Is Your Universe Out Of Balance

Have you ever felt like there was something off and you couldn’t quite place your finger on it?  Perhaps you felt a bit down for a few days without explanation.  It could be that your life is simply out of balance.

We have several different areas of our lives in which we need to keep balance in order to maintain a sense of order.

  • Family obligations
  • Work
  • Household chores and maintenance
  • Finances
  • Personal time, including hobbies, physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual time
  • Sleep and rest
  • Society

The lists are different for each person but these are the basic priorities for most people.

What happens when any area is not getting the appropriate attention is that we start to feel off balance.  You may not notice the affects immediately.  Your partner may tell you that they are feeling neglected, the kids may be pulling at you for more attention, you may notice you are getting cranky with everyone because they are demanding your time and you don’t have enough, you may start to feel fatigue or notice weight gain from not enough sleep or exercise.

The solution can be as simple as recognizing it.  Once you realize you have been neglecting a certain important area of your life, rearrange your schedule a bit to accommodate that which is in need of your attention.  Some times it requires you saying, “no” to areas of your life that have been consuming you.  You will need to prioritize and maybe even delegate some things that have your plate overflowing.

You will start to notice a shift and feel a little more at peace when things are in alignment.  Keep in mind for the future to not let the most important areas of your life slip through the cracks.  Some things, especially time with those we care about require us to stop everything in order to focus on them.

We have the potential of making the mistake of placing one area of our lives as our sole priority.  That never works.  The scales will tip almost immediately and everything will feel out of balance.  Relationships will suffer, work productivity will go down, you may end up getting physically ill, etc.

Understandably, there may be times when life forces you to have one main focus, such as when you have to be a caregiver to a sick child or family member for an extended period of time.  That is understandable.  When those times arise, you must rearrange your life so that others help you as well so that the balance is kept.  It’s okay to ask for assistance when you absolutely need it.  There are times when you will simply not be able to do it all.

Take one day at a time, pay attention to how you feel and the way your body is responding as well as how the people in your lives are reacting to you, and you to them.  It is possible to have a life that is in balance.  It may take time to figure out how to juggle everything but it is possible.  Remember to focus on the solution and not the problem itself.

 

What areas of your life are out of balance?

 

Don’t forget to sign up for updates to this blog and share with friends on Facebook and Twitter.  As always, I appreciate you stopping by.  For further tips and inspirations on how to reduce your stress and increase your inner peace and happiness, please see the posts on the right or search through the categories to find exactly what you are looking for.    ~ Missy

10 Famous Quotes On The Importance Of Your Thoughts

I have gathered 10 famous quotes below that are based on thoughts and how what we think can become our reality.  Read each one slowly and with thought.  Do not let their meanings or intentions pass you by.

Your thoughts have the power to change who you are, or enhance it for the better.  You can also spiral in the opposite direction if you are not careful.  Be mindful of your thoughts as often as possible, then, be even more mindful.  (Ok, that’s not a famous quote, I wrote that.  But who knows, it could be famous some day!)

“Change your thoughts and you will change the world.” – Norman Vincent Peale

“What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” – Napoleon Hill

“To bring anything into your life, imagine that it is already there.” – Richard Bach

“Your imagination is the preview to your life’s coming attractions.” – Albert Einstein

“The only limits in our life are those we impose upon ourselves.” – Bob Proctor

“A man sooner or later discovers that he is the master gardener of his soul, the director of his life.” – James Allen

“Your thoughts are the architects of your destiny.” – David O. McKay

“All that we are is a result of what we have thought.” – Buddha

Life does not consist mainly, or even largely, of facts and happenings. It consists mainly of the storm of thought that is forever flowing through one’s head.” – Mark Twain

“A man is but a product of his thoughts.  What he thinks, he becomes.” – Gandhi

(Thank you for stopping by.  If you wish to read more tips, hints and inspirations that will guide you to more inner peace and happiness, please see the posts listed to the right and search my category section.  As always, feel free to follow this blog or share it with those you care about.  I appreciate you!)

