The Ultimate Six Personal Development Gifts You Can Give This Year

The Ultimate Six Personal Development Gifts You Can Give This Year

“This year, give the gift of personal growth!”

I don’t know about you, but I get sick of buying loads of tired and meaningless gifts every year. Christmas socks, a coffee mug with a cute quote, and homemade candy are fine once in a while- but after a few years of giving these gifts, it starts to feel like a waste money and gift-giving opportunity. A gift should be something special. And it should add value to your loved one’s life. That’s why I decided to create a list of The Ultimate Six Personal Development Gifts You Can Give This Year. Personal development gifts are hard to come by and mostly come in the form of books. But The Ultimate Six is the best list of personal development categories you can choose from. I also included my #1 pick for each category to get you started. This year, give the gift of personal growth!

1. Inspirational Books

Give the gift of inspiration. Inspirational books are amazing. They’re a great gift for anyone who loves to read and wants to get better at life. My recommendation in this area are these two motivational books by the Author Jen Sincero. Jen is queen of badassery. Her books are what motivated me to stop whining about the parts of my life I don’t enjoy, and actually take action. The first book is how to become an overall badass. The second is more specific on how to be a badass at making money. Help your friends and family find their inner badass. They’ll be glad you did.

2. Life Planners

Give the gift of organization. Life planners are so fun for those of us who just love planning and writing down dates, events, and goals in cute little notebooks. I really like Erin Condren’s life planner. It’s adorable, for one, it has weekly and monthly spreads, plus it includes pages for goal setting, and blank pages for notes and scribbles!

3. Success Planners

Give the gift of success. Success planners are more than life or goal planners, they are your ultimate success building organizational journal of awesomeness! I really like The Law of Attraction Success Planner because it’s actually designed to help you improve your life in 12 months. Honestly, the outside could be more attractive, but the inside is full of self-improvement goodies. Inside you’ll find tools to help increase your productivity, your energy, your joy, and your ability to form and stick with good habits.

4. Journals

Give the gift of personal discovery. If you read my blog, you know I really believe in the power of journaling. And not just regular daily journaling, but intentional journaling. Journals are a fantastic gift-giving idea because they are a powerful tool for self-exploration. There really are all kinds of journals you could buy (gratitude journals, list making journals, goal setting journals), but I really love the Start Where You Are: A Journal for Self-Exploration, because it assists the writer by giving us prompts and quotes for inspiration. It’s not just a journal full of blank pages. It’s full of little nudges to get you writing with purpose!

5. Healthy Boxes or Baskets

Give the gift of health. Do you have a loved one who’s working on improving their health by eating right, exercising, or reducing stress? This year, buy a gift that will help them reach their goals. There are a number of “healthy gifts” you can buy, but remember to be sensitive. A gym membership, for example, might send the wrong message if it wasn’t specifically asked for. Personally, I think boxes and baskets full of food or healthy products to try is a great idea. Like this Holiday Snack Box full of delicious dried fruits and nuts!

6. Learning Tools

Give the gift of knowledge. Is your loved one interested in learning something new this year? Maybe they want study a new language, learn to decorate cakes, start a business, save money or take up blogging! Whatever it is, there’s probably a course for that online, a book, or DVD that will teach them how to do it. I really love the Living Well Spending Less blog, and one of the thing Ruth teaches her readers to do is live a great life without spending a ton of money. In this DVD course she teaches you the 12 secrets to doing just that.

 

There you have it, The Ultimate Six Personal Development Gifts You Can Give This Year! Did you enjoy this post? Go ahead and share the The Ultimate Six Personal Development Gift Guide on Pinterest!

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Journal for Wisdom Wednesdays #3: Discover a Deeper Gratitude

Journal for Wisdom Wednesdays #3: Discover a Deeper Gratitude

Thank you for continuing to read Journal for Wisdom Wednesdays!

Every week I will continue to post a journal prompt on Wednesday to help guide us towards our deeper wisdom. Don’t worry, I’m pretty new to all this spiritual hoo-haa too, so I’ll be doing the journal exercises right along with you.

Even if you don’t love to write, I urge you to give it a try. If we want something we’ve never had, we have to do something we’ve never done!

Intentional journaling is a fantastic way to discover your truest self. It’s also an amazing tool to help guide us towards a future full of possibility. It reminds us of what’s important and helps to destroy all the muck we bury ourselves under day in and day out. So give it a try to see what you can dig up!

Getting Started

The Assignment: Discover a Deeper Gratitude 

This week, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, we’re going to explore a deeper gratitude. It’s easy to write what you’re grateful for. We’ve all done it. I’m grateful for my family, my children, my home, my job…  You know. The same old topics.

