That’s Inspiring

I have asked this question before through Facebook and seem to get the same answers from a high number of people. They say that their children inspire them.  A friend of mine posed the same question to her friends and received a slightly different set of comments but it brought me back to the answer I received on mine.

I think it’s fantastic that your children inspire you.  Our children keep us young at heart and motivated to stay good people, amongst other things.  But it is important to think about what else inspires you.  What happens when your children are grown and have lives of their own?  You will need to be sure that you have many sources of inspiration to keep you going.  You should be sure that you are close to the top of that list.

When you draw from several sources, your options are wide open.  After giving it thought I came up with my own short list.  It is incomplete at the moment because I know I need to give it further thought.

InspirationI am inspired by challenges in my life that force me to look inside for strength.  I seem to thrive on the personal challenges that I take on, the challenges where I force myself to step outside the box and say, “I’m not really sure that I can do this,” then I do it. I’ve learned to stop looking for outside motivation as often, I turn within.  I find ways to pull my own energy into higher thought and search my spirituality for inspiration and encouragement.  When I need it externally, I read different authors such as, Napoleon Hill, Bob Proctor, Don Miguel Ruiz, Anthony, etc.  I talk with my family, they know me well enough to give me strength in just the right areas when I need it.  I am inspired by dreams of my future, friends, reminding myself of what I’m grateful for, other people’s accomplishments, music, love, hope and happiness. 

I can’t stress enough how important it is to have more than one source of inspiration and to know what know what they are.  It will help you get out of situations when you find you’re having a bad day.  Make your list, include as much as possible.  You can write it or create a collage.  Keep your list with you.  Draw from it on your down days or when you need a pick-me up.  Reading or looking at it will trigger happier thoughts to help you move forward.

If you can create your own inspiration, you have truly won.  Be sure to find ways to be your own hero and inspiration.  There is nothing truly like it.

Thank you for stopping by.  Please check out the list of other inspirational posts in the side bar.

Missy Bell

22 Plus Years Of Marriage – Our Secrets Revealed – Part 1

I have been thinking about writing this for a while now.  I have been asked by so many people what our secret is to being married for over 22 years that I figured now was a good time to divulge a few of those secrets.   I hope you will find these tips helpful in your own relationship.

I started writing this with the intention of sharing a few of my top favorites but the more I wrote, the more I added.  Therefore, I will make this part 1 of 2.  What I (we) have learned over the past 22 years could probably fill a book.  But today’s list will definitely get you started.  YOU WON’T WANT TO MISS PART 2, I GUARANTEE!!  Therefore, I encourage you to sign up to receive notifications of when I put up new posts so you don’t miss part 2.  I would also like to invite you to share this with everyone on your Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets.  You can do so easily by clicking one of the buttons at the bottom of the post.  You never know who’s lives you may improve with this information.  I appreciate it.

I think the most important thing to realize is that love is not that “butterfly feeling” you get in the pit of your stomach.  If you believe that, you will never sustain true love.  Love is not a fairytale and (because you don’t want it to end), doesn’t have a “happy ending.”   Butterflies will come and go.  It is in the times when they are not there that the most rewarding part of love is found.  If you can keep this in mind, you are off to a great start.  Those butterflies may last for just a couple of months or maybe even a couple of years.  But as soon as things aren’t going as you planned, they may disappear.  It doesn’t mean you stopped loving the person and it doesn’t mean you can’t get those feelings back.  It just signifies a change in the relationship.

Love is found in your thoughts, not your heart.  It is constant work, and as with anything worthwhile, it requires great effort.  So, without further delay, on to the first set of tips:

  • Bring up any issues immediately.  There will be plenty of issues, I guarantee.  Both parties were raised in different environments, by different people who had different rules, values and parenting/role model techniques.  Therefore, expect to see things completely different from your partner.  When feelings arise, talk about them.  Don’t let them fester.  The more you dwell on something, the bigger it gets.  Focus on the solution instead.  Approach the other person with kindness with hopes of a resolution, not to lay blame or “call them out” on something.  This has been big for me over the years.  I think too much and sometimes assume there is an issue when there really isn’t.  I get it in my head that he feels a certain way and I’m usually wrong if it’s negative.  Getting it out in the open dispels those theories of mine or helps to come to a solution if I’m right.  The discussion is not heated when it is recognized immediately.
  • Listen!  If you have something that needs to be addressed it’s a good idea to “schedule it.”  I know, that sounds strange, but think about it.  Do you really want to bring something up when the other person is caught up in watching sports or their favorite TV show or perhaps in deep thought about a work-related issue?  Respecting that the person may need time to get to where they can give you their undivided attention goes a long way.  They are more apt to hear you, listen attentively and commit to the conversation and a solution.  If you are approached with something and it is not a good time for you, let the other person know politely that you need 5-10 minutes, even an hour so you can be sure the person has your attention fully.  Never bring something up in front of other people.  There is a time and place, and in public is neither of those.  Make sure you discuss this in advance so neither of you are angry when the person mentions they need time so they can focus on you.  You will really come to appreciate the honesty and the respect.  When that time arrives, make sure there will be little to no distractions (sometimes you may have to wait until you put the kids to bed.)
  • Forgive, don’t hold a grudge.  If you keep bringing up a situation that happened in the past, you will never move past it.  Forgiving, if necessary, gives you both freedom.  You no longer focus on the negative and the problem disappears.  It’s in the past, let it stay there, don’t revisit it.  If the same issue resurfaces, address it as a new situation, not a continuation.  Holding on to the negative will keep you in a negative state.
  • Have patience.  Jumping in with both guns blazing will set you up for failure before the issue is ever resolved.  If you’re angry, the other person will automatically get defensive and then it just becomes a battle over who has better come backs or arguing strategies.  When you show patience toward the other person, there are also less struggles.  You see the person with love and whatever the battle is becomes minor.  Remember that love is not war.  It is not about who wins; it’s about solving things and moving forward toward a better, trusting relationship.  Patience will also help you forgive faster.  One more thing, when you have patience with someone, they are apt to have more patience with you.  We all need that.  When we are patient with each other, there is more room for loving emotions.
  • Speak kind words daily.  Find something nice to say to the other person.  It’s easy to find the negative, like nagging over the toilet seat being left up or the toothpaste lid being left off.  After time, those little things turn into big things if you don’t let them go.  They are not important in the scheme of things.  Finding the good things in your partner will remind you why you are together, make the other person feel more confident in themselves and they will want to be that person for you all the time.  Recognize the little things they do and compliment them.  My husband and I will randomly write each other a poem or tag each other in a cute photo on Facebook.  If one of us accomplishes something, even small, in our day, the other one will mention it with a verbal pat on the back.
  • Find a common interest.  My husband and I used to have favorite TV shows.  We would set the DVR to record them so that we could watch them together, not separately.  This would give us quality time together and show each other that we cared enough to wait for the other person to watch it together.  More recently we started exercising together.  He took up kickboxing, which started to take up a great deal of his free time, and our time together.  So, after much encouragement from him, I tried it.  Now we go together.  It is a common point of interest.  We are spending time together, getting healthier together and it gives us time during the drive to discuss our day, our future and anything that is going on that we may need to get off our chests.
  • Be forever mindful.  Notice which situations set you both off and come up with a plan to catch it before it becomes out of control or ensues in a full blown argument.
  • Don’t place blame.  You are a partnership.  Seek to solve, together.  Placing the blame on the other person as I mentioned earlier, sets them on the defensive.  It will not get you any closer to a resolution.  If you are being petty, it will make you feel better in the moment but really, think about it, when you place the blame, then you become at fault for something.  Is that where you want to be?  As well as not placing blame, do not belittle the other person or throw shortcomings in their face.  They are who they are.  You fell in love with them for the good but agreed to accept the not-so-good.  I’m sure you can come up with a list of examples a mile long but try not to.  I’ll just give you one of mine so you get the idea.  My husband usually has a hard time waking up on his own.  He forever sleeps through his alarm or hits snooze for the umpteenth time.  He is due to get up at least an hour before me.  Do I enjoy being woken up to several alarms and being half awake for an hour longer than I need to be?  Not really, but I make sure I don’t let it affect how I treat him.  I recognize this about him and I have found that if I simply say his name, my voice is enough to wake him up so he can hear the alarm and start his day.  He also knows that if I sleep through it, he has to face whatever consequences there are for him being late.  He just deals with the natural consequences and I never bring it up.  I know he doesn’t do it on purpose to make me angry.  These are the types of things you need to understand will happen and you just need to come to a compromise or help the other person to the best of your ability.
  • Laugh together.  I cannot stress the importance of this.  Laughter is crucial.  We must be able to laugh together, laugh at each other and laugh at ourselves.  Finding the comedy in everything around you relieves stress and when you do it together, you share the lighter side of life and it seems a lot less serious.
  • Don’t try to change the other person.  Again, you fell in love with who they are.  Love them for that.  If there is something they are doing that could damage their health, then I would say, yes, that’s a change that may need some instigating but always approach with love and from the heart.  Otherwise, this leads back to you pointing the finger and finding fault with them.  No one likes to feel attacked for who they are or the things they do.  They are unique.  Support their differences and stand up for them if necessary to anyone else who may want to put them down.
  • Ask for help.  Have this conversation with your partner early on as well.  There will come a time when things will be overwhelming for one of you.  If you have discussed that this will happen before it does, no matter the circumstances, asking for help will be a lot easier.  Give each other permission in advance to ask for that help and assure them that you will not see it as a sign of weakness, but as strength to admit they are human and cannot do everything on their own.  Then agree to help in any way you can when they do ask so you maintain their trust.
  • Have preset rules with the kids!  Whether the kids are yours, theirs or both of yours, discuss each of your views on certain situations involving your children.  Lay guidelines.  Post rules on the fridge for all to read and clearly state what the consequences are for each infraction.  It may be necessary to have separate lists for different age groups.  That way, there is no running to the other parent for salvation.  The rules are the rules.  I have to admit; this is something we learned that we wish we would have done.  We never actually incorporated it and regret it.  It would have saved many struggles between us and with the boys.
  • Take turns!  We had our first child a year and a half after we got married.  Who was going to change the diaper next always turned into a screaming match for us.  Don’t let this happen for you.  It’s not something to fight over.  Be courteous and take turns.  No one likes it.  If you work as a team on this and other things that are not pleasant, they will get done and the teamwork will provide a stronger bond and a greater respect between you both.

