Nature's Heart

Nature's Heart

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Three Lessons Learned

What an incredible year 2015 has been... so much growth, joy, challenges and oh what do you call that again? Oh, right that thing called life! Throw in some laughter, faith and prayer and a willingness to learn and you have what I would call a VERY full and successful year.

(I love being back home in the Pacific Northwest!!!)

Back in May (of this year), I tied the knot to my wonderful best friend. Planning a long distance wedding while Ben balanced career changes and finishing up his degree (Good job Babe!) and then unexpectedly moving back to the Pacific Northwest has certainly been a monumental year for me as individual and for us as a couple. It's hard to believe that we have already been married 7 months (and 2 days) because in my mind it feels like only a few months.

With only a day and a half left in this year and 2016 quickly approaching, it's that time for many (myself included) to reflect back on the year and look forward to the novelty and hope that is carried in by the new year. It is a time to celebrate, a time to hope, a time to improve in one way or another...Hooray for #2016GOALSETTING !

I am following Lara Casey's blog she posts some interesting questions from her book Make it Happen that I have really been enjoying diving into. Because of the move, I have recently found myself unemployed but I love that Lara is always inviting you to follow along with her and others regardless of if you have her book or her power sheets. She encourages you to use a notebook or whatever you have available to follow along in your own way. So I created this notebook to record many of my responses to the questions that she posts:

One of the questions that she brings up is to write down Three Lessons Learned from this last year (2015) that DID work, and three lessons that DID NOT work.

The Three Lessons that I learned from last year that Did Work:

1. God Time
This has had so much value in shaping my year morning by morning. Finding time to carve out or make time in my schedule delving into the Word has been a slow process but has been revealing a deeper and more permanent groove into the necessity of my mornings. I had played around with various times in the day and have found out the very first part of my mornings immersed into the Bible or a Bible study and message, this always, always, ALWAYS sets a positive tone to my day.

2. Being Present
It is so easy to get caught up in the "quicker and faster is better because then we can fit in MORE" mentality...this idea is very much supported by society, with readily access to "everything" phones and technologies that "connect" us in so many ways...allowing us to multitask and do more, or the vehicles that allow us to work or run errands miles away from home. This last year I have really been finding value in putting down the phone, turning off the TV or shutting off the computer...and giving people my FULL attention. Connecting with them, giving them the courtesy of eye contact and listening to hear what they are saying rather than listening for a way that I can respond to what they are sharing. There has been a learning curve for listening skills certainly were a little rusty at times but I am so happy that I have been learning give someone one of the most valuable things that I have to time.

3. Letting go of the "I deserve" mentality
So in a nutshell (and I still have a long way to go with this) I am so happy that I have gained awareness to the presence that this "I deserve" mentality has tried to have in my life. I hear and read this "You Deserve It" idea so much! Advertisements in magazines, online, in commercials... You work hard, you should treat deserve it, so buy this ______ (fill in the blank) because you earned it. When I fall into this thought pattern after "splurging" whether it be a coffee or an article of clothing, I would quickly find how short lived that feeling of happiness was. For example, when I would give in to that "You deserve a sweet yummy cookie because you worked out so hard" voice, this time and time again only left me feeling frustrated and derailed emotionally and physically.

The Three Lessons that I learned from what DIDN'T Work:

1. Mind numbing
Everyone needs down time... to rest and rejuvenate but there are positive/productive and negative/unproductive ways such as, going for a walk which allows me to relax and reflect vs. watching tv which only makes me want to eat snacks and that can easily slip into hours of which after I manage to walk away, I only feel empty and agitated.

2. Not having an edit button when I speak
Saying the first thing that comes to your mind when responding to someone is often times not the best way to go... Speak out of love not feelings

3. Leaving no time for creative play and exploration
I get grumpy...enough said.

So, what are some lessons that you have learned from that did or did not work?

P.S. Laura Casey is doing a wonderful giveaway that you should check out on her blog!

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