this garden, is where He literally experienced every thing we have and will experience so that He would literally know how to come to us, to comfort us, to heal us. See Mark 14:33-36

The verses that spoke to my heart specifically were Luke 22: 39-44. In verse 42 we learn that Christ gave up His will to His Father. To us. He drank the bitter cup. He surrendered. And after He did so, help was sent. Verse 43: And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.

Heavenly Father ALWAYS sends us help. But first we must accept what is. Often in life the bitter cup is before us. And when it is not removed we have a choice. Do we drink it? I know that when I do, help is always sent and I make it through. Not only do I make it through but I am lifted higher. My character becomes more refined. I become more compassionate and generous. And my testimony of my Savior is strengthened. There is peace in the middle of all that is hard. In the middle of all that I feel is wrong and somehow, all inside of me is made right.

In testifying of the Savior’s Atonement, Elder Neal A. Maxwell shared, “When the agony came in its fulness, it was so much, much worse than even He with his unique intellect had ever imagined!… The cumulative weight of all mortal sins- past, present, and future- pressed upon that perfect, sinless, and sensitive Soul! All our infirmities and sicknesses were somehow, too, a part of the awful arithmetic of the Atonement… His suffering- as it were, enormity multiplied by infinity- evoked His later soul-cry on the cross, and it was a cry of forsakenness.”

My fear of follow-through will be overcome through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I just know it. I don’t know how but I am surrendering the need to know how. I just know it will be done. It will be done as I seek the Lord’s inspiration and turn to Him in my weakness. I believe He makes all things right including my imperfect, false beliefs about myself.

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Taught my First Class Tonight!

I am on fire. I am a teacher now. Officially. And I taught my first class tonight! It was wonderful. I FEEL wonderful. Thank you Heavenly Father! Thank you for this opportunity! Thank you for my gifts and talents, for the opportunity to grow and refine them, for all of the experiences that led me here…well maybe not all. Lets be honest. I don’t feel that way yet! But thank you for MOST of them. I am happy to be where I am at now. It has taken hard work and the truth is– I am proud of myself. And I could not have done it without my Savior. He is making me whole. Slowly, but it is happening!

I am an institute teacher. Institute is a big part of the educational system within the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. To be an institute teacher one must have certain qualifications because all classes can receive college credit. So its a big deal! I am teaching the Mission Preparation class to students who are preparing to serve full-time (18 to 24 months) missions for the church. My responsibility is real!!! And I feel the weight of it. But I also know this is what I am supposed to be doing right now. I teach once a week and my class is an hour and a half long. And I love it. I am in love with my students. I want them to have everything they need and feel prepared. I want them to have experiences with the Atonement of Jesus Christ that they can draw upon for strength and testimony. I want them to love the Savior and have a desire to serve Him. I want them to feel that they are needed and important. That God has a work for them to do.

I was feeling disconnected and nervous before I taught tonight so I drew a card before leaving the house. This is what is said: I release my need to be perfect, and I center into my commitment to serve the world more love.

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I loved that it said that. It was the perfect thing for me to channel. I took it with me to class tonight and it became my prayer.

Also, In case you are unaware, I am now in a relationship. My status on Facebook says so. I am in a relationship with MYSELF. That’s right. I am dating myself. 2016 is dedicated to being my own best lover. One of the ways I am loving myself is through fitness and nutrition. I am treating my body like I love it. Because I do. And I am thankful for all the ways my body serves me. IT IS TIME FOR ME TO SERVE MY BODY. The program I will be following the next few months is Hammer and Chisel. I have been looking forward to this program since July. And it is here and I am ready-ish. So I am dating myself at the gym. And guess what? I am going to prepare for my dates with the gym like I would any other date. With excitement! And I am going to get ready for it like I would any other  date. Meaning, I am going to put in my contacts, do my hair, maybe even wear lipstick. I am purchasing a few new workout outfits so I feel cute when I meet my date, Hammer and Chisel, at the gym. And I am going to put my best foot forward. And I am going to be honest about my pain. And give all my troubles to my workout. And I am going to lift them. And put them down again. And I am going to rest. Recover. Repeat. Because I am worthy. I am loved. It is my responsibility to show myself this love. It is my commitment. I AM MY COMMITMENT.

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Today was just a good day. I needed one. Thank you Heavenly Father. Although it did start off rough. It is winter. Waking up is difficult for me. Leaving Huck is difficult to me. Yesterday I was talking with a cohort and she mentioned to me that I should go ahead and do what I need to do to have Huck become a service dog. This requires a lot of money. A lot. And training. And work. And I feel tired already -but my friend made some very valid points. I am going to think and pray about this. I am grateful my friend was bold enough to say what she said.

