Push Yourself

I did not write this but read it this morning. And to me, these are wonderful goals. Too many times we rush around, placing ourselves last on the to-do and forget to take care of ourselves. Written by Emma Elsworthy, enjoy!

Push yourself to get up before the rest of the world – start with 7am, then 6am, then 5:30am. go to the nearest hill with a big coat and a scarf and watch the sun rise.

Push yourself to fall asleep earlier – start with 11pm, then 10pm, then 9pm. wake up in the morning feeling re-energized and comfortable. lie in your garden, feel the sunshine on your skin.

Get into the habit of cooking yourself a beautiful breakfast. Fry tomatoes and mushrooms in real butter and garlic, fry an egg, slice up a fresh avocado and squirt way too much lemon on it. Sit and eat it and do nothing else.

stretch. start by reaching for the sky as hard as you can, then trying to touch your toes. roll your head. stretch your fingers. stretch everything.

buy a 1L water bottle. start with pushing yourself to drink the whole thing in a day, then try drinking it twice.

buy a beautiful diary and a beautiful black pen. write down everything you do, including dinner dates, appointments, assignments, coffees, what you need to do that day. no detail is too small.

strip your bed of your sheets and empty your underwear draw into the washing machine. wash, then hang them in the sunshine with care. make your bed in full.

dig your fingers into the earth, plant a seed. see your success as it grows everyday.

organise your room. fold all your clothes (and bag what you don’t want), clean your mirror, your laptop, vacuum the floor. light a beautiful candle.

breathe. practice your deep breathing. ground yourself.

have a luxurious shower with your favourite music playing. wash your hair, scrub your body, brush your teeth. lather your whole body in moisturiser, get familiar with the part between your toes, your inner thighs, the back of your neck.

push yourself to go for a walk. take your headphones, go to the beach and walk. smile at strangers walking the other way and be surprised how many smile back. bring your dog and observe the dog’s behaviour. realise you can learn from your dog.

message old friends with personal jokes. reminisce. suggest a catch up soon, even if you don’t follow through. push yourself to follow through.

think long and hard about what interests you. crime? sex? boarding school? long-forgotten romance etiquette? find a book about it and read it. there is a book about literally everything.

become the person you would ideally fall in love with. let cars merge into your lane when driving. pay double for parking tickets and leave a second one in the machine. stick your tongue out at babies. help an animal. compliment people on their cute clothes. challenge yourself to not ridicule anyone for a whole day. then two. then a week. walk with a straight posture. look people in the eye. ask people about their story. talk to acquaintances so they become friends.

lie in the sunshine. daydream about the life you would lead if failure wasn’t a thing. open your eyes.

take small steps to make it happen for you…”

Author: Emma Elsworthy

Dis Obedience

I have been reading a story from Humans of New York, the latest story about a woman who was expected to be a submissive wife to her mentally and physically abusive husband. She finally escaped to start a new life, and she is now telling her story. And I wonder how many other women have been through similar? Many.

And I think that is why it has taken me so long to find the love of my life, because I have never been submissive, or subservient, or controllable. I was raise by a strong feisty woman to be a strong feisty woman. But strong women like that are not appreciated and we make many enemies. I have been told by so many men that I needed to me “tamed,” so I would do what they wanted. Or they would just come in and try to tell me what to do with my life, what they wanted me to do how how they thought I should do it. I didn’t listen. It is my temperament to do exactly the opposite. It is my temperament to instead be rebellious.

As you can imagine, this hasn’t always won me the most fans. And there have been plenty who didn’t like it and offered sharp criticism. Everyone from boyfriends, to friends, to bosses even. But that’s OK. A strong women doesn’t care what others think because she won’t need anyone’s approval. I’ll let you in on a secret – no one’s opinion pays the mortgage, so I know where to tell them to stick it.

An ex I lived with tried to control me and break the strong-willed disobedience out of me for 3 years. He didn’t succeed. He did get an assortment of shoes thrown at him. Another man actually beat me to get me to “obey.” That didn’t work either and he ended up being slapped with a lifetime restraining order among other things. In an effort to break me down and control me, my last ex criticized me, called me dumb and said that my writing was stupid. He said I could never be as smart as he was as a healthcare manager. I now make more than he does with my “stupid writing” while he works at some tiny hospital in the middle of nowhere.

I have been accused of being controlling because I don’t want to be controlled. I have been accused of wanting someone take care of me, because I would not bend to their will (I take care of myself, thankyouverymuch). I have only depended on a man once, who used his money as a weapon of control. After that I vowed I would never be in that position again and would always have my own money. And I have. Again, the whole rebellious thing.

Others have said that I cannot do anything right and am crazy for trying to be a writer, saying needed to settle down and be realistic. One “friend” criticized me and called me tempestuous, adding that if I would just do as I was told my life would be much easier. One manager, after I caught him lying, mismanaging, and blaming others for his mistakes, told me that I was stupid and he was going to make me take an IQ test. I now make more than he does too (And he recently visited this blog). Why would they criticize my passion and feisty nature? Who knows. Some are jealous, some feel threatened, some are those who will try to break others down to feel better about themselves. Why doesn’t really matter, because there is no reason to stick around long enough to care. Whatever it is, it’s their problem. Again, the rebellious nature of caring more about your own self worth than putting stock in the opinions of others.