But what about the negative aspects of your life? Can we be grateful for the things that aren’t easy to be grateful for? Can we find the light in a very dark tunnel?

What could we possibly learn from life if it wasn’t a struggle?

Write

Instead of writing a list of things you’re grateful for, write a list of things that happened in your life that you still struggle to cope with or that you consider being negative events. For example:

I got divorced

I was in a car accident 

I was bullied as a child

My father was an alcoholic 

I had a miscarriage

Go deep. What past experiences cause you pain?

Now, challenge yourself to find something about these negative life events you can be grateful for.  Something like this:

I got divorced – If it wasn’t for my divorce, I would never have found the courage and desperation to start my own business. I am so much stronger and more independent than I ever imagined I could be. 

I had a miscarriage – After my miscarriage, I discovered a beautiful community of women who supported and guided me through the pain. I met my best friend there in my support group! 

My father was an alcoholic – Growing up with addiction made me a strong person who is able to fully understand the importance of helping people who struggle with addiction. That’s why I chose to be an addiction counselor, a job that I love. 

Consider This

Sometimes it’s very difficult to find gratitude for what may be a terrible event that happened in your life. So spend some time on this.

Think of it this way: These events may have caused you suffering, but where did they lead you? How did the direction of your life change? What did you learn? How are you a better person now through your experience?

You can’t really say, I’m so grateful I got hurt in a car accident. 

What you can say is, Because I was in a car accident, my life had to slow down significantly. I was forced to really think about what’s important and how I really want to spend my days. 

Reflect

Does anything about your newfound gratitude surprise you? Do you feel any sense of gratitude now towards this list of “negative” life events? Why or why not? Imagine none of these things ever happened to you. What kind of person do you think you would be then? Would an important part of you be missing?

Extra Credit

Choose an event on your list that has affected you most harshly. Circle it. Read it. Say it out loud. Write about it, if you want. Allow yourself to go back to that time. This can be quite painful, as the brain is not able to distinguish the pain of a memory from life in real-time. But if you think you’re ready, allow yourself to feel it.

Now, speak to yourself as if you’re another person, a wiser one. Give yourself permission to move one. Speak as though you’re talking to your younger self.

Say to yourself, It’s okay that (whatever happened to you). You are better now.  You are stronger now. It has caused you a lot of pain but you’re ready to begin letting it go. If it wasn’t for __________, then ___________ would not have been possible. 

I know this part of it feels weird and awkward but I ask you to do this because speaking your pain and acknowledging it out loud is a really important part of accepting it and moving it on. We may think we’ve gotten over it, but if all we do is think and never actually speak it, the pain will often come back to surprise us.

After you complete this exercise, report back and let me know how it went. Did you discover something new about yourself? Did you feel enlightened? Was it a form of release? What did it open up for you?

Don’t forget to check out my last post, also in relation to Thanksgiving, for your FREE Thanksgiving dinner planner printable!

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Comment below! Share as much or as little as you like about this experience. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

How to Host Thanksgiving with A Lot Less Stress

How to Host Thanksgiving with A Lot Less Stress

“If you do want to host Thanksgiving…but are worried about the mental cost, just stick with me. I’ll get you through it.”

 

How do you host Thanksgiving with a lot less stress?

If you’re like me, you enjoy hosting Thanksgiving, but there’s at least a bit of dread that comes with it. How many people will come this year? What dishes should I make? How should I cook the turkey? Will I be able to go all day without throat punching someone (that’s a whole other blog post)?

Every year I contemplate whether I should do it again. Do I really want to go through what I went through last year? The answer is yes, I want to host, but no, I don’t want to stress out over it.

First of all, if you don’t enjoy hosting, then don’t do it. The holidays are a time that you deserve to enjoy. If hosting isn’t your thing, let someone else be in charge. If you do want to host Thanksgiving but are worried about the mental cost, just stick with me. I’ll get you through it.

The key is planning ahead. Here’s how to host Thanksgiving with a lot less stress:

Make a Menu

Make a menu at least a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving so that you have time to mull it over and make changes. Don’t wait until Thanksgiving day and willy-nilly the dish ideas that have hung around in your head. Write them down and write each ingredient you need to complete the dish. Include everything the main dish, side dishes, appetizers, desserts, and drinks. I even like to add a special dish I know the kids will eat because they’re not really a fan of most Thanksgiving food. Personally, I really like to use Pinterest to help with my Thanksgiving plans. When I’m ready to cook, all I have to do is look at my Pinterest app. I have a great Thanksgiving board here. The Sweet Potato Casserole is everyone’s favorite!

