Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Before You Make Resolutions

I made a comment in a recent post about the damage of perfectionism.  I mentioned how living in the perfectionism world, kept me from getting to know myself.  I didn't realize until after I'd written the post just how profound that concept really was.  It's lingered in my mind and heart ever since.  I'm working on a book right now about the art of knowing ourselves and until I wrote that sentence I never gave much thought to the hurdle of perfectionism in the journey to self-awareness.

This perked my interest again as I thought about this next week.  By the time I write again next week, it will be a new year.  People will be hot on the trail of whatever resolutions they have set for themselves.

The thing is, come February, most people will be back to pre-resolution status quo.

Perfectionism and comparison seem to have some culpability in this quick rebound. Far too often we see the common resolutions and we see what others are aiming at and we jump on the bandwagon.  Its not just because we want to do what others are doing, in fact, I don't think that is our motivation.  We see what we hope to have, we see others going for it and we decide to join them.

So what's the problem with that?  We don't factor ourselves into the equation.

I need to lose a good 40 pounds, but honestly, that is no where on my goal list at the moment.  Its important but its taken a back seat to my zeal for mental and emotional health goals.  Being in a good head space and hitting other marks is more in my sights.

I have to take the time to look back and see what this past year's journey has been and celebrate the journey.  I can tell you I didn't always walk the path I started, wandering off course did happen for me in 2018, but not in a bad way.  I consciously decided in some places through out the year to change course.

I have to take the reality of this last year into consideration as I look to the year ahead.  If I want to aim at something big, I've got to count the cost, and decide if that is worth it.  I also have to have a plan to do what I want to do or its really just a fun conversation more than it is an actual goal.

Please don't just jump on the common resolution bandwagons.  Take some time to:

1. Take yourself into account (and if you don't know yourself that well, then maybe that should be your goal).

2. Consider what you did this year.  Do you want to stay at the same pace?

3. Count the cost - in order to change that pace you have to decide if its worth the sacrifice.

4. Plan how you will accomplish your goals.  Set benchmarks and deadlines for that so you will stay motivated.

5. Get someone to hold you accountable and do it with you.  Alone means you probably won't get it done.

Share with me something on your list.  I'd love to hear it.  My priorities are organizing my space and eliminating clutter.  I also want to get most if not all of my book done this year.  I want to be consistent and keep it simple, eliminating distractions.  Now its your turn.  Comment below or message me!!! I want to hear from you.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

What We Can Learn From Elf on the Shelf

I don't personally have an "Elf on the Shelf" in my house.  Its not that I am a hater of the Christmas tradition, I just don't have time for that PLUS I want there to be more of a Jesus focus in my house. Everything else seems to be so focused on the gifts under the tree and that just seems to foster materialism in my kiddos.  I can't do nothing so instead we do have the "Star From Afar" .  Its been fun and seems to help me strike the balance I'm looking for.  Santa does visit this house and my kiddos have their lists for what they want to get from us and Santa this year.  I'm letting you know all of this because as I've been scrolling through my various social media feeds I've seen a variety of perspectives:

- Friends who don't do Santa at all
- Friends, like me, who do Santa but no Elf
-Videos like this one from the (amazing) Holderness Family who have an Elf that's lazy
- Friends that do the Elf with some creativity but nothing anyone is Pinning
- Friends who go Elf crazy with creative feats every night

Here's the thing.  There isn't a right way, there is just personal preference.  Each of us can do it our way without shaming someone else for doing it differently.  We need to model this example in more areas than an Elf on the Shelf.  We all need more grace these days instead of everyone throwing things at their perceived opponent in life's opinion wars.

I definitely applaud the passion and conviction I see in my friends and family.  Heck, have you met me? I usually have an opinion and am willing to rant at the invitation (or perceived invitation - ha!)

But let's take a minute and hear each other out and realize there may be 5 variations of doing things, 5 plus opinions on each subject and we might actually learn something from a person in a different category than us.

Before you call someone a moron for thinking xy or z, stop and ask, how they see it?  Sometimes we have to put ourselves on pause and look deeper to see someone else.  Sure, it may not change our minds (I am not getting an Elf just because my friends have one and are rocking their elf morning findings), but I can appreciate others even in our differences.

Take for example the "Baby It's Cold Outside" debacle.  I read the lyrics and I can completely see rape culture in there, and yet when I read an article from the daughter of the song writer, I saw that the culture of that day meant something different and maybe instead of banning the song we just open discussion and teach our kids to dig deeper and discover the messages beyond our own framework of understanding.  Words 60, 20 and even 2 years ago don't always mean the same thing as when we encounter said words, so learning to inject culture in our understanding is a major life skill. 

I know some of you may think, "Carrie grow a backbone and pick a side." There are times when I do, do just that, but we have become too polarized and need to take a minute and find a way to work together.  Can we respect people we don't agree with?  I say yes! We need to practice respectfully disagreeing.  That might take a step away from the computer (funny as you are reading this on a screen), but finding balance in spending time with actual people versus virtual time, is important because it reestablishes an ability to see the person and not just pummel thoughts behind the protection of a screen.

Let's learn something from the Elf on the Shelf beyond that is poops Hershey kisses and takes marshmallow baths.  What areas of life do you need to check out other view points for the purpose of appreciating difference and allowing yourself to see the person and not just the issue?  You got this.  Now go out there and have a MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!! 

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

The Beauty of the Poop Storm

Poop is said a lot in my house with a 7 year old boy living there.  I do have a daughter but she adores her older brother so she gets on the "farts are so funny" bandwagon.  

