Find Your Way Home

Have you ever been away from home so long that you craved to just sleep in your own bed? When you finally got home you found yourself feeling so thankful for the simple things like your own pillow and your safe haven didn’t you?

Sometimes in life when we find ourselves stuck, have lost someone close to us, or feel overwhelmed with life’s burdens we crave getting back to normalcy we once took for granted. In tough times it can feel we have a mountain to climb to get over the exhaustion or heartache and find comfort and joy with life again.

The past couple of years in writing this blog, it has been my therapy for the times when I needed a mind reframing. My mind can get stuck in negative thinking yet when I write I start realizing I have control over how I look at what I am facing. The faster I become aware of my downward spiral, the faster I can take control and stop letting myself derail.

I thought this blog could help other’s not feel alone. Yet when I hear of some people’s burdens I think how could this possibly help them? I have heard so many stories of painful life challenges much tougher than my own. I want to be able to pour all my love into their wounds so they can feel that same comfort of getting to crawl into their own bed after being away for too long.  Nothing I do seems to be enough for what hurt people need.

Yet, just as I am about to close down my blog from feeling my pursuit is too impossible or I begin to worry about what others think after sharing my vulnerabilities, I find myself back in the same place.  Writing for therapy.   It helps me realize that we all need help reframing our own mind sometimes.  More importantly, when we find someone who listens and seeks first to understand us, that one person who cares provides us with that feeling of comfort that we could all use occasionally.  No matter what challenge, big or small, we can all use someone who understands and helps us find our way back feeling home when we feel lost.  

Please keep seeking first to understand.  If it has been a while since someone stopped to listen and understand you, then email your story to everythingforthesoul@gmail.com.

Or schedule an appointment with your local listener:

Professional Counselors

Find Your Value

Have you ever seen a fish flapping around out of water? It is hard to watch, isn’t it? You want to quickly put them back in the water where they belong.

Similarly, how often do you try to be something you are not by focusing on changing your weaknesses rather than enhancing your strengths?

If you have ever taken a new job in your past and remember the feeling of all you needed to learn you know each new position has a state of conscience incompetence. Depending on your fit to the role given your strengths and weaknesses, your feeling of value to each of your employers may have varied at first.

After a year of self-discovery in a new venture, there were times I felt like a fish out of water. I became to realize that all the biggest strengths were not what really mattered when it came to the measurement of performance in the new position. Then I went back to the industry I had spent most of my career development in and where all my strengths fit.

When comparing the two new job roles, the biggest difference was my belief in myself. I was sold the first role without my complete buy-in that I could do it. In the second role, I knew it fit my strengths and was sold myself. Now when I focus on growing in my strengths, my excitement soars!

If we don’t control that ugly critical voice inside our heads, we can let ourselves destroy our own happiness and feel like we are drowning. When we focus too much on our weaknesses rather than our areas of strength we hold ourselves back from blossoming into our very own extraordinary.

When we feel valued it feels amazing, doesn’t it? We feel our worth skyrocket and it sparks our enthusiasm and motivation to keep swimming!

If you are not feeling your own value, look at why that is? What is it that has always made you special? Are you operating in your areas of strength or are you too focused on trying to fix your weaknesses?

When you realize your areas of strength, you will have all the confidence in your ability to grow and find the value in yourself. You will feel like a fish back in the water and more importantly, you will no longer feel confined to your fishbowl!

To focus on your areas of strength here’s a link to get you started:

https://everythingforthesoulcom.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/c1d2d-trueprofiletemplate.pdf

Do You Have A Thinking Problem?

Have you ever asked yourself if all the thinking you do is productive?

Sometimes we can create our own melancholy: a feeling of pensive sadness, typically with no obvious cause.

Have you noticed that when you have let your mind go into a downward spiral of feeling insufficient, other people‘s praise goes unheard.

When your life choices seem to big to bare or you are overwhelmed by self doubt, ask for spiritual guidance. Read positive messages, or get into your place where you can remind yourself of all your true powers to persevere.You have to take baby steps and not look at the mountain.

To fight against it you must awaken to the present and grasp at all those positive things happening right in front of you. List those things to be grateful for and bring joy back into your mood through music or spiritual guidance.

You don’t have to go through life’s struggles alone. You can ask for help. Resources are all around.

Today after not feeling well for multiple days in a row due to a flu virus, I felt this overwhelming fear of not being good enough and began questioning all my decisions and worth. I began second guessing what my gut was telling me and wondering if I was truly good enough to handle any of the new career options I was examining after my job loss. The thoughts of possible failure took over.

