Inspiration, Words To Help

The Grace Experiment

grace changes everything2

I’m thinking that we all could show ourselves some grace this time of year. I originally wrote this article for the August/September issue of Women2Women Michigan Magazine (I’m the editor and write a column). I believe it is quite timely for now, during a time when we are so stressed, and demanding of ourselves. Read it, take heart, breathe deeply, and try the “grace experiment”.

The Grace Experiment

She was done. She just couldn’t do it anymore. And the worst thing? She felt like a failure. Nagging self-criticism kept bombarding her brain: she’d not done enough, she should work harder, and she was so unworthy. She had tried. Oh how hard she had tried! But she had come to the end of herself. She could barely breathe, much less keep pushing herself to “get it all done” just to make everyone happy. She collapsed on the bed, tears dripping down her cheeks, and wondered how she’d gotten to this place. Utterly exhausted, hardly able to move, her brain overloaded with the many requirements and expectations from others, she wondered if she’d ever be happy again.

Do you recognize this woman? Have you seen her in your mirror?

Everyone gets exhausted and comes to the “end of their rope” at times during their lives. Unfortunately, with women it is often the result of our “super woman” mentality which believes we can be all things to everyone, do all things to please people, be the caregivers of the world, and completely dismiss our own needs. It’s a mindset that has been driven into us by our culture, our families, and by societal expectations. Often it is the result of believing there is no other way and our own driving need to prove ourselves.

Well Darlin’, if this is you, it’s time to bestow upon yourself goodwill, favor, and mercy, (grace) just as you would a best friend who was criticizing themselves for falling short. You would give her encouragement and tell her how accomplished she is. It’s time to do the same for yourself.

grace

 

 “If beating yourself up worked, you’d already be rich, skinny, and happy. Why not try loving yourself for a month and see what happens?”

My friend Stephanie Dalfonzo wrote these words on her Facebook page this week. I asked if I could use them because they fit so well with what I was writing.

Do you realize how powerful this suggestion is? Could you do it? It takes twenty-one days to change a habit, so how about instead of self-criticism you rejoiced in your accomplishments for thirty days? Do you understand how that could change your brain and your outlook on life?

Instead of thinking, “I’m a bad mom because my meals are not really healthy enough for my kids”, think, “I buy groceries (an accomplishment that deserves a medal in my book!) and provide food for family.” (SCORE!)

I am such a bad parent, missing my kids’ games (recitals, plays). However, I am working to provide a life for them, and there are others who love and encourage them.

Instead of, “Will my children be okay without me tonight? I feel so guilty!” Think, “I really need this time to laugh with friends so that I can be more content at home. They are just fine without me, and we all need a break from each other.” And you know, they really are just fine with someone else for a while.

And during those times when you just can’t seem to keep your head above water and the doubt and lies and guilt are attacking you? Start listing all the things you HAVE accomplished that day.  Perhaps you worked all day (which brings its own set of frustrations), did four loads of laundry,  bought groceries, read with a child, cleaned the toilet (does anyone else clean just one item a day like I often do?) spent 5 minutes outside, folded the laundry (ugh, 3 days later), put the devices aside and cuddled, cooked dinner (or collected drive-through), made the bed (ha!), talked to your mom, encouraged a friend, got out of bed this morning, or got into bed at a decent hour (you do know we desperately need 7-8 hours of sleep don’t you?). There are so many things that we do each day and we need to celebrate them. Others expect and take for granted. But you, my dear, need to begin seeing what a powerhouse you truly are!

Need to start saving? Celebrate the five dollars you were able to tuck away this week or how you resisted buying that really unnecessary item (maybe at Hobby Lobby or Target? Stay away from those places!).

Want to lose weight? Celebrate that you didn’t eat the whole bag of chips even though you really, really wanted to. Perhaps you signed up with a therapist to help you understand the underlying reasons behind overeating, or that you have partnered with a friend to support each other. Or that you did not buy the three-pack of chocolate chip cookies at McDonald’s (do they stare you in the face too?).