Today the boys and I made fresh pear and orange juice. They loved it and demanded that I bring my juicer every time. We also used the EZ bake oven again. It went better this time than last time but is still not my favorite thing to do. But they love it so why not?! I love those boys. They make me happy. We have fun together.

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Today I also talked through my goals with my Success Partner. If you do not have a success partner I recommend getting one. It can be anyone. A friend, spouse, mentor. Mine lives across the country from me. We call/skype regularly. We keep each other accountable and realistic to what we each are trying to achieve. Today she helped me to clarify and strengthen my goals for 2016. I am thankful for her. She is a prize.

I watched the following video again today. It always moves me to tears. I feel so much emotion over it. It make mes want to apologize to any and every one I have ever hurt in my life. Forgiveness is not the theme but it is what I feel from it. I hope you watch it and enjoy. And I would love to hear what you take away from it!

 

The Hurting Place

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In Elaine Marshall’s talk Learning The Healer’s Art, she shares this story:

“My mother once told me of an experience she had one winter morning as she drove down to check the cattle in the lower pasture. She noticed a car off the side of the road. Inside she recognized a young mother and three children. When my mother asked if they needed help, the woman tearfully reminded her that this was the place of the accident two weeks earlier that had killed her husband. She answered, ‘We are just here to feel the hurt.'”

This story has always stuck with me and so a few months ago I chose a place to go to “feel the hurt.”

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This is it. It is a lovely little memorial near my home to honor veterans of all the branches of the military. I come here often. I pray and I ponder. I sit and I cry. A few times the hurt was so overwhelming that I have fallen to my knees and weeped that loud, painful cry that comes from the center of the soul. I like it here. To me it is peaceful. It is safe.

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“Healing is active—you have to be there. Your friend or your husband or wife or your mother cannot do it for you. You have to face the problem and the pain. To begin healing, you must acknowledge and feel the hurt. Only those who don’t feel, those without conscience, cannot heal.”

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“I assumed cure, care, and healing to be synonymous. I have learned they are not the same. Healing is not cure. Cure is clean, quick, and done—often under anesthesia. The antibiotic kills the pathogen; the scalpel cuts out the malignancy; the medication resolves the distorted chemistry. Healing, however, is often a lifelong process of recovery and growth in spite of, maybe because of, enduring physical, emotional, or spiritual assault. It requires time. We may pray for cure when we really need healing. Whether for cell reconstruction, for nerve and muscle rehabilitation, for emotional recovery, or for spiritual forgiveness, healing needs work and time and energy. Healing cannot happen in a surgical suite where the pain is only a sleepy memory. Cure is passive, as you submit your body to the practitioner. Healing is active. It requires all the energy of your entire being. You have to be there, fully awake, aware, and participating when it happens.”

Dear Veterans, thank you. I cannot even begin to understand the many sacrifices you have made to serve our country. I respect you. I honor you. I love you. Thank you. I want to be here for you. I will be your Brotherhood.

Below is a great video about the importance of and how to ask Veterans about their service. Please take the time to watch. And more importantly, take the time to be there. Keep kind and carry on. xoxo

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5P04stEjJ9E]

If you struggle with PTSD please scroll up to the top of the page and click “Find Help Here.”

Truth Telling: Should I and How much?

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter. -Martin Luther King, Jr.

Halloween a year ago. My Guy on a Buffalo and I were still together. I never felt more beautiful than when we were together. Even with no make-up and messy hair and chapped lips.

Halloween a year ago. My Guy on a Buffalo and I were still together. I never felt more beautiful than when we were together. Even with no make-up and messy hair and chapped lips.

Truth telling is hard. Oh so hard. I feel such a pull to share my experiences with My Guy on a Buffalo but at the same time I do not want to throw him under the bus. I love this man. He is a good man. His behavior towards me was abusive. I believe in using the correct terms. There is power in them. There is freedom. There is truth. But I hate to think of or refer to My Guy on a Buffalo as my “abuser.” Correct term. Doesn’t sit well. Why? Because that is not who. he. is. “Abuser” is not CORE Guy on a Buffalo. I do not want to label him as that. That is not who he is and he can be helped, healed. He can change.

