Archive of ‘Personal Growth’ category

Conflict Resolution

 

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Conflicts happen to the best of us all the time and everywhere. How we respond to them is a true testament of our character. It’s easy to emotionally react, but a thoughtful and considerate response will yield much better results. Below is a list of steps to take into consideration when confronted with a conflict. Although written with a teenage audience in mind, these steps are applicable at any age.

Step 1: Face the problem
Pretending it’s not there won’t help the conflict go away. Bottling up your emotions will cause more harm when you eventually burst.

Step 2: Communicate directly
Don’t send another friend to do your dirty work. You need to speak face-to-face with the person you have a conflict with—no texts, and NO social media!

Step 3: See the other perspective
Before getting defensive and arguing, try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and see how they view the conflict.

Step 4: Be respectful and listen
Allow the other person to talk and actively listen to them when they are talking instead of just thinking about how you are going to respond.

Step 5: Stop and breathe
Before reacting emotionally to the other person, take a second to take a deep breath and think about how to respond appropriately.

Step 6: Be assertive
Assertiveness involves speaking calmly and confidently. It is thoughtful. It is not passive, aggressive or passive-aggressive.

Step 7: Use “I” statements
If you start a sentence with “you” the other person will immediately feel criticized and get defensive. Starting with “I” keeps the conversation open. Ex. “I felt upset when _______.”

Step 8: Learn to negotiate
Give a little, take a little. Try to come to a resolution that you both can live with. This includes the option of “agreeing to disagree.”

Step 9: Remain in the present
Don’t drag in old issues that have already been resolved. Leave the past in the past. This will only add fuel to the fire and will not get you very far.

Step 10: Learn to say you’re sorry
Mature, well-respected people are able to apologize and admit their mistakes. We all make them but those that can own them will go much further in life.

Let me know if you have any questions about these steps or how to exactly implement them in your specific situation. I’d love to help!

 

My Whole 30 Experience

 

whole30 pic

Wow-what a journey! I’ve been wanting to do the Whole 30 diet for awhile now, like over a year, but it was never the right time. Finally, I decided that it was never going to be the perfect time. There will always be parties, happy hours, holidays and work. It’s inevitable. So if I was ever going to do it, I had to just DO IT!

People asked me why I chose Whole 30, and while I normally don’t like to talk about my health issues, those are the main reasons I chose to do Whole 30. So, here are my very personal reasons:

  • I’ve had digestive issues for as long as I can remember. Since I was a little girl, my tummy always hurt after eating. Luckily, I found out about 6 years ago that I had Celiac Disease after having an upper endoscopy. Life without gluten made my digestive issues better, but I still had problems. I’ve always kinda thought that dairy was another problematic food for me but was too lazy to cut it out for a significant amount of time. So, Whole 30 was going to take care of that.
  • I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome several years ago and while luckily I have been blessed to not have many side effects associated with PCOS, I do have to watch my sugars since diabetes is commonly associated with it—another thing Whole 30 would help. I can say that (sorry to all the guys reading) my cycle was more normal than ever during the diet!
  • I read that the Whole 30 diet can help strengthen and support the immune system as well as reduce inflammation. About 3 years ago, I was diagnosed with Sjogren’s Disease, an autoimmune disorder where your white blood cells attack the moisture glands in your body. It causes saliva dysfunction, extreme fatigue, inflammation and digestive issues for me, so why not try a diet that could possibly help all that?!
  • I get emotionally attached to many things in life including food and drinks, and I believe in fasting for spiritual and emotional reasons. It’s a great way to step back and reprioritize. I did it as a way for me to distance myself from getting overly dependent on what I put in my stomach. All it takes is fasting from certain things (latte’s, oatmeal, glass of wine) to see how much I rely on those things to make me happy. True joy and contentment comes intrinsically from the Father, not external pleasures.
  • Because I know so many people that it has helped—people that wanted to lose weight, help allergies or illnesses, or gain energy!! And since I wanted all three of those, I thought, “Why not?!”

I was asked a lot of questions during and after the diet, so I’ve tried to include all of them here. If I forgot to address your question, feel free to comment below!

What was the most difficult part?