Then I read one of my spiritual leaders Josie Muterspaw’s post from Shine Healing Ministries. She reminded me I was not alone in the self doubt we can all struggle with and how when we ask for strength, God gives it to us.

Whatever challenges you are facing, you can overcome them. Stop thinking and start seeking strength.

If you would like to share your story, please email me at everythingforthesoul@gmail.com.

Shine Healing Ministries

Grateful Hearts

If you are like most people when you have a setback, there are days where you struggle to get your attitude in check and there are days where you can see more positives than negatives. One day you feel like life isn’t fair. The next brings a whole new outlook.

After a stressful few days, my body began showing signs of internalized stress. While I had many good days after a setback, my internal fears and anxieties took over me which resulted in chest pain, self-pity, ache muscles and ultimately a fever blister. I struggled to control my thoughts and down spiraled into everything that wasn’t right in my world. As much as I strive for life perfection, something happens that reminds me that perfection isn’t what life is about.

If we get caught up in the way life “should” be, then our love for life itself is lost. Yet when we focus on what we have to be thankful for, our worries, regrets, and shortfalls disappear. Sometimes struggles require taking a moment to shut down, get some rest and remember to read some positive messages to help reframe the brain.

While as much as I didn’t like myself yesterday for my attitude, resentment, and body revenge from stress, today is a new day because I start with an attitude of gratitude. Today my heart is full of love for all the people who touched my heart this year. All the people who I learned from. All the people who supported me.  All the people who shared their stories with me, listened, and showed how good life can truly be if we just focus on the other hearts of the people on the journey with us.

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Christmas Tree at Ruffino’s On the River in Lafayette, LA

On this Christmas morning, may we all embrace the Christmas spirit and remember our grateful hearts all year long!

If you struggle with anxiety or mind reframing here are some helpful resources:

Positive Messages

Anxiety Intervention

More Time

Do you ever say, “if I only had more time then I would do …?”

Now think of a time when you thought you had time to do something and put it off. When you then realized you didn’t have as much time as you thought before the deadline approached, how fast did you get it done? Quickly right?

If you are like me, when you are crunched for time and feel like you won’t have it in the future, you get everything done in a matter of minutes.

If you have been using the excuse saying if only I had time to: take up hobbies, call old friends, see your parents, exercise, give back, have fun, or any other things that you say are on your wish list, stop making excuses.

Truth is, there is some other reason why you are not doing your wish list. Don’t believe me? Then I challenge you to write down three things you have been saying you wish you had time for.

Example:

1. Bicycling

2. Family activity

3. Creative project

Now write down what you feel you must do that takes priority over the wish list with weekly hours noted.

Example:

1. Work/job 50 hours

2. Commute 5 hours

2. Grocery shop/cook/eat/clean up 16 hours

3. Laundry 3 hours

4. Clean 2 hours

5. Errands/shuttling kids/sports 14 hours

6. Sleep 56 hours

7. Exercise 7 hours

8. Hygiene and self-care 7 hours

Calculate how much time your need list takes in a week.

From the example above: 168 hours is a week – 160 (need list) hours = 8 hours weekly remaining

In this example, there are 8 hours a week for the wish list.  After you calculate your remaining time, what do you have left?

Now think about how are you currently spending that time?

Do you see how you have time for any of the three items from your wish list?

I share this example because once I had extra free time to do the things I thought I wanted to do, I still put them off until I felt my time was running out.  While I did do more fun things with that free time, there was a much larger amount of time wasted because in my mind I thought I could do it in the future.

In reality, none of us know what our future holds. So make your list each day and include:

1. What needs to be done?

2. What can wait until tomorrow?

3. What will I regret not doing if I don’t get a tomorrow?

Make sure each day includes something to fill your sense of accomplishment and also something that fills your soul!

For a list of ideas visit:

Create Something #FindJoy

Discover Something New

How Are You Defined?

How do you measure your worth? Is it your job success?

This week I got an unexpected call notifying me I would need to find another job.

I put so much of my effort into work that at times in my life I have let how well I do at my job define my overall worth. This isn’t the first time that despite my efforts job changes needed to occur without it being my choice.

The first time I was caught by surprise was during a company buyout in 2010.  After the shock, I allowed anger to overtake my happiness and my ability to move on. The lack of control and feeling that all the hard work was not worth it infuriated me. I had taken it as a blow to my worth as a person because I had let my career success define me.