I have this fear. My fear is that if I tell the truth, if I share my experiences (which I feel so pulled to do) that one day he might read them. That it will cause him shame that he might not escape from. That he will not feel worthy of healing or goodness. And he is worthy! Of healing, restoration, redemption! Being honest here: that it might impede any future relationship we might have together.

I recently wrote a POST about listening to those who share stories of abuse because it can save a life. But the abused are not the only ones worthy of being saved. The “abusers” are too. Granted, I am sure there are people out there who are just mean. But I am gonna go out on a limb and also say that most abusers abuse because of addiction or mental illness. We must help them too (Doesn’t mean we should stay in a bad/unsafe situation EVER). We cannot force any one to change, to seek help or be saved. But we can be aware. We can educate ourselves with knowledge and resources. We can also listen… to them.

I dont’t know. I just don’t know.

Listen to Save a Life

A few months ago the opportunity came to me to share the truth about my experience with the one person, in my mind, who would want to know because it has a direct impact on their life.  I was completely surprised when this person told me they did not have the time to listen, they were too busy.  This person wanted nothing to do with me. I could not believe it. I still do not believe it. I am sure they have their reasons (I can guess and empathize). And I am sure those reasons are completely valid. So making this about me and not about them, this is what I learned…

I did not know how important it was for me to be heard by this person until that moment. I was not aware that need existed. I don’t need this person to hear me out in order to heal or to move on with my life — but, oh– how it would help.

That same day I came across this video. I sat at my kitchen table and watched over and over just sobbing. After what I had just experienced, in watching this video I felt heard – by someone. These brave women are telling a story that some times I cannot tell, even to myself. Please don’t think that my situation was extreme as any of these because IT WAS NOT. Having that said, there are a lot of things, feelings and experiences that we do share.

Friends, Readers, please, PLEASE- if any person comes to you and is trying to share – LISTEN. Put your own crap aside for a minute and listen. Even if you don’t know what to say or what to do. Even if you feel uncomfortable or frustrated, maybe even defensive. PLEASE LISTEN. Providing a listening ear could #savealife.

To watch the video please CLICK HERE. It is the first video in the article. Thank you for taking the time to watch. xoxo

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7 Days That Changed Me

Earlier this month I participated in a free 7 Day Wake-Up challenge group on Facebook. IT. WAS. AMAZING. No kidding. This is how it worked: I was added to a private FB group where every morning I had to be up by 7am and prove it with a selfie. Haha! Those early morning selfies were pretty hot! But it was great! There were daily assignments such as making your bed, drinking warm water with lemon, starting your day with a positive up-beat tune. It was a lot of fun! Everyone in the group was posting encouraging thoughts throughout the day.  We were sharing our struggles and cheering each other on. As participants, we lived all over the country. Along the way we earned points for the positive habits we were creating. At the end of the week there was a winner and I WON! Hot Dog! I actually won something! How about that:) Being a part of this group was uplifting.  It changed my life. I needed this group. Thanks goes out to my friend, Shante’ for coaching us through those rough mornings! You are excellent!

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Many of you know that for the past couple of years I have been hosting Biggest Losers contests via email. Some tanked but others were CRAZY successful. All together over 300 pounds were lost! You did that! Amazing! Because I have loved hosting the Biggest Loser contests and because I loved the set-up of the 7 Day Wake-Up challenge I have decided to combine the two and become a Beachbody Coach! Do What??? I AM A BEACHBODY COACH! Raise the Roof!

What is Beachbody? P90X. Insanity. Brazilian Butt Lift. ChaLean. These are all Beachbody workouts and there are many more! As a Beachbody coach I will be running 30 day, 60 day, 90 day challenges.  These will be private accountability groups on FB (like the 7 Day Wake-Up challenge). There will be daily check-ins and assignments. Major accountability and encouraging support. But here is the thing… Yes I believe in being fit physically but I also strongly believe in being fit mentally, spiritually and emotionally. That is why I will also be coaching FREE 7 day, 10 day, whatever day challenges. These will be Clean-Eating challenges, Training-Yourself-To-Drink-a-Gallon-O-Water a day challenges (needs a better name), Positive Self-Talk challenges – Whatever you need, let me know and I will coach an accountability group for it! We are in this together!! We need each other. We can support each other in making positive changes in our lives. That is what I will be organizing and facilitating as a Beachbody coach.

One of my first free challenge groups is going to be a Preparing for Change group. A 12 day class where we will be making small changes in our lives to prepare us for making the big changes! Remember this BLOG POST? Yeah, along those lines. I am so excited about it!