Planning! I’m a terrible planner in general—especially if it’s something I’m not thrilled about. This is a diet that really does take planning for it to be successful. I will admit, I probably did the least amount of planning possible, but I also ate a lot of the same foods. I’m a big leftovers girl anyway, so it didn’t bother me to eat many of the same foods. I found what I loved (okra, sweet potatoes, shredded chicken and guac, boiled eggs, salmon, brussels sprouts and salad) and stuck to it.

What did you miss most?

Social events! This diet definitely takes the happy out of happy hour :)! I’m a pretty social person, so not being able to go to dinners or happy hours was a bummer. I did go to a few and even threw a couple parties and I enjoyed the company, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say it put a damper on the events. If you live in Dallas, I can tell you that I found HG Supply and Company Cafe were able to make Whole 30 compliant meals.

Any advice?

  1. Plan out your food for the week on the weekend and shop for everything you will need to cook it. If you’re like me, it’s hard to cook much after work, which leads to number two…
  2. The crockpot is your best friend! No really…it is! I used my crockpot more in the last 30 days than I have in the last 10 years! Yes, I know what you’re thinking…it’s time for a new crockpot. Shredded chicken and carnitas were my go to meals.
  3. Drink a lot of water! Make sure you are drinking more water than you are used to drinking. It will help your digestion during the diet, and I will bet money that your skin will look better than ever!
  4. Have an accountability partner. This diet is not easy and I can’t tell you the amount of people that told me to try just a bite or sip of something that wasn’t on my diet—frustrating! I personally have that all or nothing personality, so if I say I’m going to do something, you better believe I’m going to do it 110%! I guess in this case, stubbornness is a really great trait. I put my experience on social media because I knew it would hold me accountable.

How did you feel?

The first few days were the hardest. Withdrawing from sugar is crazy hard and not fun. I was pretty devoid of energy for the first 10 days. Thank goodness I work out in the mornings because there would have been no way I would have gone to my classes in the evening! By about 2:00 in the afternoon during those first 10 days, I hit a wall and just wanted to crawl in bed. However, once week 3 started, my energy levels really picked up! I can honestly say, that the last couple of weeks I had more energy that I’ve ever had and I slept really well at night.

How much weight did you lose?

Overall, I lost around 7-8 pounds. I believe the majority of that was lost in the first couple of weeks. I did not weigh myself during the 30 days except, after week one, I had a doctor appointment and the nurse annoyingly announced my weight out loud (Why do they do that???) I was 4 pounds down at that point so I know half of the weight was lost in the first part of the diet.

Any other positive changes?

I could tell a huge difference in the way my body looked at the end of the day. I guess I thought it was normal for my stomach to look and feel quite a bit bigger by the end of the day. Guess what? That’s not normal and what I didn’t realize is how bloated I was! So, less bloating meant a flatter tummy and a happier me! I felt so much better and didn’t feel sick in the evening-which I often tend to do.

If you are interested in more information about Whole 30 or have further questions, let me know! I’d love to help in any way I can and encourage you if you choose to try it! Cheers!

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*These are my personal thoughts and experiences. No one person is exactly alike, so you might have different results and a different experience. Always consult your physician before making diet changes.

 

Comforting Scripture

 

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Here are some of my go-to Bible verses that bring me peace and comfort:

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
~John 14:27

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
~John 16:33

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
~Philippians 4:6-7

“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you.”
~Isaiah 54:10

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
~Matthew 11:28-30

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
~Romans 15:13

“LORD, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us.”
~Isaiah 26:12

“The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.”
~Psalm 29:11

The Armor of God-One of the coolest things my mom did for my sister and I when we were little, was to teach us the armor of God. We put on the armor each morning in the car on the way to school or wherever we were going. We even had hand motions for it that I use and remember to this day! Putting on the armor meant preparing myself for the day and anything that would come my way. I will always remember it and plan on teaching it to my kids.

Ephesians 6:10-18
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities,against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith,with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”

Psalm 91-This chapter always gives me peace as I know and trust that God is my protector and defender. He goes before me to defeat my enemies.

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. If you make the Most High your dwelling– even the LORD, who is my refuge– then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

Positive Thinking

 

positive thinking

Make positivity a priority! There truly is power behind positive thinking. How many times have you caught yourself in a negative self talk cycle that leaves you feeling stressed, self conscious, and overall icky? We tend to let our thoughts take the reins and control us when, really, we can and should be in control of our thoughts.