It is this same rebellious nature that has made me successful in writing. The fact that I don’t care what anyone thinks or says of me. It is this same nature that has made me succeed when everyone said I couldn’t and wouldn’t. And it is this same nature that finally led me to that man, the partner I had prayed for for so many years.

So if you are rebellious, independent, and strong, you will get a lot of hate and animosity thrown at you. And some of it will hurt, because some of it will be from people about whom you you care and thought were on your side. It’s easy to say that you should ignore them and move on, but it will sting first. It will not be easy, but it will be worth it. Because when you look back, you will see this amazing life that you have built on your terms, without compromising yourself or your values. and it’s ok if you start out small at first. If you build up your confidence little by little. Rome wasn’t build in a day, neither was the Eiffel Tower, and neither is a different life. It’s Ok to take your time. Be patient with yourself, because at least you are trying, and many don’t even do that.

And what about love? That is one of the hardest things, because most men do not appreciate a strong outspoken women and don’t know what do with them.

Indeed, it takes a strong man to know how to handle a strong woman. The man I am with now is amazing. He doesn’t try to control me, and he doesn’t allow me to control him either. And more importantly, he understands that I do not want to control anything or anyone, I simply want to work together to make a life. He gently helps me channel my energy into accomplishing our goals. He challenges me to do better every single day, not by telling me what to do, but by simply trying every day to be a better man himself. He leads by example, not by force or control. He inspired me every day, and every day I love him more because he accepts me as I am. You may think you will never find him, a man like that, but you will. He is out there, I promise. Don’t compromise or settle, no matter how lonely it gets or how discouraged you become.

So ladies, be strong, be feisty, be tempestuous. Don’t worry about the criticism you will receive, or about those whose friendships you lose. You don’t need them, you need people who are strong enough to handle your strength by being strong with you. You do not need anyone’s permission to forge your own path. It will be a lonely path at times, maybe even dark in a few spots, but you will come out just fine. Because you breathe fire. Enough to light your own path and scare away those who would do you harm.

Life is short, too short to be controlled. Don’t listen to the naysayers or care about those who no longer have your best interest in mind. Let go, carry on, and succeed brilliantly so dreams fall like rain.

You Can You Will

A few emails have landed in my inbox from readers who are going through a bad time. And these eails have me thinking. When you are going through the thick of it. the bad times, it just seems overwhelming. Especially grief. It is as if you are moving through mud and everything takes effort, even sometimes just breathing. But that is when you have to work the hardest. You have to concentrate on life, and making a decision to be happier that day, a nd every day afterwards. Oh, it is hard at first, but it is worth it. And at first it may not seem like the needle is moving at all…but keep doing it because it has to build enough momentum or get you unstuck.

There are some people though who like being miserable and they will stay right where they are at, because it is comfortable and gets them sympathy. Don’t be one of those people, because eventually the sympathy will run thin and they will find themselves alone. And you cannot help those kids of people either. So don’t waste your time. Time is precious and finite. IF you help others, make sure that you help those who will actually make the necessary changes.

In this day and age of high gas prices, inflation, Covid, Monkeypox and ridiculous grocery bills, how can we find the strength to get up and be happy even when we are at our worst? I don’t know exactly, but I can tell you what worked for me. And you have to go really deep, down where the soul meets the heart, and things get quiet in at night in the dark. That place where you can hear your own breathing. And you have to make a decision to get out of whatever situation you have found yourself – a bad job, career, relationship, marriage, whatever.

You get up every day, take a deep breath, and pay. Then, you take another deep breath and decide that today will be better than yesterday, even if it’s just by a little. And you work at it, even when you are tired, even when you are discouraged, even when you think you can’t, you make an excuse to work on it anyway. And you take baby steps. And one day, when you look back you will se that you have traveled miles because those baby steps add up to a great journey, they journey that is your life and your story. And when you have gathered the strength, you leave, you change, you do whatever you need to do to get out of what is making you unhappy and you leave.

You must be patient with yourself, because it may not happen over might. Or maybe it will. I woke up one morning and decided to move to Texas anyway, regardless of what anyone did, thought, or said. And it was the best decision I made in my life. But before that morning, there were a hundred days or getting to that point, of dealing with family, death, bad people and my own unhappiness. But I did it. And you can too.

Life is short. And precious. And you cannot afford to waste time were you are not happy, where you are not loved, where you are not thriving. You can change at any time, it’s neve too late. You are the writer of your own epic novel of your life. You decide what adventures you have and what chances you take. Forgive yourself and move on to the next happier chapter, even if it takes several chapters to get there. If I can do it. so can you. 🙂

Picture Perfect

The days are good and the nights are warm. Life has settled into a good rhythm with fulfillment at the helm. Our goals are coming to fruition, and everyday we wake up thankful that we are together and working to build this, our wonderful life.