Make a Guest List and Delegate Dishes

Now make a guest list and delegate dishes to some or all of your guests. Make them bring things you don’t want to bother with. Don’t take a wild guess about how many people are going to show up. Call or text everyone to confirm their spot and give at least some of them a food assignment so you’re not left to do all the work. I really like to delegate desserts and drinks because that’s something I just don’t care to cook or worry about buying. Uncle Ed can bring store-bought pumpkin pie and that’s just fine with me.

Turn Your Menu Into a Grocery List

Then turn the rest of your menu into a grocery list. Whatever Uncle Ed or Grandma Suzy isn’t bringing, is your responsibility to serve. Don’t go to the store and try to guess what you need because you’ll just end up making a Wal-Mart run the day of. Put the ingredients you need for each dish on your list. Don’t forget non-food items, too. Do you plan on using real dishes or are you paper-fabulous, like me? Do you need utensils, napkins, decorations? Whatever floats your Thanksgiving boat…get it.

Don’t Feel Bad About Store Bought Food or Paper Plates

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT feel bad about your store-bought apple pie or extra durable Thanksgiving paper plates and utensils. Washing dishes after you eat a huge meal sucks. You’re already going to have a ton of pots and pans to clean. Don’t you dare feel bad about going paper-fabulous this year. These days, you can buy plates, napkins, utensils, and cups that are super cute! I’m paper-fabulous every year and proud.

Make a Plan

Make a plan for Thanksgiving day. How many seats do you need? What decorations will be set up? When is dinner? When will guests arrive? How long will each dish take to make and what pan are you going to cook it in? What method will you use to cook the turkey and how long will it take? There’s been a couple of years where the day of Thanksgiving I realized I didn’t have enough pans to make all the food I had planned on. This resulted in an emergency trip to my mother-in-law’s house. I don’t recommend it.

Prep Food the Day Before

Prep food the day before. I can’t say this enough. Don’t wake up on Thanksgiving and think, okay now it’s time to get started! A couple of hours in and you’ll realize, holy crap I have so much to get done! The day before Thanksgiving I make sure desserts are done, appetizers are ready to set out, and anything that goes straight to the oven (like this awesome Sweet Potato Casserole) is ready to stick in. This makes the next day so much calmer.

Give Turkey Enough Time to Thaw

If you buy a fresh turkey, great! If not make sure you buy a frozen one at least a week out (so that you get a good pick) and give it a few days (depending on the size) to thaw in the fridge or in cold water. You can find guidance on how long to thaw a turkey here. In the past I have waited too long to buy the turkey, making it hard to find one big enough and not giving myself enough time to let it thaw. Last year I cut it close. Never again!

Start Cooking the Turkey Early

Finally, give yourself plenty of time to cook the turkey, especially if you’re not experienced. Don’t worry about being done too early, it’s way better than being done too late. Give yourself a 2-3 hour time cushion before guests are scheduled to eat. The turkey can sit in the oven or roasting pan on a low temp to stay warm if needed, but if you realize your turkey is not done when it should be, it throws everything out of whack and leaves you swearing that you’ll never host again.

 

I hope these suggestions help you have the most stress-free Thanksgiving yet. Did these tips help you? What could I add to the list? Comment below and tell me!

 

But wait…there’s more.

 

Subscribe to The Wiser Life today (go to side or the bottom of this page) and  I’ll send you a free Thanksgiving Dinner Planner 2-page printable!

 

 

It’s not good enough to think about your Thanksgiving plan, you need to write it down for it to be effective. My printable includes space to write your menu, your guest list, your delegated dishes, your grocery list and more!

Keep a copy of the printable for yourself so that every year you can use it to keep Thanksgiving as stress-free as possible.

 

It’s FREE. Just subscribe to The Wiser Life email list (bottom of page)! I’ll send it immediately!

 

Don’t forget to check out what’s happening on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

 

 

 

25 Positive Ways to Cope with Stress

25 Positive Ways to Cope with Stress

We all have stress in our lives. The question is, how do you cope with it?

Many of us cope with stress in unhealthy ways. We eat bags of chips, watch hours of TV, scroll through our Facebook feed continuously, or even resort to medicating ourselves with unhealthy substances. We find any means necessary to distract us from our problems. My distraction of choice is Netlix, milk, and a package of Oreos. Who needs wine when you can get milk drunk?

We need to be distracted from our problems for a short period of time. But instead of ignoring them completely, and continuing habits that add to the stress (Oreos always go straight to my ass) , what we really need is a healthy break. Instead of indulging in mindless bad habits, it’s important to come up with coping tools that will give our spirit a break and allow us to revisit our issues with an open heart and clear mind.