Here are some journal activities to help bring more positivity into your life and help you regain control:

  1. Cognitions journal—Keep this on your phone or in a small notebook that you can carry with you easily. The idea is that you catch yourself as soon as you start thinking negatively and you replace it with a positive truth immediately. An example would be, “I can’t believe I screwed up that presentation like that. I’m such a failure.” You could replace this with, “I know I can succeed and I have succeeded many times in previous presentations.” It is a tough practice at first, but as you continue it daily, it will become routine and you will, overall, think more positively and start to regain cognitive control, which in turn will lead to better emotional control.
  1. Positivity journal—Take note of all the positive things that happen to you during the day. It can be something small such as, “I caught all green lights on my way to work “ to something large like, “My boss told me how well I’ve been performing.” It’s a time to reflect on the goodness of your day—a time to take notice and celebrate the big and small joys of your daily life.
  1. Blessings journal—I started using this journal in my practice after being inspired by the book, “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp. If you haven’t read it, go to the store right now and buy it! It really changed my outlook on life. All you do is write a few things down each day that were a blessing to you and that you’re thankful for. Voskamp notices the smallest things such as the beautiful colors that the light reflecting off the bubbles makes when she is doing dishes. She is truly thankful and looking for ways to remain thankful. It’s hard to be negative and down when you’re busy being grateful. This practice will help you start to find the blessing in your ordinary activities.
  1. Personal qualities journal—Remind yourself of all the positive qualities that make you the incredible person you are today. It’s just one word a day that states a positive characteristic about yourself such as strong, imaginative, empathetic or God’s beloved. Instead of recalling your weaknesses, reflect on your strengths.
  1. Triumph journal—Record all the times you have succeeded in something big or small. When we come up against a hurdle, which is inevitable in life, it’s nice to have personal encouragement from a previous obstacle that you have overcome. When troubles come and we find ourselves in the middle of the storm, it’s easy to feel like we are drowning and we can’t get through it. But wait…you have been through many storms before and you’ve come out alive and probably stronger and better because of it. So write those times down so you can have encouragement for later. You have the evidence to support your newfound “I can do this” attitude.

What is one thing you are thankful for today? Share it below and continue to seek out the positive!

Vision Boards

 

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I love to create vision boards! It’s therapeutic, it’s a great visual for what you want to accomplish, and there’s no right or wrong way to do it so it can’t be messed up. They only have to make sense to you and no one else.

This is the first year that I decided to host a vision board workshop. I thought it would be nice for women to come together and create something independently within a group. It was powerful and inspirational.

There’s a few things to do in order to prepare for your vision board experience:

  1. Set the mood. You can burn a candle, diffuse your favorite oil, play calming music, wear something comfortable, make a chai latte or whatever your beverage of choice and just relax.
  2. Take some time to think of your overall vision for the year. What is one word that sums up your desires and dreams? A theme for the year? You might want to take some time to pray about it or reflect on your thoughts and feelings.
  3. Gather all the supplies you will need.  Most likely you will want poster board, magazines, scissors, glue, markers, ribbon, and craft paper. My supplies:vision board
  4. In order to know what things you will need, here are some things to think about when planning for your vision board:
  • Design (words, pictures, color, layout)
  • Static or moveable
  • Areas of focus (personal, family, work, community, friends, mind/body/spirit)
  • Quotes, scriptures, sayings
  • Visibility
  • Accountability

The next part is the fun part~creation!vision board 2

  1. Start with the background (if you want a background)
  2. Add all your creative pieces! I typed out my 4 major goals for the year with a little about each one. Then I found words in magazines that represent other desires for me. I want to memorize more scripture this year, so I have moveable chalkboard labels that are clipped with mini clothes pins. Design yours to represent you!
  3. I like to keep a blank space to add to my board if there’s any delayed inspiration or growth that comes out of another vision.

How will you keep yourself accountable to your resolutions?

Will you tell a friend? Post your board in a visible place as a reminder? Have a special time each week or month that you take the time to reflect on your visions? Take a picture of it and use it as the wallpaper on your phone or computer?

Make sure you have your action plan in place to hold yourself accountable along with motivational quotes or verses to keep you going. You know tough days will come but you will get through it as you have many times before. Keep in mind that goals and visions are about the growth process not always the end result.