Introducing Yogi

Our dog, Baby, a beautiful little white Bichon passed away about a year ago last October, leaving a huge void in our lives.  We had him for more than 10 years and he was a very important part of our family.  We didn’t think we could ever replace him.

After a year we figured enough time had gone by and everyone was ready to get a puppy.  We searched for quite some time.  One day, a girl at work sent an e-mail stating that her mother’s dogs had just had 10 puppies who would be ready to go in a month or so.  We were thrilled.  They were adorable.

I looked at those pictures every day in hopes that the one I liked the best would be available.  We called several times close to their release date but got no response.  Come to find out, the puppies were all given away to other people even though one was promised to us.  The boys were heartbroken.

As time went on, my husband found an 8 month old dog on Craigslist on the other side of the state who was being given away to a good home.  He was a German Shepherd.  We rushed out there the night he spoke with the woman to ensure he hadn’t been given away.

He was very skinny and lived in the house with two other big dogs.  The woman who owned him said she was getting ready to have knee surgery and would not be able to take care of him.  We’re still not sure if we believe that was the deciding factor for them to want him gone.  We looked into those sweet eyes as he brought us “his” rock that he adopted from the yard and carried with him frequently.  He tugged at our hearts so we decided right then that we were going to take him home.  Of course, he insisted the rock was coming too.

He has been with us for almost 9 months now and he is such a great dog.  We had issues when he was a puppy with separation anxiety and chewing but he is past that now.

Yogi 5

He takes his job as a shepherd very seriously.  He is very protective of the family and our close friends.  He likes to sit on the back deck and guard the neighbor kids when they are out in their yard.  He only barks when there are people he doesn’t know in the areas he can see or if someone enters the house who he is not familiar with.

He is very smart!  He learns new tricks quickly and is very willing to please, even if a treat is not involved.  He knows a great number of commands such as; “sit,” “down,” “pound it” and “high five,” “upstairs,” “belly” and a several others.  He knows everyone by name and proves it if you tell him to go see that person.  He even knows the boys’ friend’s names.  He’s becoming quite the performer.  In his newest trick, he plays dead after being shot by our fingers.

Yogi 3

I really believe he has a sense of humor.  We noticed he had dug a hole in the back yard and just had to take a picture of it.  Next to the hole?  He had left a shovel!

He has fit in perfectly with the family.  Having him around has added to our lives.  He has provided great companionship, kept us on our toes and even helped reduce our stress.  I just wanted to post something light tonight and introduce you to our other member of the family.  Although he will never truly take the place of Baby, he has found his own spot in our hearts that is just as big.  We love you, Yogi!

 

Do you have a dog/s in your life?  If so, what breed?  Or if you would like a dog, what size or breed are your favorites?

 

Thank you for stopping by.  If you are interested in posts that will inspire you, give you tips and helpful ideas that will lead you to greater inner peace and happiness, check out the list to the right or the categories section.  Feel free to follow this blog and share it with others.  I appreciate you!

When Helping Isn’t Really Helping

There comes a point in time when helping someone really isn’t helping them.   You could actually be doing someone a disservice by helping.  How do you know when to recognize this?

We spend many years teaching our children the skills they need to succeed on their own once they are in the real world.  When they have difficulties some parents make excuses and do things for their children.   Most kids choose to learn from the situation but will still expect the parent to get them out of tough spots because things have always been made easy for them.

This leads to an entitlement issue.  They think that the parent owes them.  They will in turn, lash out when the parent steps back and decides they have given them the skills they need to succeed because they don’t want to actually take the action themselves.  It’s easier for them not to.  They have learned how to manipulate situations and parents (and others) to get what they want.  When things are no longer easy and the effort needs to come from within, they resist and fight back.

It isn’t just teenagers who act like this.  I’m sure we can all name a relative or friend or associate who is guilty of acting like this.

Sometimes not helping is the best thing you can do for a person.  It will hurt to watch them suffer for a bit but hopefully the suffering will cause them to act on their own and to own up to and take care of their own responsibilities.