Here is a list of 25 positive ways to cope with stress. Hopefully you can add a few of these to your healthy-coping toolbox.

1. Journal

Many people like to write but don’t know what to write. If that’s your issue check out my Journal for Wisdom Wednesdays! Every Wednesday I post a new prompt to help you dig deeper into the why behind your why.  Like, am I eating these Oreos because I’m hungry or because I’m worried there’s no other way to achieve that happy and full feeling? The next time you pass by the stationary section at Target, go ahead and pick up one of those adorable journals you’re always attracted to but never buy. Journaling is a healthy exercise and a wise cost!

2. Stretch

Stretching is a wonderful way to relieve stress and tension in the body and mind. Stretching is also a way to tune in to your body and really discover what parts of it need relief. Personally, I think stretching is a great way to start your day. Remember when we always had to stretch before activities in PE? Why wouldn’t we stretch as a way to prepare ourselves for the day? Get the blood flowing! Expand the functions of your muscles, and enjoy the great feeling you get while doing it.

3. Exercise

Exercising isn’t my favorite activity either, but hopefully we will learn to love it together. I’ve figured out the trick is finding a movement activity you like to do. That way it’s not like you’re forcing yourself to spend time on something you don’t want to do. Punishment exercise really isn’t necessary. Does anyone really enjoy cycling class, where you basically pedal until you die? Maybe you like swimming, walking, hiking, bike riding, or climbing! It can be as simple as moving around your house. Cleaning counts! I am exhausted after cleaning my son’s room! Even 10 minutes of movement per day makes a huge difference in your health and mood.

4. Create

Being creative doesn’t mean you have to craft, paint, or draw. Create anything you want. A website. A book. A piece of furniture. A road trip. A list. A plan. A schedule. A recipe. What are you good at? What kind of creation gives you joy? Being creative is so good for our soul and gets our brain juices flowing.

5. Cook

Some people enjoy this, others not so much. I honestly get sick and tired of making the same dinners night after night. I think it’s fun to look up a new recipe, find the ingredients at the store, and get to cooking! It’s a creative and fun way to focus on something that’s both new and, depending on what you cook, nutritional! If you’re really brave, get the kids involved. Kids not wanting to try new foods is often a huge source of stress for parents (at least it is for me) but many times they will be more willing to try something new if they’ve been involved in the cooking process.

6. Meditate

Meditation doesn’t have to be hard or intimidating. Check out my first Mindful Mondays’ post about beginners meditation to get started. I’m a beginner, too. If I can do it, anyone can! In the beginning all you really have to do is sit still, be quiet, and focus on your breath. Give it a try and practice daily for amazing results.

7. Be with Friends

Friends are an awesome way to relieve stress. You get to take turns bitching, relate to each other’s problems, and secretly make fun of other people, all while eating tacos and drinking wine. If you don’t have friends you enjoy spending time with, get out there and find some. Even if you got lucky and married your best friend, it’s just not quite the same as having a BFF outside the home that always has your back.

8. Do Good for Others

Sometimes the best way to stop feeling sorry for ourselves is to get out in the world and help people who have REAL problems. Donate food to the local food bank, volunteer for your church’s holiday program, read a story at your local elementary school, or stop to say hello and give $10 bucks to the homeless guy you always see on the corner. Simply do something to make others smile. It will help put a smile back on your own face.

9. Learn to Say No

Sometimes you just have to say NO. I know for some people this is really hard. You’re an awesome person. People trust and rely on you to get certain things done. However, sometimes our plates are just too full. Putting more on it than you can handle doesn’t help you or the people you’re trying to help. A good way to help this is to start saying no to all the things that don’t bring you joy. Don’t worry about being such a people-pleaser. Good people will honestly respect you for it and think you must be kind of important to be so busy.

10. Read

Nothing compares to a good book. Read something that motivates or inspires you. Read something that teaches you something you’ve always wanted to learn. People who say they don’t like to read, just haven’t read anything they like. There are as many books out there as there are meal recipes. If you begin to try them all, you’re bound to like some. Reading reduces stress because it allows you to relate to characters like yourself, learn and get inspired.

11. Organize Your Space

Look around you. Is your physical space a complete mess? Take time to get it together. For some people, organization is zen. If your space is cluttered, most likely, your life is too. Start with one room at a time, or even one corner at a time. Check out my Getting Organized board on Pinterest to make organization fun!