"Carrie, why are you talking about poop and farts," you may be asking? 

I will tell you.  I grew up around a lot of perfectionist influences (people, circumstances etc).  I am a recovering procrastinating perfectionist.  

My natural inclination is: 
I want everyone to like me, 
I want to do it right the first time, every time in everything.  

Guess what?! That is not reality.  You know what else?  

I didn't learn a lot about myself growing up because I was trying to be perfect instead of investing in learning and being me.  I try to celebrate my kids mistakes and failures whenever I can.  I try to help them see that every poop storm in life gives us something.  

Now I've never been completely covered in literal poop, and when I saw the opening scene in "Slumdog Millionaire" and a few other movies with excrement scenes you best believe I was gagging.  I have been pooped and pee'd on in the baby stages and even now in potty training I've cleaned up my fair share of literal poop messes, but again, I've never been covered in literal poop.  

I have been figuratively crapped on.  I have been covered in the fecal matter of life.  Lately, I've faced a few obstacles that make me want to quit, but guess what? Those obstacles, those poop storms are helping me to see my path.  

They are aiding me in seeing myself and refocusing on what matters.  They are helping me to envision possibilities and learn new skills.  Screwing up in hobbies like sewing or iron-on projects with my Cricut machine help me learn the right way to do it and before I know it - I've grown a bit.  The same is true in life disciples.

If you just focus on the poop you might miss the beauty in the lesson.  Are you done talking about poop?  Okay we can call it something else.  

The point is, life is sometimes REALLY UGLY! That is reality for all of us.  We can only take ownership of ourselves and sometimes we have to live with the poor choices and behaviors of others.  But if you can allow it to help you ask more questions, and seek new answers, then you are better for it.  

A week or so ago, I went live on my Carrie Guy public Facebook page, and in that video I discussed the "all or nothing" fallacy.  So many times we get stuck in life fitting into this box or that one, when truthfully we usually have a ton of options.  

We usually need to go out of ourselves for a moment and recognize who is around us that can help us see what we might be missing.  I am a verbal processor so having people to talk it out with is crucial for me to find my path or solutions.  I am often seen talking out loud as I often discuss life with God.  Yep, I talk to God like he's sitting right there with me.  

Its easy to see the junk around us, but have you seen the beauty?  The challenges I've recently faced have been a crash course in Carrie 101, I am learning so much about who I am, what I need and how I can set myself up for success in the midst of challenges.  

In an interview with Marie Forleo, I recently heard Seth Godin discuss his new book, This Is Marketing, and he talked about the people who expect to have a white table cloth without the red wine stain.  He then went on to discuss how unrealistic it was.  Guess what, that is me! I have unrealistic expectations and that will never do.  Lesson learned! 

Don't let life go by without picking up the lessons along the way.  Take some times to explore, what your current set of circumstances are teaching you.  Are you playing it safe?  Is it time to go outside your comfort zone to find the solutions you need?  Lean into your support network and discover the parts of you, that you might not be seeing.  You've got this, trust me! Do me a favor - comment below  a challenge that seems to be popping up in your life.  It could be a negative thought process, a bad relationship, an addiction, a personal weakness (the list goes on).  For me its letting others speak into my life without first filtering out whether they have earned that right.  I am beginning to ask questions when I have negative encounters and find what I need to improve my life and who I need to silence.  Now its your turn.  Join me in the conversation!   

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Mom Love

This post will be short and sweet and it’s dedicated to all my mom friends out there.

Today, like every other alternate Wednesday morning, I gathered with a group of moms to pray.  Its a great time to share our life with each other not for the purpose of gripping or gossip but for the purpose of coming together and sharing our lives, then praying for each other.

There are some of us that come each time we meet, and sometimes there are new faces at the table.  Regardless of who is sitting by me, openly sharing, I often hear the same messages (myself included).  These messages echo the following sentiment:

I'm screwing my kids up

I'm not enough

I'm a bad mom or a bad wife

You get the picture.  I don't think that thought life is only within the women I encounter.  I think many moms (and people) out there live with a replay reel that is similar to the messages above.  Truthly, those sentences JUST AREN'T TRUE.

Truth.  Being a wife and mom is hard.  Being in a close relationship with any other person is a challenge, especially under the same roof.  We will mess up - A LOT! Its inevitable, but it doesn't mean we are screwing up our kids, and that what we offer isn't enough to make a dent for the good.  

People will always have an opinion of how we do things, but opinions aren't facts and not everyone's opinion matters.  We have to train ourselves to filter out the messages that don't come from valuable sources.  The people that speak life into your life, those people may actually have something to say, but even with that, YOU get to be you.  NO ONE ELSE ON EARTH can be you.  So fill those shoes with pride.

Seriously, you are doing a great job.  There may be areas where you can hon your skills and refine your motherhood, but go work at it knowing that all humans have work to do.  Don't let those short comings define you - its only a piece of who you are and NO ONE is perfect - no matter what their Instagram might say.

Hug another mom. Pray for her.  Listen to each other over coffee because we really just want to be heard and seen by someone else.  Let's put down our judgemental armor and pick up each other's burdens.  Give some grace to someone today because WE ALL NEED IT! I know I do.  I know that boat I'm in is probably bigger than the Titanic.  Let's not sink, okay?  Let's help each other see those ice bergs and navigate around them.  Let's share some mom love!!!

This is a later post, because well, life got a bit in the way, but Happy Wednesday, or whatever day you read this.