Happy vision boarding!

vision board final

Motivational Quotes for 2015

 

CS lewis quote The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence. ~Confucius

With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts. ~Eleanor Roosevelt

It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop. ~Confucius

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. ~Thomas A. Edison

Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later. ~Og Mandino

Either I will find a way, or I will make one. ~Philip Sidney

Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground. ~Theodore Roosevelt

Learn from yesterday, live for today, and hope for tomorrow. ~Albert Einstein

If you can dream it, you can do it. ~Walt Disney

Be thou the rainbow in the storms of life, the evening beam that smiles the clouds away, and tints tomorrow with a prophetic ray. ~Lord Byron

Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do. ~ Pope John XXIII

Hope is the dream of a soul awake. ~French Proverb

I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.
Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.
So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.
Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.
Make your mistakes, next year and forever. ~Neil Gaiman

2015 Resolutions

 

NY 2015Well, it’s that time of year again! I have made several resolutions for 2015, but I wanted to share my top four with you today. These are goals that I will strive for throughout the year to make me a healthier, happier individual. I put some things in place to ensure that I won’t forget about them once February rolls around. I will include them on my vision board for 2015, remind myself of them weekly during my reflection time, and tell a friend who can hold me accountable to them. Plus I am putting them on here for you all to see, so please check up on me! They are not easy tasks. I know I won’t magically be able to implement them in my life tomorrow, but I will work on them a little each day knowing how beneficial they are to my overall health and wellbeing.

No expectations. My entire life I have had high expectations. I always thought it was a good thing. In some respects, it is; however, a lot of my expectations only set me up for heartache and don’t allow me to enjoy the moment…what IS. I’m too busy getting upset about what didn’t occur that I’m totally missing out on what is happening. That current moment could be the best part of my day! So, I’m letting go of all expectations to fully live and enjoy all the little moments that life has to offer. And in the case that I accidentally sneak in an expectation or two, I can always control how I respond. I will do my best to accept reality and enjoy it!

Intentionality. How many times do I absentmindedly go about my day doing things to check them off my list without really taking time to be present? I have a lot of great ideas and reason behind my actions, but am I really living intentionally? This year, I want to be more aware and mindful of what I’m doing. When I have my quiet time or work out, I want to be fully present, savoring every minute. Having intentional relationships is one of life’s greatest gifts, and I desire to experience them fully. So often, I book my calendar full and fit coffee dates in an hour window between appointments. This year is a new start for me to be a more intentional, purposeful person, and I’m looking forward it!

Transparency. I’ve felt called to be more transparent and broken before others in my life. In our social media hyped world all we see is perfection. It begs to ask the question, Why…Why do we do that? We are human; therefore, our lives are never perfect. We know this; yet, we continue to flaunt our flawless selves. If you think about it though, who wants to befriend a perfect person? How deep can that relationship go, and how much of an impact can you have if you never reveal your battle scars? A large part of the healing process comes through sharing your hurt. It’s time we get real with each other and bear one another’s burdens.

Letting go. I am a control freak. Yep, I admit it. I like to be in control of every situation that I possibly can in my life and that is so incredibly stressful, not to mention extremely unhealthy. As a believer, I have dedicated my life to God, but, truth is, I don’t live like that on a daily basis. Instead of allowing God to have control of all my thoughts and actions, I hold it so tight that He has little wiggle room at all, if any. So this year, I’m letting go and letting God take over to allow for more freedom and opportunity in my life.

What are your resolutions for 2015 and how will you hold yourself accountable?

Butterflies

 

Butterflies have always been special to me. They’ve represented renewal, change, and rebirth. The lowly, ugly caterpillar confined to the ground eventually becomes this beautiful, unique creature that flies around freely wherever it chooses. It reminds me of Gungor’s song “Beautiful Things” where he speaks of how God makes “beautiful things out of the dust.”  He takes the ugly, the broken, the rejected, and He makes them beautiful, whole and abundantly loved.

butterfly bush 5

During my time at the beach, the monarch butterflies were migrating south. It was amazing to see so many butterflies at the ocean everyday. I don’t know about you but my vision of heaven includes sun, sand, saltwater and butterflies! It was so sweet to be able to experience this journey at the beach and be reminded of the precious transition from caterpillar to butterfly. God is continually making us more and more beautiful as we allow him to work in our lives.