12. Finish a Project

Have a To-Do list that still needs to be done? Pick one and get started! It feels great to finally finish something you’ve been meaning to do FOREVER. Paint the guest bedroom, fix the sink, get the oil changed, or plan your yearly holiday gift list. Even simple tasks, when completed, help clear space in our minds and relieve us of some of the overwhelm.

13. Go For a Walk

Walking is an easy form of stress release that most people can do. Walk at your local trail or hit the track at the gym with your headphones. Don’t think of it as exercise this time, think of it as your special time to think peaceful thoughts and clear out the mental clutter. Walking alone creates a special time for you to organize the thoughts in your brain and come up with effective solutions.

14. Listen to Music

I miss my teenager days where I had the time to just lounge in bed for hours, stare at the ceiling and blast my favorite Lincoln Park CD. If possible, make the time to do this again. Put your favorite song list on repeat, rest your head on the pillow, close your eyes, and imagine yourself rocking out on stage. Depending on how your day went, this could turn into napping instead, but whatever your body needs.

15. Take a Drive

Nothing quite does it like a drive in the country or around town, all alone, with the music up too loud to hear your thoughts. When life gets to be too much, hop in the car and get lost. Drive past your childhood home, notice new businesses that are popping up around town, read vanity plates, or people watch at a red light. If you want to be really fun, do something weird (like singing or dancing) and smile at other drivers who notice. But remember, no texting.

Pin on Pinterest!

16. Have Alone Time

Do something alone. Take a drive (see above), take a bath, get under the covers and contemplate life, have a dance party, binge on Netflix, see a movie, read a book, but do it ALONE. Some people have this down pat, but for some others, like me, it’s a struggle to be alone. I’ve got three kids and a husband. I love them all dearly. But sometimes mamma just wants to be with herself.

17. Color

Color, and color some more! Who said coloring was just for kids? Personally, I love adult coloring books. I also really love Lisa Frank coloring books. Coloring is a creative and focused way to clear your mind of the stressful clutter. Do it alone or use it as a way to spend time with the kids. Don’t use crappy markers or crayons either. Head over to Target and buy the good stuff so you’ll enjoy it more.

18. Just Breathe

That’s it. Just breathe. I know, we all breathe, every second, of everyday. But I mean really breathe. Slow down, calm your mind, and just focus on taking slow…deep…breaths. Doing this allows you to suddenly be more present in the moment and able to focus on the task at hand. It relaxes your body and calms your heart-rate. Taking in more oxygen gives you an extra burst of energy and helps to quiet your negative thoughts.

19. Talk it Out

Sometimes all we really need is a good talk. Have a good conversation with your BFF or spouse. Connect with your parents, if you haven’t in awhile. Make time to talk to your kids about what’s going on in their world. If you want to get really serious, meet up with a counselor. Counseling is not for crazy people. It’s for all people who have problems, which means it’s for everyone.

20. Get Outside

Nature is the foundation of who we are. It not only feels good to get outside, it’s actually beneficial to our bodies. Breathe in fresh air. Spend time noticing trees, flowers, animals, sounds. Take in the true miracle that is life. Allow your body to absorb the sunlight. Doing this will reduce your stress, give you more of the happy feeling, and bring you back to the present moment.

21. Cuddle

Cuddle with your kids. Cuddle with your lover. Give hugs and kisses to anyone who will accept them! Physical affection releases hormones that reduce stress. Let your partner know you’re feeling especially down and need extra attention. Practice giving more affection than you normally do to special people in your life. People are caught off guard at first, but eventually they love it.

22. Take a Nap

Take a nap, sleep in, or go to bed early. Don’t wait until you feel better. Sleep makes you feel better. Whoever said, “Don’t go to bed angry.” must never have tried it. If you’re upset, if it’s been a long day, if you can’t come to an agreement with your significant other, do yourself a favor and take a nap. Or go to sleep for rest of the day. Every problem needs a break! Come back to it in the morning when the feelings aren’t so harsh.

23. Get Up On Time

Do you always head off to work in a hurry and in a mess? Get up on time and get moving. Stop being the person who hits the Snooze button. Make a commitment that you won’t even stay in bed long enough to think about how much you don’t want to get up yet. When the buzzer goes off, immediately sit up. If you have to, put the alarm on the other side of the room so you have to get up. Enjoy the time you have in the morning. Have a healthier breakfast, enjoy some coffee or herbal tea, and do a little stretching. Morning rituals are worth waking up for and will better prepare you for the events of your day.

24. Be Proactive

Be proactive about your life. Sometimes it really helps just to plan our day, or week, or month ahead. Is part of your stress related to the fact that you’re never ready, always late, or usually unprepared? Complete easy tasks that will make the following day run smoother. Set out your clothes. Check your calendar. Give yourself a heads up on the events to come in the next week or month so you don’t feel surprised. Make a to-do list. Being proactive reduces stress by preparing you for things to come.