I am hosting these challenges, I am a Beachbody coach #1: For me. Hosting challenges keeps me accountable for my own change, my own growth. #2: I am a Beachbody coach for the same reason I hosted the Biggest Loser contests: For You! Who ever YOU are. I love you. I love helping you reach your goals.

I am channeling my inner Chris Powell. My inner Jillian Michaels. My inner Bob Greene. My inner Oprah Whinfrey. I am Channeling Diana. I am channeling me. The little girl inside of me trying desperately to heal. The girl who is learning to accept her flawed, imperfect, lovely self. Who is learning to love herself and set herself free. I am channeling Nicole.

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Channeling Demi

Music is powerful.  It has the power to bring me low or bring me high.  It can validate the way I am feeling when I am feeling like no one understands.  It touches the soul.  It makes me sing.  It tells the truth and very often- it tells my truth.  Listening to Demi has been healing for me in my recovery.  One song that describes how I feel about My Buffalo Guy is “In Case.”  One that describes how I am trying to feel about myself is “Warrior.”

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74aOxH4R5Ow]

This morning I saw this Clean and Clear add featuring Demi.  I loved it.  I loved how she talked about being a real person who doesn’t always have it together.  I am not famous but I know what she is talking about and I am sure you do too.  Sometimes I feel like others view me as having it all together.  Whether that is true or not, I feel the pressure of that way of thinking.  I also loved how Demi talked about therapy.  I go to therapy every week.  Therapy is hard work.  Really. Hard. Work.  But worth it.  It has made a difference in my life.  It has saved my life.  Read more about my therapy experience HERE.

So thank you Demi.  Thank you for being brave.  For being honest.  In word and song. You sharing your truth has helped make me feel more the warrior I am.  Your music has played on repeat many of times as I have broken down and cried in the shower.  They have played so loud in my car , drowning out my own voice as I sang along.  They have pushed my feet to move one step after another on my daily runs.  Your music has not only validated but made me strong.  Thank you.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jL76eC72l0I&w=560&h=315]

My Enemy/My Friend

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Yesterday while siting in a cozy room, my therapist expressed his empathy with me over my heartache.  He acknowledged that many will not try to understand why I choose not to go into Boulder anymore or have to turn the radio off when a certain song begins to play or a hundred million other things.  That no one , if any, will fully understand my heartache.  And he is right.  But what he was describing was not my heartache.  He was describing what others see as my response to heartache.

You see, Heartache is alive inside of me.  It is a living creature that breathes and moves. Heartache has its own heartbeat that beats wild and slow.  I will never fully understand my own Heartache. In many ways Heartache is lovely. It leads to beautiful words on the page and melodies that float in the air. It prompts strength to be born where it was once barren. Heartache’s counterparts are Grace and Resilience. But Heartache and I are not friends. It is not responsible for the Lovely. The loveliness of Bereavity and my friend, Grief, do not come because of Heartache but in spite of it. The Lovely is what I decide to bring to the table. The Lovely is when I show up.

My Heartache is constantly hurting me, causing me pain. It squeezes my throat tight, choking me so my cry cannot escape. Heartache runs fast in my blood. It scratches at the walls of my veins as if trying to get out. Heartache plays cruel games in my brain, having me think one thing in this moment and something completely different in the next. It spins circles in my stomach making it impossible to keep anything down. And my Heartache sits so heavy in my lungs that it hurts to breathe.

And it’s heart beats inside the center of my heart. In every quiet moment, Heartache is there, resting, burrowing and settling deep into the ever disappearing soft parts of my heart.

Heartache is not a sickness that needs hospitalized or medicated. It is not a ghost in the night that calls for exorcism. No, Heartache is a soul. Attached to this soul is every memory, good and bad. Every touch, every fear, every hope and dream. A life with My Guy on a Buffalo. I am not sure how to make peace with Heartache.  Intuitively, it feels that is something I should do. All I know is it needs to be loved, this Heartache of mine. Because it lives inside of me. It goes with me everyday and lies down with me at night. It whispers painful truths to me even when I rather be told lies. Heartache forces me to find a new way to live, to adapt to my love and my loss. It inspires me to hold out my hand to my sister and to my brother whom she lives with too. To keep them company in its presence. That my sisters and my brothers might know that they are not on their own. That although experience is different, often times emotions are the same.

Heartache, I did not invite you and do not wish your company upon anyone. And I really, really hate you right now.  But I really, really need you right now too. I beg you, stay with me. Don’t leave. For when you leave…he does too.