Need to lose weight and save money? Celebrate that you have weaned yourself from that sugary Starbuck’s on the way to work or that you brought your lunch to work and walked for ten minutes.

Did you take the stairs today instead of the elevator? Did you call a friend to encourage her? Did you turn up the music and dance with your kids? Did you clean the house—or even one room? Girl! You need to celebrate!!

This list can go on and on. If you have trouble remembering your accomplishments by the end of the day, jot notes to yourself. Perhaps carry a little journal with you. Many people carry “gratitude” journals, and being conscious of all they have to be grateful for has changed their outlook on life. I believe the act of recognizing all you accomplish during your day will change your life drastically. You will begin to see that you are not lacking in any way.

And take a bit of time for you each day: read, sit outside, meditate, take a bubble bath, or do yoga, and breathe. You are completely worth it—and until you believe that of yourself, it will be hard for others to believe it either.

self care is love 2

 

I realize I am focusing more on doing rather than being, which is not my usual approach.  But I feel it’s important for women to learn to give themselves grace rather than beat themselves up for not doing all they think they should (which usually turns into feelings of not being enough—something I struggled with most of my life). I really do hope you will try the “Grace Experiment”. And please let me know how it changes your life! Email me at mimi@w2wmichigan.com. I can’t wait to hear from you!

 

Much love and really big sparkle hugs,

heartPassionista Mimi

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Inspiration

He Will Heal The Brokenhearted

A friend of mine is going through a heartbreaking time. I made this for her today, and thought I’d post for anyone else who needs to hear it. The “He” in this quote is God, and the words are from the Bible.

Several years ago, when I was enduring the same kind of emotional devastation she is, knowing this promise kept me sane. I reminded God often that He said He would heal my broken heart, and that He promised He wouldn’t break me (by allowing more than I could bear, or by making me walk through it alone).

On the other side of it now, I will testify that God indeed healed my heart and has given me joy. He walked with me through every difficult decision and day of weeping. And today, He used me to encourage another sister who is where I was. He is there for you, too.

I haven’t posted in quite a while, so someone needs this, or I wouldn’t have put it here today. 

for Katee

If it speaks to you, feel free to print it off and put it where you will see it as a reminder. God will see you through.

Much love and hugs, Mimi

 

Inspiration, Living With Gusto

Comparison is Distracting

comparison

Do you get distracted when you look at others, their posts, their accomplishments? Are you comparing? I sure do, at times. Then I remind myself that we all have different callings, abilities, lights to shine. It’s really destructive to compare because we will not “measure up”. So, keep on pursuing your own purpose. And don’t get distracted by comparison.

Big sparkle hugs! Mimi

 

 

Inspiration

Thank You, God!

God’s extreme sacrifice (of His Son) gave me true life.

Not just life after death, but life in abundance while living.

 

HE is the source of my joy, my life, my positive outlook, my passion, my love, my energy, my laughter, my caring, my creativity, and every other aspect of my blessed life.

 

I am beyond thankful (I have no words) for His sacrifice.

 

Thank You Jesus for giving Your life for me.

I love you with all that is within me!

 

May you all have a blessed Easter.

Passionista Mimi

Inspiration, Living With Gusto

Life Ain’t Always Sunshine and Roses

So here’s the deal.

It’s NOT always sparkle and shine in my life.

There are days like this week when I am burdened for a precious friend and feel helpless in the situation. When I am a bit tired of working, parenting alone, being this age with kids, being indoors, wanting something fun, loneliness, just the keeping on keeping on.

And there are some days when the only prayer I can form is, “Oh God, oh God, oh God!”

That is the real truth, folks. I get in those places too.

I thought maybe you should know.

I never want you to feel as if I downplay your pain. Or suggest that your difficult situation can just go away “poof”.

But I post the positive things I do because SOMEONE needs to read them.

And in my inner spirit those things are ME. They are what I do to keep doing.

I smile, I pray, I spend time being thankful, I reach out to others, I help others if at all possible….