25. Plan Your Future

Some of us really enjoy planning. It’s fun and relieves stress because it’s a way to organize the huge amount of information and ideas in our brains. For some of us, things don’t happen if we don’t write them down. Set daily, weekly, and yearly goals. Jot down ideas about your new business venture. Write down your current big life goals and the action steps needed to reach them. There are tons of planners to help you out. Where do you want to be in the next year? What obstacles might keep you from getting there? Get it down on paper and plan it out.

 

This is just a few of the many, many, positive coping tools we can all use to handle stress. I would love to hear about your positive coping tools of choice below! What should I add to this list?

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Journal for Wisdom Wednesdays #2: Write Your Universal Order

Journal for Wisdom Wednesdays #2: Write Your Universal Order

Thank you for continuing to read Journal for Wisdom Wednesdays!

Every week I will continue to post a journal prompt on Wednesday to help guide us towards our deeper wisdom. Don’t worry, I’m pretty new to all this spiritual hoo-haa too, so I’ll be doing the journal exercises right along with you.

Even if you don’t love to write, I urge you to give it a try. If we want something we’ve never had, we have to do something we’ve never done!

Intentional journaling is a fantastic way to discover your truest self. It’s also an amazing tool to help guide us towards a future full of possibility. It reminds us of what’s important and helps to destroy all the muck we bury ourselves under day in and day out. So give it a try to see what you can dig up!

 

Getting Started

The Assignment: Write your Universal Order! 

This week I want us to try something kind of fun. We’re going to write out our Universal Order. That’s right, we’re going to tell the Universe exactly how we want our life to look. We’re going to design our lives as if all we have to do is call up the Universe like we call up the local pizza place to have our dinner delivered.

While I haven’t been a spiritual practitioner long enough to notice crazy changes in my life, yet, I truly believe that the Universe will work magic in our lives if we meet it with action and believe it’s going to happen.

 

Write

Even if you don’t believe it and you’re not ready to take action, simply write down your best life on paper. And I mean your BEST life. Without guilt. Without shame. Without a single thought of money, time, or relationship restrictions.

Where do you live? How do you spend the majority of your time? Do you have kids, a spouse, or a better relationship with those who are already in your life? What does your house look like? How much money is in your bank account? How do you look physically? How do you feel emotionally? What kind of car do you drive? What kind of clothes do you buy? How are you making a difference in the world?

Write your life as if the Universe promised to deliver it exactly the way you asked for it. Feel excited about it. Imagine it was yours tomorrow. What would it feel like if you woke up and got to live this version of your life? How would your view of the world change?

 

 

Reflect

Does anything about your desires surprise you? Do you feel the life you wrote about is possible? Why or why not? Can you think of other people who live a similar life? Think about the fears that keep you from having this life. What’s one thing you could do now to diminish them?

 

Extra Credit

If you want to dig deeper and be braver, and you at least believe this life is possible, pick one thing from your Universal order that is most urgent. Maybe it’s health or career-related. Ask your self if you’re willing to go another day doing absolutely nothing to change this aspect of your life. If the answer is no, set a goal and write down some action steps to achieve it. Remind yourself that you have the power to change your life and every day you do nothing about it is another day you have to live a life that’s not awesome.

 

After you complete this exercise, report back and let me know how it went. Did you discover something new about yourself? Did you feel enlightened? Was it a form of release? What did it open up for you?

 

Like The Wiser Life on Facebook and Subscribe to our email list for notification of the next Journal for Wisdom Wednesdays!

 

Comment below! Share as much or as little as you like about this experience. NOTE: There have been issues with commenting on this post. If the site won’t let you, I encourage you to check out the next Journal for Wisdom Wednesdays and comment there. Thank you!

A Personal Blog Post About: The Angry Old Man in the Electric Cart and the Sweet Little Girl who Stole my Heart

A Personal Blog Post About: The Angry Old Man in the Electric Cart and the Sweet Little Girl who Stole my Heart

“Tomorrow will be another day just like today if you let it. And like a flash of light, one day, we finally realize there’s not many tomorrow’s left.”

 

Picture this.

My last Sunday morning was spent grocery shopping at my least favorite retail super-store. I took the two oldest kids with me while my husband stayed with the baby, who wasn’t feeling well. The kids were being very helpful. Not arguing with each other, checking things off the list, and pushing the cart. I was feeling grateful for the peaceful experience.