Fortunately, that anger did pass and I was able to find an amazing job with amazing coworkers and learn an incredible amount. I had grown due to those changes and ended up better off in the long run.

Now after growing in self-awareness, realizing my worth isn’t only defined by where I work, I have more faith that sometime in the future I will learn that this change and current uncertainty will be good for me as well.

You see, since 2010 I have been working on me as a whole person. I have searched more for significance than success and realized that no job, income or failure can define who I am or my worth.

What I have also learned is when we do work hard and choose to do what is right despite the possible outcomes, others do notice. All we can control are our efforts. Rather than letting rejection stop us, we need to say to ourselves, “this must mean I have so much more to offer somewhere else.”

If you have defined yourself by any one part of you instead of your whole value, then start listing all the incredible reason’s why you exist and begin living out all that you are on your life journey.

To begin your journey of self-discovery, visit The Growth Institute Courses

Growing

Have you been afraid to make a change? How self aware are you? What are your full capabilities?

This past year I left my job of seven years.  It was a position I had loved for the first 5 years. However the past two years I struggled to keep the same passion for the work. I wasn’t sure if it would be a huge mistake leaving or if I could indeed excel in the new role I was offered. Going from a position where I had many close work friends and knew what I was doing, I had been torn on leaving.   Yet, I fought my fear and took a position that I knew would require me to grow in a large way.  I just didn’t realize how much.

After taking the leap and going into my first initiative I found myself falling in love with getting to know all the people I was able to meet and hearing their stories. Getting to connect with complete strangers all over the country who were open to being vulnerable has brought me the most joy this year. Also, the more I was able to connect, the more I wanted to do for them.

Alternatively, there have been other people I have met who were very guarded. At times, I would even get stuck in my own head and worried about not being good enough. I then became afraid of sharing too much of the real me in fear of revealing the imposter feeling I had.

As a result, someone told me what I needed to hear, “Melanie you need to be more of who you really are. We loved you when you shared things such as your daughter joined the fishing club.  It helped us get to know you. But then at times in front of certain people, you became inflexible and rigid.”

Those rigid times were when my insecurities and need for control would get the best of me in my mind. When I didn’t get what I wanted from the questions I asked to get them to open up, my desire to control a better outcome led me to withdraw to the inner negative voice saying “I am not good enough.”  Inside I became frustrated.  I then stopped listening for the feelings in the other people which is what I really needed to hear.

On a recent trip, I was greeted with smiles and hugs from everyone but one person. That one person made me think, “why does she not like me?”

As time went on. I witnessed other’s reactions around her as well. I realized others also didn’t know how to take her strong personality. To work with her better, I began to personality profile her to the numbers in the enneagram. I had decided she was an eight, a Challenger, based on her intense desire to work and get things accomplished and was not afraid to tell people exactly what she thought. As she grew tired she moved into the unhealthy 8 being more unfriendly with her comments.  Knowing that 8’s respect those who are strong enough to stand their ground, I became stronger and louder. Yet, inside I was becoming more insecure.

Unfortunately, I had forgotten to actively listen to the valid opinion she had and show I could be open to the advice. The next day I saw how I could have approached the situation entirely different. My meeting with her would have been better had I said, “I hear the points you are making and they are very good. Let me think about how I can approach this by utilizing your feedback.”

The next day I confessed to her how I had given all of the feedback more thought and how incorporating the ideas made it better. I admitted that I was growing in better handling criticism.

She had replied with wisdom saying, “I wasn’t being critical. You also made some valid points and the goal was learning from the experience we all had combined.”

After that conversation, we both grew a new respect for each other. She taught me strength doesn’t always have to be standing firm in my opinion. Strength is being open to receiving new ideas without diminishing the value of yourself.

Throughout the year I have been learning how to handle criticism.  I have also learned it is okay to learn more than teach even when you are supposed to be the teacher.  Sometimes being the expert requires being okay with accepting the fact that no one knows everything.

I also realize there are certain people who bring out the insecurities in me. Yet, as I reflect on those people, they were the ones that others struggled with too. In reality,  it wasn’t about me and me needing to be good enough. Instead, everyone has a story. 

The more vulnerable we are, the more we connect.   Connecting brings joy!

The more we learn to handle criticism, the more we grow.  Growing is tough, yet we find wisdom and become more of all we really are!

To learn more about yourself and the various personality types in the Enneagram visit: The Growth Institute Courses

For personal coaching to grow, email: everythingforthesoul@gmail.com