All these things help to center me and bring the “yuck” back into perspective.

I do know that when we fill our brains with positive thoughts,

we attract more positive energy to ourselves.

And that is what being thankful is about.

That is what “speaking to the mountain” (see previous post) is about.

We actually DO have a choice in how we spend our focus/energy.

And when I’m in a funk, I choose to spend mine by rejoicing in all the good I see around me.

Being thankful for the many, many good things in my life.

And realizing that these funks don’t last forever.

Two things I know–God is always faithful, and the sun will eventually shine!

Inspiration

Yes, YOU are Creative!

 

 

We all have creative power within us.
It’s a source wired into our spirits and it’s a part of what makes us human.

 

So think about this.
You are creative and you create every single day!
Your choices create consequences.
Your actions create love or hate.
Your words create life or death.
Your thoughts create power or fear.


Dear Creative One,
use your creative powers well.

I’m with you in this.

Love and hugs, Mimi

 

 

Inspiration

Write Your Own Script, My Dear

So really. Why would you follow in the exact footprints of someone else?

Me saying, “Seriously?”

They do not have YOUR unique qualities, gifts, abilities, and desires, and you don’t have theirs.

Should you fashion your life after what other people say? Should you let what is important to them be what guides you?

Perhaps to some degree, if they are people you love. But when it comes to achieving what you truly desire in life, I believe that you need to be the one to determine what is most important to you.

And please, do not let people’s opinions of you alter your course one bit! Know your own truth.

YOU are the one to determine

the kind of person you want to be.

What you wear, how you talk,

what your goals are,

the things that fulfill your heart,

what kind of job you want,

the kind of a person you want a relationship with,

where you want to live, how you run your home,

what books you read,

how much schooling you obtain……

these should be things of your choosing and should not be dictated by the choices of others.

write-your-own-script

Of course I am not discounting the wise counsel of people. We all need help with decisions and lifestyle issues.

I’m referring to giving up yourself

in order to follow blindly.

Or relinquishing your desires

because someone thinks they are silly.

Or not wearing something you love

because no one else does.

Or not truly honoring your heart and spirit

because others criticize you for it.

You have a brain, emotions, intelligence, reason, values, morals, and common sense.

Use them to figure out, and pursue, what is valuable to you. Mark your own path, and

Write your own script for your life!

As always, I thank you for visiting. I’d love to know what you think!

Love and sparkly hugs,

Passionista

Inspiration

Do Not Apologize For Who You Are!

never-apologize

Oh darling, don’t you know that who you are is the most amazing and fabulous gift to the world? Who you are is full of wonder and possibility. You deserve to be loved and fulfilled in what you do. I know it’s tough many days. I know some of you are not in an ideal situation. I know some of you feel as if the ground is swallowing you up and closing in over you.

 

I know because I’ve been there. And it took action and big steps (in little baby steps) to get me out of that hole. But I am here to tell you that YOU can start today to change your situation. There are people who will help you.

 

Do not try to do it alone. I know, precious one, that you feel as if you must be strong and do this life thing (as hard and unpleasant as it is) by yourself because that’s who you are. Well, you only limit yourself when you limit your possibilities.

 

Start talking to people. Start saying what you want and need. I promise, lightning will not strike you. Start asking for help. Start with someone you trust and get them involved in seeking help you and ways to improve and/or get out of your situation.

 

You are NOT alone! You do not have to suffer in silence. There ARE solutions. I know. I found them.

 

The biggest thing is to start realizing how valuable you are. How much the world needs your special, unique gifts and love. Start telling yourself the TRUTH–that you are amazing and have wonderful abilities and gifts for this world.

 

Start seeking ways to BE who you really are. To pour out your beautiful spirit and shine your gorgeous light.

 

Because darling, you are perfect, just as you are! Never apologize.

 

Love and sparkly hugs! Mimi

Inspiration

Choosing Joy

today-i-will-choose-joy

“Joy” is one of my favorite words.