We came to a stop in the baking aisle while a woman in an electric cart was picking food off the shelf. She seemed to have a question about a product because an employee and another customer appeared to be assisting her. Directly across from her was one of those food racks employees use to stock the shelves. So there was no way through or around her.

There were customers behind me so I decided instead of turning around, I would use it as a lesson in patience for my children. I smiled, to not make her feel rushed, and pretended to look at things on the shelf next to me.

Behind me, I sensed that someone was not willing to be so patient. Ironically, it was another customer in an electric cart. He was an elderly man, and after his ten-second window of patience had lapsed, he promptly proceeded to cut in front of me and ram the food rack with his electric cart.

 

You read that right. He rammed the food rack with his electric cart.

Not once.

Not twice.

But three times he rammed the food rack, backed up, and rammed it again. The lady in the electric cart hurried out of his way, and while we all stared at this angry old man in disbelief, he grumbled, “You’re blocking the aisle!” and drove away.

My kids were wide-eyed and baffled.

When we reached the next aisle they said to me, “Mom, why would he do that?” To which I replied, “Because he’s probably a sad, grumpy, and lonely person. He might not have anyone to talk to at home. Sometimes when we feel bad, we take it out on other people.”

This was maybe their first or one of very few experiences where someone was blatantly disrespectful, and while I wanted them to understand his reaction was wrong, I also wanted them to have compassion for him. We should never act the way he did, but when people do act that way, I think it’s important for kids to understand it comes from sadness and manifests as anger.

 

Fast forward to later in the afternoon. My day is bananas, as usual.

The baby is still not feeling well. She’s running a fever and won’t eat over an ounce of formula per feeding. She hates the Tylenol, gags every time we give it to her, and the fever keeps coming back. I’m pretty sure she’s fine and it’s some kind of virus that needs time to pass. But it’s been 7 years since I had a baby and her not eating much has me concerned enough that I decide to take her to the ER that evening.

I go alone because my husband has to stay with the older kids. We get checked in and are patiently waiting to be called back. The room is really warm and she’s not happy sitting in the car seat so I play with her on my lap.

 

I’m feeling exhausted from worrying about her being sick and trying to keep things together at home.

I know there are probably 20 things I need to do that I haven’t done.

I’m feeling sad and run down and wondering how I’m ever going to make it through Monday. It’s late and I’m sure I’ll only get 4-5 hours of sleep.

I’m feeling guilty for having to take her to grandma’s house so I can go to work tomorrow. I’m not the stay-at-home type but I hate leaving them when they are sick.

I’m reflecting on the old man and feeling sad that he’s probably so alone and angry (I know, I’m ridiculous). I also find myself relating to him. I have never acted so mean in public, but there have been situations where I lost my patience and sure feel like it showing it.

I’m also pretty sure if I have to carry this car seat any further, my arm is going to fall off. Why don’t nurses offer to carry them for us?

 

So, while I’m sitting there, feeling sorry for myself and trying to smile for my baby, a sweet little girl, maybe 4 years old, comes out of the ER with her dad.

I don’t believe she was sick, just there with family.

As they paused in the lobby a moment, waiting for another family member, she confidently walked up behind me, smiled, and exclaimed, “You have a baby!”

“Yes, I do!” I smiled big. I love kids who aren’t afraid to start conversations. Adults, not so much.

She scrunched up her little nose, lowered her eyebrows and said, “Is it a girl or a boy baby?”

“It’s a girl baby. She likes you!”

She raised her eyebrows. “Oh, I can tell it’s a girl baby because she has bows and Mini Mouse on her shirt! She’s a pretty girl baby. Daddy, look at the baby!” Her dad wasn’t amused. I could tell she didn’t get her enthusiasm and lack of shyness from him.

“That’s right. She’s smiling at you!” I said. And she was. She usually doesn’t smile at strangers.

Then, with a big smile, the little girl held out her hand to touch my daughter’s tiny hand (much to her father’s dismay), looked at me and said matter-of-factly, “Don’t worry. Your baby be okay.”

 

It was as if the Universe put on the face of a sweet little girl to let me know my baby was going to be fine, and so was I.

“Oh, thank you so much. That is so nice for you to say.” And I really was grateful. It felt like a true confirmation. The Universe was signaling me to calm down and check myself before I spiraled out of emotional control.

I experienced two very different types of people that Sunday. The cranky old man in the cart, and the sweet little girl who just wanted a closer look at my baby.

I think most of us start out in life like that sweet little girl. The old man was once a sweet little boy… right? But then… life happens. Death, financial problems, abuse, addictions, crappy jobs, and toxic relationships can alter who we are. Finally, one day, you find yourself ramming your way through the grocery aisle just to get what you want sooner and with no regard for anyone else’s emotions.