butterfly bush 6

I challenge you to take time to think back on your life~where you’ve been to where you are now. Be grateful for and appreciate the journey that has brought you to your current state. Choose to see the blessings in your life and what has been transformed from old to new, ugly to beautiful, weak to strong, or broken to whole. Write it down, paint it or create a movement of gratefulness as an offering of thanks to the Lord. When we are in the middle of the mess, it’s hard to see the beauty, but fortunately, grace allows us to see the sliver of hope…the butterfly in the making.

coffeeshop butterfly

 

Apology Languages

 

apology (This post is from a workshop that I led for married couples based on “The Five Languages of Apology” shown to the left, by Gary Chapman and Jennifer Thomas. I highly recommend this book! A lot of the information below is from this book. “The Five Love Languages“, which I wrote about on a previous post, is another great read!)

According to the old sappy move Love Story, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” Err…What?? I don’t think so! I believe that love means saying you’re sorry over and over again. However, to be effective, we need to learn the language of apology that our spouse speaks.

 

To find out your Apology Language, click here to take the profile.

Language #1: Expressing Regret “I’m truly sorry”

  • Most people want a sincere apology—what does sincere look like to you?
  • Expressing regret is the emotional aspect of an apology—what pain did it cause you to have?
  • Check on your body language
  • Avoid the “but…” (When you apologize with a ‘but’ it’s not a real apology)
  • Don’t apologize to manipulate
  • Regret focuses on dealing with one’s own behavior and expressing empathy for the one you have hurt
  • Write a letter of apology

Sample statements of regret:

  • “I really feel bad that I disappointed you.   I should have been more thoughtful. I hate that I caused you so much pain.”
  • “I’m sorry I violated your trust. I know I’ve put some walls up now in our relationship, but I don’t want them to be there. I know it might take you awhile to trust me again.”

Language #2: Accepting Responsibility “I know I was wrong”

  • Admitting wrongdoing is tied to self-worth
  • It’s not my fault: Learn to admit your mistakes
  • Agree/Disagree—“I agree that I have a right to feel hurt and angry. I don’t choose these feelings, they just happen. I disagree with the idea that because of these hurt feelings, I have the right to hurt someone else.
  • “All of us make mistakes. But the only mistake that will destroy you is the one you are unwilling to admit.”

Sample statements of accepting responsibility:

  1. “I know what I did was wrong. I know I could make excuses, but there aren’t any. The truth is I was being selfish.”
  2. “I repeated a mistake that I know we have already talked about. I messed up and I know it’s my fault.”

Language #3: Making Restitution “What can I do to make it right?”

  • Paying your debt to the one you have wronged
  • Many ask, “How can they love me and do that?”
  • “The heart of restitution is reassuring your spouse that you genuinely love him/her. It is essential to express restitution in their love language.” What’s your language?

o   Five love languages (Check out my previous post on love languages here)

  • Words of Affirmation
  • Acts of Service
  • Receiving Gifts
  • Quality Time
  • Physical Touch

Sample statements of making restitution:

  1. “Is there anything I can do to make up for what I’ve done?”
  2. “I know I hurt you deeply and I want to make up for it in some way. What would you like me to do?”

Language #4: Genuinely Repenting “I’ll try not to do that again”

  • Repentance—“to turn around” or “to change one’s mind”
  • It begins with an expression of intent to change
  • Important!! Even though the person said that they intend to change, we need to remember no one is perfect. Many times, spouses fail and it takes multiple attempts.
  • The idea that change is only in order when we do something morally wrong is erroneous. A healthy marriage might need change to create harmony.
  • A plan for change (be specific and share with your spouse)
  • Implement the plan and put it in writing
  • If you fail, acknowledge the failure before the offended spouse confronts you

Sample statements of genuine repentance:

  1. “How could I say that in another way that would not come across as critical?”
  2. “I really want to change to make us happier. I know it’s not going to be perfect, but maybe you could help me when I revert to my old ways. We could have a code word that you could say to help me.”

Language #5: Requesting Forgiveness “Will you please forgive me?”

Why seek forgiveness?

  • It indicates that you want the relationship restored
  • It shows you realize you have done wrong
  • It shows you are putting the future of the relationship in the others hands

Why is it so hard?

  • Requesting forgiveness can be difficult—fear of losing control
  • Fear of rejection
  • Fear of failure

Remember forgiveness is a choice and it might take time

Why is it hard to forgive?