This is the love I have waited to find, and I pinch myself every day because I can’t believe this is my life. We thrive and thrill on seeing each other happy. I love working in the garden, but he loves it even more. And when I see him, planning and planting, watering and caring for the things growing, and I see the amount of joy it gives him, my joy multiplies ten fold. That is just one example. When two givers get together it is truly magical. I have always found takers who took advantage. But two givers truly thrive on the joy of their partner and it is magnificent.

And my mind wonders back a few years, when I was still in Georgia. I was heartbroken with grief over the loss of my parents and siblings, and in a horrible relationship with an emotionally abusive and manipulative alcoholic. I picked up what was left my heart and moved 1,000 miles away to start a new life, my life, on my terms. I wanted to be where there were no bad memories of death or loss. And I knew, I prayed, that I would find my heart. And indeed I did.

And now here I am, with the love of my life, living my best fabulous life. So no matter where you are, or what you have been through, or what you are going through, there is a better life waiting for you. You just have to pack up and go get it. And you can. Because what you seek is seeking you.

Don’t listen to the anxiety and those people or thoughts that tell you that you can’t do it, shouldn’t do it. Yes. You can. And don’t listen to those who criticize you. An ex told me I was moving to Texas to get back together with him, following him. Nope.

The moral? It didn’t stop me. Who cares what he said and even told others? Don’t pay attention to any of that extraneous noise. Do what you know will give you the best life and move forward without guilt or care. Do what will give you peace. Because what gives you peace will bring you happiness. There is a saying that you should follow your bliss, but i say follow your peace.

I did. And my life is better than it has ever been and I am the happiest I have been in my life.

If you are searching for answers, be still, get quiet and pray. Listen for God’s voice whispered in your ear. You will know the right decision, if you listen.

Life is short. Too short to be unhappy or live in bad relationships with sub par people. Get up and move. You are not a tree and you can change your circumstance. It’s worth it. Trust me. I thank God every day that this is my life.

The Time of the Klenex

It is summer and life is good. My world has been full of backyard conversations by the pool, making plans, laughter, music and planting the gardens to make the yard beautiful and in bloom. And work has been especially busy as well. With so much on my plate life has been moving at a fast speed, and to be quite honest, as wonderful as things are, I have ben feeling a bit exhausted, run down and burned out. I know that I need to slow down, but it’s so hard to do when there is so much to do.

Life has a funny way of slowing you down when you need it. It started out as maybe some allergies. Then a bit of a cold, then developed into a sinus infection. And when I still didn’t listen, it morphed into a sinus infection on steroids, going into my eyes and ears. The was it, I threw in towel, not that I had a choice. I looked as sick and as run down as I felt – I looked like Rudolf’s pale, gooey-eyed, glowing red nosed cousin, but probably not as attractive. Coughing, blowing my nose, rubbing my eyes. Oh yeah, sexy.

A visit tot he doctor and I was told to rest, drink fluids and take my meds like a good patient. And I didn’t argue. For the first time in a long time, I obeyed the doctors orders. I went home and went to bed. And I spent the next week and weekend taking it slow as well. Going to be early, sleeping late, getting rest. I spent my downtime inside watching TV or reading a bit instead of trying to accomplish everything. But it should not have taken me getting sick to force me to take care of myself.

That is the thing about us extremely stubborn women, it’s hard to stop and rest until we have to. I am extremely goal oriented, but sometimes we need to make slowing down and taking care of ourselves the goal. The result is that not only do I feel better physically, but I feel refreshed mentally and emotionally too. Imagine if I rested and took care of myself on a regular basis?

I don’t know if it’s part of our culture being women, or just part of our wider culture in this country, but slowing down to take care of ourselves is often seen as lazy and we feel guilty about it ,especially women. Why is that? I am honestly not sure. My friends and I are all feeling the burned out in one way or another. My wonderful man and I have talked about it and he feels that way too. We have just been so busy with work and life. And it seems that a lack of time seems to be the new currency in which people measure their importance and flash their clout. After all, if you are so busy that you have no time for yourself, then you must be an important person. But at what cost? And important to everyone but yourself?

As a child I remember my parents being proud that they never saw doctors, because they never needed them. And many of my friends have been that way too. But the fact is that seeing a doctor for regular checkups is taking time for yourself and care of yourself. Because by the time that there is something wrong, it’s usually too late to be caught early. But you have to take the time to make the appointments, then take the time from your life to actually go.

But then you might have to miss that meeting. You might have to miss that assignment. Or you might have to miss picking that up, or going here, then there. Why have we been conditioned to put things like that off? Or feel guilty for taking time for you health and well being? I don’t know, but it’s something I do as well. And this year I have placed my health as a priority, even though it is easy to get caught up in the fast pace of life.

My man and I are turning off, unplugging, and relaxing soon. Taking the time to relax and take that break. Life is busy and stressful, but we can step away. And so can you. You just have to look at where your priorities are. And you should always by your own priority.

Life is short. Take the time. Take the time to slow down before you get run down and burned out. Take the time to get the check ups. Take the time to just breathe and relax a bit.