Category Archives: tips

Wistful Wednesday: The War Between the Heart and the Mind

Bright sparkling hearts and golden flickering stars are some of my favorite things. Instantly I light up with life and feel that familiar lift of my face, graced with a smile.
My mind drifts. I’m thinking about worries and thinking and all the terrible things that can take over my head and keep me from moving forward. I know I have talked about it before, but overthinking is probably my worst vice.
Right now I’m overthinking success, overwhelmed with marketing and putting myself out there to the world and all the tasks I need to do to make my dreams of becoming a full time author come true. Website. Teens. Develop a public speaking topic. How to make sure I’m giving my best to represent the publisher respectfully and successfully, but also, how to remain true to my existing roles?
The heart matters most. I feel blessed in my ability to listen to my heart. I feel blessed I can also let go and trust my intuition. Sometimes our hearts know the answers, but our minds take over creating a crazy web, netting us up and trapping us from the truth. So I guess, I’m saying, I have this constant war inside.
There’s hope. There’s always hope. I have a few great strategies for managing overthinking and the best one I can share this morning is to think about the big picture. Tomorrow, will it matter? A week from now, will it matter? What will? I turn to my personal mission statement and I think, Erika, that simple poem is your driving force. Do it. You wrote it. Use your guide and prioritize the moment and even if I mess up, which I will, I still have hope I can reel myself back.
Distraction works too. It’s probably one of my favorites. It’s why you’ll see my random pictures and poems on Facebook. I stop often, take a walk, and I love to smell the flowers, or climb a tree if I can. ;0) Nature resets me. It brings back a clarity I can’t describe, the reason why I posted the field of dandelions below. As a little kid, I grew up thinking if I grabbed just one, made a wish, and blew really hard, all the little pieces would take my wish to heaven. Someone would hear my wish and I believed with all my heart, something good would happen. 
My wish today, for you and for me, is to take a second to think about how we can break our cycle of thoughts. What leads us to that point where we breathe deeper and trust our own voices, and decide enough worrying is enough?
I’d love to hear yours.

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Monday Makeover: Oh, patience, where did you go…

This past week was a test of my patience. Deadlines at work. Ones where I am the planner, the detail checker, the layout designer, and I have to make sure everything is perfect. Public Relations is a profession of perfectionism, and with many hats to juggle, it’s a daunting task to stay on top. And there’s days and certain weeks where I’m sure we all feel, we’re running as fast as we can to get work done, but our steps are just not fast enough.

Then something happens. An unexpected event. You throw on the brakes way before you’re ready to stop, and you don’t know what to do.

Tuesday night rolled around, and suddenly my little one started to cling. She wanted mommy. She wandered in the bed at night and she couldn’t get to sleep. The next day the doctor said nothing was wrong besides her fever, so you wait and you hope and you pray that’s it. But sleep became harder to steal with the little one in the bed every night, rolling around every hour, screaming and crying and I felt so bad. And being the momma, life stops until all is well again in the family, including work. Thank goodness for Grandma. She came to the rescue a few times when I needed it.

Friday arrived and the fever skyrocketed. Another doctor visit. Tests were run, but nothing turned up right away, until her oxygen levels were checked, more than once—the verdict? Pneumonia.
 I won’t lie. I’ll just say it. Sick babies wear you down. You love them. You are there holding them, but your best becomes way less than that, and your feel like a zombie. 
Sunday saved me. Finally back to a routine with her sleeping in the bed, and eating solid food again, we had a major meltdown. My sweet little girl tends to turn into an instant tornado in a blink of an eye. This time it was over breakfast and sitting in my lap. She worked herself up into a giant fit, erupting, and crying and holding her breath. My calm Sunday mood hit the floor and I had to do something different before I lost it all.

We all have our signs. For me? Instant tenseness. I hold my breath. My words get short. And I try so hard not to yell.

So what do you do?

Music works. Breathing works. But there’s a point when you just need it all. I needed a complete change in my environment, so I dressed the kids and we drove straight to church where I could listen to the music, feel the energy, and above all things, find my faith. It worked! 

But my patience is still running a little thin. So I’m making it a focus this week. I read a really great article on patience and in a nutshell, here’s what I plan to do based on what I read: 
Identify my common triggers. What are the words my daughter says that set me off? What are her actions? What can I do to keep them from getting out of control? What can I do at work to focus my attention and maximize the time I spend in the office, since now, my second little one is home sick.
I’m following a mantra: “You’re doing your best. Hang on,” and I’m hoping it helps. I’m also remembering to breathe and to close my eyes to shut out the moment.
 I might sing a song or empty the dishwasher. Strangely enough, emptying the dishwasher is the first thing I do when my patience fizzles. 
I also plan to look for humor and remember a whole lot of love. Because looking back, these moments can be a little funny, and I won’t ever get time or love back with my babies.