Yes, it is a very kind thing to help others but if they are not truly benefiting from your help, it’s time to stop.

You should also be cautious of helping others just because you will benefit from the situation.  That is not actually doing things out of the kindness of your heart and is not helping either of you in the long run.

Here are some helpful questions to ask yourself  to see if your help is actually what the person really needs:

  • Do they really need help?  Some people only ask for help because they are being lazy.  They can swim but want a life preserver thrown their way so they don’t have to work as hard.
  • Is that person trying to help themselves?  If not, your help is not benefiting the person.  They need to learn to do things for themselves to survive on their own.
  • Is that person grateful for your help?  If they are not, there should be no question.  You should not be helping them.  That’s not fair to you.
  • Are you helping them because you want to help them or because you have to help them?  If you want to help and the above questions are not a no, then by all means, help.  If you feel like it is an obligation, you may want to think twice.
  • Is the reason they need your help due to a situation they have gotten themselves into that was unnecessary?  Perhaps in this type of situation, they should be learning from natural consequences and help should not be given.  If you choose to help, you will be doing both you and them a disservice and bringing unnecessary negativity into your own life.
  • If you did not help them, would they be able to do this for themselves?  If they are unable and their desire is strong to do for themselves and they would be grateful for your assistance, then help in the areas where you can.

Helping is never a requirement.  It is a kind gesture.  You have the right to choose in any situation.  When you feel like your right to choose to help has been taken away, that is not a healthy situation.  You have to decide what is best for you.

You may need to evaluate those you have been helping, why you have been helping them and whether they are actually benefiting from your help or if they would benefit more by learning how to do things for themselves.

I think it’s also important to mention that when you help someone who needs it, be sure you keep a clear line of communication of where the help is actually needed and how the person needs it done.  If you are not doing something correctly, the lines of communication need to be open enough to be able to hear where changes need to be made without feeling the person is being ungrateful.

I have noticed in my own life that I need to step back and let some people help themselves, that it is the only way they will learn what they need to from the situation.  It is not my responsibility to constantly bail people out or think of a solution for them.  In doing so, I have been hindering them from self discovery and the feeling of accomplishment they would receive by doing it themselves.

Tell me, have you run into situations where you realized that you weren’t actually doing anyone any favors by offering your assistance?  What was the outcome?

On The Way To School – What Memories Are You Saving

When my children were young, we were on our way to drop them off at the school when we had an very unexpected surprise. I saw my father’s car parked outside the McDonald’s and decided to take them in quickly to see their grandpa. The excitement was so great that I decided to write the following poem for him to remember the moment.

This was about 12 years ago. I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who remembers this encounter. The memory has been kept alive with the words on this screen. I hope you enjoy the poem…

On The Way To School

The children thought

That it was so cool.

They saw their grandpa

On the way to school.

We were driving to the drive-thru window

For soda to drink

When we saw his car parked outside,

Mom asked, “what do you think?”

The kids agreed.

They all went inside.

There he was, eating pancakes

With sausage on the side.

They ran up quickly,

To his surprise,

“Very unexpected!”

You can see it in his eyes.

He hugged them all.

It made their day.

But unfortunately,

We had no time to stay.

Everyone had places to go

And people to see.

But that chance meeting

Filled their hearts with glee.

They told their friends

That it was so cool,

They saw their grandpa

On the way to school.

This is one of the poems featured in my published book of poetry, “Heart Versus Mind: Words That Touch Your Heart.”

I challenge you to start writing your favorite memories down in your own words, in your own style so that you may revisit these happy times, especially when times are tough. It could be your own words that brighter your day.

What do you choose to remember? Write something every day. The act of recording the good moments in your day will also make you reflect on and be grateful for those moments.

Strategies to Stop Worrying

Worry can consume you.  Some see it as a form of caring but if we look at it closer, it is a form of fear; fear that we cannot control or fix certain situations or that something could go wrong.

Worry has the ability to affect your health.  Have you ever heard the expression, “I’m worried sick?”  It can actually happen.