I feel like I have taken up enough of your time for now.  I have written most of the second half of this and look forward to sharing it with you.  YOU WON’T WANT TO MISS PART 2!!  Please watch for it by signing up to receive notifications.  They don’t do anything with your information except use it to send you my notifications.  It takes very little time and effort.  In the meantime, while you await part 2, please share this with everyone you know.  Let them know part 2 is on it’s way.  My husband and I would love to hear that because of these tips, others have made their relationships into what they dreamed it could be.

Please comment below and let us know which number is your favorite and why.  Remember, I have more to follow but you may also leave one of your suggestions that has helped you with your marriage.

(Please check to the right to see if the second part of this has been posted by checking the post listings or categories and also look for other tips and techniques that will reduce your stress and give you greater inner peace and happiness.  Thank you as always, for stopping by and THANK YOU FOR SHARING!)  ❤

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

Advice That Turned A Painfully Shy Girl Into A Confident And Outgoing Woman

I am still told the stories of when I was little of how I would cling to my mother’s legs and bury my face whenever someone tried to talk to me.  I was labeled as “painfully shy.”

I remember being in Kindergarten and covering my ears and putting my head on the desk because it was too loud and overwhelming for me.  I didn’t have friends so I stayed to myself.  I was going to school at a military base and kids were always coming and going; yet another reason to not make friends in my eyes because the ones I did have, always ended up moving.

As I grew, that didn’t change much.  My father was in the Army and was stationed overseas for several tours.

We moved from the military base he was stationed at to the next town over when I was 7 and I had to start in a new school.  I didn’t know a soul and being shy didn’t help that.  Due to my insecurities and abandonment issues I started gaining weight.  Children at that age were not very kind to children who are overweight.  I was going to weight loss classes with my mother by the age of 8 or 9.  My self-esteem plummeted further.

At the age of 13, I became interested in boys and the one I liked the most spent most of his time at the local rollerskating rink so that’s where I begged to be as often as possible.  I had a few close friends by this time who were willing to go with me so my mother saw it as a good thing and let me go whenever I had someone to go with, in hopes I would overcome my shyness and meet new people.

My mother knew I was struggling and had always tried to help me but I needed to want to help myself.  I started to notice how outgoing the kids at the rink were and wanted to be like them but had no idea how and I desperately wanted to gain the attention of this boy.

My mother gave me some very valuable advice that turned my life around.   She said that if I followed these steps that I would be sure to make more friends and have no problem talking to this boy.  Here’s what she said;

  • Always keep your head up.  Do not look at the ground unless you are afraid you might trip over something.  Look several steps ahead of you.
  • Whenever you pass someone, look them straight in the eyes, smile like you mean it and say hi.  It’s okay if they don’t look back or respond.  Don’t take it personally.
  • Compliment people but be genuine.  If you see something about them that you like, such as; their hair style, shoes, clothes, color of their eyes, tell them.
  • Don’t worry about what other people think of you.  Don’t listen when they tell you, unless it’s nice.
  • Be kind to yourself.  If you judge yourself harshly, you would judge others harshly and that’s no way to make friends.
  • Don’t be afraid to start a conversation with someone.  That’s how you get to know new people.
  • Forgive easily, don’t hold a grudge or try to get even.  If someone does something that you do not agree with, this rule doesn’t mean you have to remain friends with them, but it is important that you still forgive.
  • Push yourself.  Sometimes you will want to give up or not listen to this advice because you are embarrassed, feel insecure or don’t believe it will work.  Instead, just push yourself to do it.

I took this advice but very slowly and it took a long time to incorporate all of it, but I did it.  Eventually, the walls came down and I made many new friends.  No one seemed to judge me.  If they did, I didn’t notice.    By the age of 15 I was working at that skating rink.

Are you ready for this?  “Miss Painfully Shy” became a DJ at the same rink at the age of 16.   Yes, me, talking on a microphone in front of hundreds of people almost every day of the week!  I now have my own mobile DJ business.

I’ve had times in my life when I have dipped back into the shy person I once was but I don’t stay there long and sometimes it’s only for an hour or so.  I have learned to love interacting with people.

I am so grateful for the advice my mother gave me all those years ago and I am so glad I decided to follow it.

(Oh, in case you’re wondering about that boy?  We kissed once but really just remained great friends.  To this day when I see him we still stop and talk.  I hope if he reads this he doesn’t know it was about him.  lol)

What is some really good advice you took from someone that changed your life for the better?  Please don’t be embarrassed to share.  We’re all friends here.

(For more inspiring stories, tips and videos on how to increase the peace and happiness in your life, see the listings of posts to your right.  Feel free to follow this blog and share it with friends on Facebook and Twitter.  As always, thank you for stopping by.  I appreciate you.)