Even when life is a disappointment or a trial,

we can still have a consistent joy.

I believe that joy is that which runs deep in our spirit,

and it flows from gratitude and appreciation,

and the ability to recognize and cultivate them.

Sometimes having joy requires

making the choice to take it easy.

Breathe. Enjoy. Relish. I love that word “relish”.

By definition it means…

great appreciation of something,

or enjoyment, gusto, liking, loving, savor, zest, and taste.

I have “great appreciation of”, or relish,  those moments of pure simplicity….

like evenings, or unexpected snow days, at home

with my “treasures” (better known as my kiddos),

birds chirping after a season of cold silence,

that flash when the sun breaks through after long periods of cloudy sameness,

oh, and the first lick of chocolate cake batter from the bowl.

 

 

Perhaps the simple things are the big things in life after all.

Did you know you can teach yourself to recognize them?

Of course, that means being purposeful about it

and being aware.

Looking for those precious moments of pure gift.

Actually seeing everything around you.

 

Yes, there is a lot of ugly.

And yes, it means we can’t be numb,

and when we open ourselves it can sometimes

be the gateway to emotional pain.

But without allowing ourselves to sense and see,

we also delete from our lives the gifts of joy we are given on a daily basis.

slow-down-enjoy-life

Sometimes we have no choice because we are overwhelmed by life.

Many times we do more….we fill our lives with unnecessary busyness,

often trying to please others with agendas that aren’t in our best interest.

I’m learning what matters most to me (what a process!)…

being with my children, conserving my energy so I can be “present” with them

(and learning what “conserving my energy” means, when I used to believe I had a bottomless reserve!),

choosing carefully when to meet with people,

not sacrificing my important priorities because others want me to.

 

Wow, it’s taken a very long time to reach this place!

I used to absolutely run ragged doing all the “shoulds”.

I’m so thankful I have learned to choose (most days).

It’s funny how all the unnecessary stuff begins to fall away

and we are left with the things and

people who matter most.

The people we treasure, the acts that feed our spirits,

and the laughter that connects us and supplies endorphins to keep us going!

I wish for you, my friend, the choicethat you may relish–with JOY–your life and the people who fill it.

Just look at the joy!
Just look at the joy!

 

May you be blessed with JOY and abundance of the simple things in life!

Much love,
Passionista

 

 

 

Inspiration

Be The Light (Guest Post)

6-june-it-is-your-light-that-lights-the-world

 

 

 

I was born to shine

BE THE LIGHT

Social media.

A discussion had taken place on Facebook. A political one (shocker!). And I found myself getting sucked into it.

My engagement in it was minimal, but the effect it was having on me was significant. I allowed it to suck me in, to take me to a place that felt very dark. It left me feeling confused, fearful and isolated.

As I stood there at my kitchen sink, washing up the last of the dinner dishes, I realized that I was giving power to this darkness by permitting it to invade my mind and my spirit.

And that’s when I felt the gentle voice of my Heavenly Father reminding me of the truth. The truth of His sovereignty and what He is calling me to be in this temporary world of mine.

He is calling me to be light.

So, when I was approached by my dear friend Deborah of Salvage Sister and Mister to join the challenge to be the light in the ever growing dark world and confusing world of social media, I didn’t hesitate to say yes!

***During the week of Nov 1-8, 8 bloggers will share their stories and encouragement to be the light in the darkness.***

The purpose of the ‘Be the Light Challenge’ is to encourage~

  • How to share opinions (political or not) in a Godly manner

  • How to guard our hearts and minds

  • How to deal with conflict online

  • Setting limits/boundaries (1 Corinthians 6:12)

  • Encouraging/building others up

  • Fruits of the Spirit

this huge brilliant spectacular light of mine

 

Visit her blog post for the links to other bloggers that are helping us through the darkness. I’m really glad they are doing this.

Perhaps you’d like to shine YOUR light too. Think about it.

Big hugs and sparkles and lotsa LIGHT!!

Mimi