I have spent a great deal of my life in a worried state.  I believe I have come by it honestly through several generations of worriers.  As a child, I am told one of my favorite sayings was, “I’m so worried.“  I’m not sure if I knew then what worrying actually was.  I just saw so much of it being done that I thought it was what I was supposed to do.

As an adult I worried about everything; what would or could happen in any given situation; about what my future held; if I would see the end of the world; whether my children would be safe; if we would lose our jobs; if a relative’s illness would end their lives; if it would rain when we had big plans; if the person I just passed on the side of the highway would remain safe; if I would offend someone with something I said; if my friend’s problem had a solution; if people I saw on the news in a tragic situation would recover emotionally; if I would find a solution for a real issue; if someone was mad at me; or if my children would grow up with the values I tried to instill in them.  The list could go on and on.

Practical Solutions for Situations Within Our Control

There are many types of  realistic problems that may have a solution such as how to pay a bill, how you will meet a work deadline or the how to work out the details of a gathering, etc.  These issues require our thoughts but not our worries.  Here are some suggestions on how to deal with situations that require a solution:

  1. Create a time to worry, (or to think) about what you can do to find a solution.  Authors: Melinda Smith, M.A., Robert Segal, M.A., and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D wrote an article entitled, “How to Stop Worrying – Self Help for Anxiety Relief,” at HelpGuide.org, in which they state that you should give yourself a time period of approximately 20-30 minutes during the day for which to focus on your issue(s).
  2. Never dwell on issues at bed time.  Be sure to not schedule your solution time too close to bed time, or while you are in bed.  This will affect your sleep and you will not have success in solving any problems if you are tired and unable to sleep.
  3. Write it down in a “solution journal“.  If you worry outside of that time period on something that may have a solution, write it down in your journal and return to it during your designated worrying time.  This will enable you to free your mind for other things and lessen the anxiety.
  4. Cross it off your list.  When you have a solution, write the solution next to the issue in the journal.  Do not cross off the solution but cross off the problem, leaving it visible.
  5. Review previous issues that you have solved.  The next time you have an problem, review what you have previously conquered.  Have faith that if you conquered those issues, you can conquer the current one as well.  You may even find that you had forgotten what you used to solve a similar issue last time and in review, find your solution written right there in your journal.

How to Reduce Anxiety Over Things You Cannot Control

I think it took a few major events to happen in our lives to realize just how much I worried about things and just how little control I actually had.  My oldest son and I were in a car accident where a truck coming in the opposite direction turned in front of us, cutting us off and we hit him, sending us by ambulance to the ER.  Five short months later, my youngest son was in the back seat of a car with friends when they collided with a tree, rendering him unable to walk for more than 6 weeks because of a compound fracture to his lower leg.  Literally, 5 days after that accident my husband was on his way to work and was struck from behind in traffic by a tow truck.  He was out of work for 4 weeks with severe leg injuries as well as several other injuries.

It was during that time when I realized that, yes, I nearly lost ½ my family in one week, all of us in a matter of 5 months.  I had absolutely no control over any of those situations.  I realized, during that time frame I spent at home caring for them that I would have to make some changes to my thought processes in order to not have a nervous breakdown when anyone left the house and got in a car.  I realized that I would need to change my perceptions.

I still have anxiety at times when I get in the car and I still have passing moments of worry when my children leave the house or when there is severe weather pending when my kids are out driving but I take some steps that I hope will help you as they have helped me ease the fear and worry and anxiety over issues I could not control:

  1. Ask yourself, “Can I control what happens?”  The truth is, most of the time, you cannot.
  2. Ask, “Am I trying to prevent a situation from happening that I do not even know will happen?”  For instance, am I preventing my child from leaving with a friend simply because I am worried about what could happen?  Be careful of this.  It can cause major resentment and end in lies and deception.  They often find ways to get what they want without our knowledge.
  3. Trust in a good outcome and trust in others.  Realize the joy people could create for themselves if they did not let the “what if” thoughts stop them.  Trust in others that they are there for you and those you worry about.
  4. Let it go.  Change your perception, “In this situation, since I cannot control it, what can I do to enjoy it to it’s fullest?”
  5. Review situations after they occur.  If you are worried about a situation and it’s possible negative outcomes, revisit the situation afterwards or ask someone who was involved in it.  See that nothing you were worried about happened.  This could prevent you from worrying the next time the same situation occurs.
  6. Think in a positive light.  Be mindful of what you are thinking.  If you catch yourself thinking in a negative light, change it immediately before it affects yourself and others.  Write it down as stated above and give it to your journal.  Do not return to this kind of worry though.  Let whatever higher power you believe in deal with it and have faith that it will be handled.
  7. Do not voice the scenario you are worrying about.  I try to remember one of Mark Victor Hansen’s famous quotes on the law of attraction, “what you think about, comes about.”  Do not give the universe to opportunity to create your scenario.
  8. Do not pass your fear or worry on to someone else.  If you have a fear about a situation that you cannot control that involves someone else, passing it on to them will not make them be any more careful than what they normally would have been, it will only pass on the irrational feeling to them or make them worry about something they too have no control over or make them worry about you worrying.  That truly does not benefit anyone.

These are some examples that I hope will help you when it comes to worry and anxiety.  It will be a work in progress.  Bookmark the page, print them out, do whatever it takes to refer to them often so they become a habit.

Please hit the “share” button to post this to your Facebook or Twitter page so others may benefit.  So many people are battling with this on a daily basis and you could change their lives.

If you like this information please subscribe.  There are more posts to come with more great info on how to help you reduce your stress and anxiety and lead you to a more peaceful and happier life.  Please also see previous posts for other beneficial tips.

 (This blog site and all of it’s material has been moved over to my own domain at http://www.PeaceAndHappinessProject.com.  Please follow from there as this will not be receiving updates.  Thank you for stopping by.)

Improve Your Relationships with Others by Turning the Focus Inward

We all want to think we have things figured out.  We think we know other people well, what they are thinking, feeling, what they will do next, etc.  But how well do we know ourselves?

Have you ever watched a movie and been blown away by the ending?  I know I have and I’m pretty good at figuring out where a plot twist will come in.  We can’t always predict what is going to happen in life either.  What it boils down to is that we see situations and other people through our eyes only.  We have each lived through different circumstances, had different trials and life tests.  We think can predict what someone else is thinking through their previous words or actions or based on what we would think in a given situation.  What it leaves us with are assumptions.

When someone says or does something, we  need to evaluate our own thoughts to see where we stand instead of thinking we know the other person so well.

Something I’ve noticed that I have to work much harder on is owning my own thoughts and perceptions, recognizing them and working to improve myself where I can instead of trying to change the other person.  Take a look at what I’ve been noticing and please share your thoughts.  I am hoping it helps you to see things in a new way as well:

When I See Someone as:      My Truth in That Moment is:

Annoying                                I need to work on my patience level

Loud                                        I need to patiently realize their need to be heard

Distracting                              I need to find a way or a different place to focus

Very Demanding                    I need to understand that person needs my help

Taking Forever                        I need to breathe and find patience

Judging Me                             I should realize they are allowed their opinions

Out to Get Me                         I need to not take things so personal

By turning the focus inward, I am not as annoyed with the other person.  It is very easy to push the focus on someone else.  That requires much less work on our part.  But, if we can work on ourselves, it will bring inner peace by decreasing the stress we feel in these and other situations because once the work is done and we are able to correct how we see things, our frustration levels and short tempers will dissipate and we will be able to sharpen our communication skills with others and improve our relationships.

The best way to make the changes is to listen to your thoughts and recognize the need to turn the focus on yourself.

You can also keep a journal with you.  When you feel frustrated with someone write down what frustrates you instead of reacting to that person.  Then review if it’s something that you could work on changing within yourself.  You may even start to notice a pattern.

I challenge you now to come up with a few of these on your own.  Experiment with changing your perception of others to see first if what you are feeling is a sign of something you could personally work on. Feel free to share your findings below:

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