  • It may require the forgiver to give up the quest for justice
  • The forgiver may need to forgive consequences that are long-lasting
  • The forgiver may have difficulty if the offense is repeated or major

Be patient—speak their love language and try to change the behavior

Sample statements of requesting forgiveness

  1. “I’m sorry for the way I spoke to you. It was mean and harsh and I shouldn’t have done that. Will you please forgive me?”
  2. “I didn’t mean to hurt you, but I obviously did. I was trying to be fun, but I know my actions were wrong. I’m going to try not to do it again. Will you please forgive me?”

A few things to keep in mind:
o   Husbands and wives usually speak different apology languages
o   You can have more than one apology language
o   The more languages you use in your apology, the more effective it is

Ask yourself…
o   What do I expect the person to say or do?
o   What hurts me most about this situation?
o   What language is most important when I apologize?

Why don’t people apologize?
o   It’s not worth the effort
o   It was his/her fault
o   Low self esteem

Verses on forgiveness:
o   Ephesians 4:32
o   1 John 1:9
o   Romans 3:23
o   Matthew 6:14-15
o   Luke 6:36-37

Believe me, apologizing is not an easy task. I constantly fight my stubborn pride when it comes to saying I’m sorry and admitting that I’m wrong, but in the end, the peace and resolution that it brings is always worth it in the end.

Do you have any apology tips? Please share below in the comments!

Mindfulness

 

Mindfulness quote

How many of us actually take the time to just sit and be? To be aware of where we are right here and now, to focus on our breathing, the sounds and smells around us, to connect with our own bodies and our environment? My guess is that this doesn’t happen very often for most people. I can tell you though from experience that it’s one of the most relaxing and refreshing exercises that you can do for yourself.   Sure, it’ll feel weird at first, but that’s because you’re so used to running around like crazy every day! Mindfulness allows you to feel peace, relaxation and gratitude.

So what really is mindfulness?

Mindfulness involves learning how to control one’s own mind instead of one’s mind controlling them. It directs your attention on the here and now—the moment you are experiencing right at this second. You are being mindful when you recognize the moment, what it looks like, feels like, sounds like, tastes like (Behavioral Tech, LLC). Mindfulness is a lot like meditating. You can focus on your breathing patterns or the counts of your breath in the beginning. The point is to focus on one thing and when your mind begins to wander, as it naturally will, you teach yourself to non-judgingly bring the mind back to focus.

Isn’t mindfulness a little weird?

Not at all! It’s a practice that has been around for ages, infused into many cultures and religions. Thomas Merton, a devout monk and prolific twentieth century writer, wrote the book Contemplative Prayer to help us learn how to pray using meditation strategies similar to mindfulness. Merton states, “Contemplation is the highest expression of man’s intellectual and spiritual life. It is when life itself is fully awake, fully active, fully aware that it is alive…It is gratitude for life, for awareness and for being” (The Thomas Merton Encyclopedia, 2002). Our culture is always saying things like “seize the day” and “live in the moment” but are we actually doing that?

What does mindfulness look like?

Mindfulness can look like a lot of things. I’ll give you a simple breathing exercise to get started with but mindfulness takes on a variety of forms. Sometimes, I will just meditate on a scripture or things that I am thankful for. Other times, I will focus on positive thoughts while breathing in and negative thoughts that I need to release when I breathe out. You can close your eyes to avoid distraction for certain exercises, or you can open your eyes to be mindful of your surroundings for others.

Here is a simple breathing exercise:

Close your eyes and get into a relaxed position.  Try to focus on your breathing—breathe in and out. Notice your breath as it enters your nostrils, fills your lungs, expands your stomach, and escapes through your nose or mouth. Don’t worry about if your breaths are shallow, deep, slow or fast. Just notice it. As your mind begins to wander—which will most likely happen in the beginning—just recognize it and bring your thoughts back to your breath. It’s important to not worry or judge yourself for outside thoughts. As you increase the frequency of this practice, you will do this less and less. The first time I led this exercise for a group, one lady actually fell asleep! That’s totally okay too—no judgment here! In this crazy, fast-paced world, it’s amazing what 5 minutes of stillness can do for our mind and body.

Try this for 3-5 minutes at first and then increase the time as you become more comfortable. Hopefully you feel more relaxed, refreshed and alive!

If you’re interested in more mindfulness exercises, feel free to contact me.

 

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