Okay, maybe not in that exact scenario, but you get where I’m going with this. You’re yelling at your spouse or kids when they don’t deserve it. You’re getting bent out of shape over some mo-ron who doesn’t use his turn signal. You’re  irrationally pissed at the incompetent teenagers running the drive-thru window at your favorite fast-food place. I get it. I’m guilty as charged.

 

But I think we have a choice. We can do our best to heal the hurt life has caused and try to stay as sweet, kind, and innocent as we once were, or, we can allow our bad experiences to poison our attitude about life.

We can walk around this world with a smile and curiosity, or we can be angry and force our way through this journey without joy because we’re just so busy rolling around in our negativity.

If we choose the latter, I’m just not sure what the point is. Tomorrow will be another day just like today if you let it. And like a flash of light, one day, we finally realize there’s not many tomorrow’s left.

That’s all I’m trying to say. We don’t have as many tomorrows as we think we do. And that’s the real reason I started The Wiser Life, to heal myself and to inspire others who want to heal with me so that our tomorrow can be better.

 

Who are you going to be? Who do you want your children to be?

 

I’d love to read your comments about this below! Like The Wiser Life on Facebook and don’t forget to Subscribe to the email list so you never miss a new post and exciting new offers!

 

 

Journal for Wisdom Wednesdays:  #1 Acknowledging our Fears

Journal for Wisdom Wednesdays: #1 Acknowledging our Fears

Welcome to our very first Journal for Wisdom Wednesdays!

Starting today and ending…whenever I feel like it…I’m going to post a journal prompt on Wednesday to help guide us towards our deeper wisdom. Don’t worry, I’m pretty new to all this spiritual hoo-haa too, so I’ll be doing the journal exercises right along with you.

Even if you don’t love to write, I urge you to give it a try. If we want something we’ve never had, we have to do something we’ve never done!

Intentional journaling is a fantastic way to discover your truest self. It’s also an amazing tool to help guide us towards a future full of possibility. It reminds of what’s important and helps to destroy all the muck we bury ourselves under day in and day out. So give it a try to see what you can dig up!

Getting Started

This week I’m going to ask you to go in head first and acknowledge your fears. The number one reason we’re not living our best life, and actually living some crappy overrated version, is because we’re scared. There is no other reason. Maybe you can’t lose weight because you’re afraid of suffering due to lack of the food you love. Maybe you can’t have a well-paying job because you’re afraid to leave your mediocre one. Maybe you can’t find true love because you’re afraid to leave your current partner or you’re afraid to put yourself out there in the single scene. Whatever your problems are (both the ones you admit to, and the ones you don’t), the bottom line is FEAR.

Write

The very first step to overcoming these fears is to acknowledge they exist. Separate your journal page into 2 columns. Title the first column, Problem, and title the second column, Fear. Under the Problem heading, I simply want you to write a list of your problems. These are things in your life you hope to one day change. Some examples might say, I’m not happy in my marriage, I’m overweight, I’m always broke.

Now, directly across from your problem, under the Fear column, write the fear that corresponds to your problem. Respectively, this might say, I’m afraid of intimacy, I’m afraid that nothing can make me as happy as food, I’m afraid better jobs do not exist for me. This part might require a little more thinking time. Sometimes we have to dig deep to uncover the fear that’s blocking us from our solutions.

In some cases, your problem is one that you have completely no control over. For example, you might say, My mother is sick. You want this to change but it’s truly out of your control. Go ahead and write your corresponding fears about these issues as well. For this example, your fear might be, I’m afraid of losing her too soon.

Reflect

Does anything you wrote down surprise you? If so, why? In what way did you contribute to or create these problems? If the problem is not one you control, is there a way to ease your fear? You can write your reflections or simply spend time thinking about it.

Extra Credit

If you want to dig deeper, and be braver, make a third Column titled Action. In this column write a corresponding action you could take to ease these problems or even solve them. If you’re not happy in your marriage, this could say Counseling. If you’re overweight, this could say Walking. If you’re broke, this could say Search for new jobs. If it’s a problem out of your control, like your mother being sick, this could say Spend more time talking with mom.

You don’t actually have to go out and complete these actions steps today. Right now you are simply acknowledging the fear under your problems and the fact that you do have at least some control in making your situation better. And sometimes we have zero control over the solution but we do have control over our reactions and whether we choose to cope in a healthy way.

 

After you complete this exercise, report back and let me know how it went. Did you discover something new about yourself? Did you feel enlightened? Was it a form of release? What did it open up for you?

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Comment below! Share as much or as little as you like about this experience.

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