Shedding that all or nothing mentality.

Holy cow.  I can’t tell you how many goals, how many Mondays, how many months, how many weeks or even years I was stuck in that all or nothing thinking.  It will drive you mad, and it can potentially cost you the most amazing life that is right around the corner.

I don’t know when exactly I shed this all or nothing mentally, but that ish has left the building, it has dropped the mic (bad performance) and we are done with it.  We have divorced, there is no alimony on either side, and the by-products of this former relationship I am using to better the current state.

In all seriousness though, I too wish I could be more black and white.

Okay, ONLY eat this, but NEVER this.

Run EVERY SINGLE DAY, and never miss a day.

ALWAYS tell my husband I love him so so so much, and never argue or fight or even pick a fight.

ALWAYS 200 dials a day, ALWAYS 200 quality emails a day, ALWAYS be reading…

Clean the bathroom EVERY Friday, ALWAYS drink 1 gallon of water a day.

And these rules upon rules upon rules are and can be exhausting! And if all didn’t happen according to plan, you find the nearest vice, and just go hard.

Time to N’Sync this thinking like bye bye bye!  We have to shed that all or nothing weak life strategy, because it’s anything BUT!

At first you want to deny it, like, “Oh no, I’m SUPER easy going, and I can totally be okay if I don’t get it ALL done.” And then you find yourself secretly eating a whole cake or bag of chocolate covered pretzels like “I can’t believe I can’t get my 30 item to do list each day!” I’ll start again on MONDAY! (Because Mondays are supposedly magic for willpower and productivity! Not.)

We use that ALL OR NOTHING thinking and then subsequent failure, and it gives birth to everything we don’t want. It may not be poor food.  It might be drugs, it might be wine, it might be anger, it might be anything and everything you are trying to get very far away from.

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And so – how do we break up?  How do we separate?  How do we move on, and never allow that thinking to catch us again?

1 – Just move on.  Literally – just move on.  Just quickly move on as if nothing happened and it’s all good.  Don’t DIVE into your vice, and cause more pain or errors.  Just ooops, okay, no big deal, let’s move on.  If you had a glass of wine and promised yourself you wouldn’t – don’t go for bottle #2, just get right into some nice and cold water, and move on.

2 – Physically separate from vice.  Let’s say you promised yourself you would never ever ever ever text someone again, and boom, here ya go – you did.  Instead of diving deep into a whole THING, and if you are dating or have a crushing relationship with someone, you know what that means: you must physically separate.  Perhaps drop your phone off with a friend, or the car, or other room, and just give it space. Go to sleep, go for a walk, read a book in the library – but just give yourself physical space, and even better: TIME.

3 – Make errors and practice getting right back on track – asap.  For instance, if you get invited to a rad children’s birthday party, and you promised yourself you are ONLY sticking to the veggie tray – and you are feeling pretty solid about this – go for the veggies, and then have something off plan.  Let’s say that slice of pizza looks pretty divine or that heavenly hot-dog wrapped in bacon.  Have the pizza or h-dog, recognize it’s off plan, and know that things are still fine, and then go back to the veggies and water, as if it’s NO BIG DEAL.

4 – Stop torturing yourself.  Stop evaluating yourself at every turn.  I used to be amazed and intrigued and quite jealous of people who just went about their life, and never really thought much of many of the choices they made.  Like “OMG, that doesn’t make them feel xyz?”  Usually MEN are or appear really good at this like, they are just COOL and CALM and PEACEFUL regardless of what happens or regardless of what they do.  Be like this.  Be like – “Okay, sure okay, I’m not perfect, but life still goes on, and my choice is:  1 – torture self, or 2 – don’t torture self.”  Choose 2.

 5 – Have so much damn fun.  You know what I regret most about my former all or nothing mentally.  Is that I didn’t freaken enjoy myself enough.  Holy cow, it was fun!  Life is fun, and my life was fun.  But always for me – it was about my rules and not sticking hard enough to them.  But I never did anything that caused perm damage or hurt myself immensely, or hurt anyone at all.  It was just life and living and eating and having a good time!  Yet, I ruined the fun and the memories by being way too freaken hard on myself!  Like, chill the f out mamacita, and enjoy it!

6 – Get rid of the rules, the plan, the to do list.  Just end it.  Just drop it off in your very expensive garbage bin. (Have you seen the prices for these bad boys lately?)  Ironically enough, once I just started asking myself:  What do I want to do today, or what do I need to get done today, I started intuitively – doing everything I needed to do.  I wasn’t setting up unrealistic goals or rules – but instead – just went with the flow!  When I wake up – depending if it’s 6am or 630, I have either 30 minutes or 10 minutes for a work out.  As soon as I’m done either – I’m thrilled!  If I wake up at 7am, I get to do something at noon and go for even a bit longer!  How cool is that?

So what, so you didn’t read a great book in a month – move on.  So what, you haven’t worked out according to the plan.  So what, you didn’t make a list of all you are grateful for.  So what, you just can’t seem to get back on the wagon, and digging a hole further in the ground – is way more time consuming and mentally draining, than using any of the above to just get on with it!

I noticed my all or nothing self torture has gone away, because when I do everything I need to each day – I’m pretty happy.  And then there are days when I can’t seem to get much done, and I’m pretty happy as well.  I have less planned, but I get more done.  If I can’t run M-F, and only on W, I do sprints the other days.  If I can’t get in a 20 minute workout, I’m pretty thrilled with a 10 minute one.  If I eat 10 of the 20 super-foods on my to daily to-eat list, I’m celebrating.  If it’s 5, or if it’s all 20 – I’m celebrating too!

So have fun, relax, and enjoy it all!  Sometimes it is really a day you did it all, you accomplished it all, you got it done, the day was solid.

And other days have fun, relax and enjoy it all too!  Even if your all feels more like a NO.

The POWER is in our minds, and we make ourselves and our lives feel good NOT by what we get done, but how good we feel about what does get done, regardless of the amount or success!  Time to celebrate life lovers!

 

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cheers to the a great day, regardless

I’m starting to live a little differently lately.  I have read and knew for years, that once we are grateful for what we have, and what we have already accomplished, we begin to live more in the moment, and make those moments happier.

Yet, too often, I still want my day to line up perfectly so, in order to label it a solid day, to feel it was a strong day, and feel it was a day full of productivity, positivity and happiness.

And what happens, when it’s just not?  Can we still feel good, even when we feel bad?

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I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling that when it was an awesome work day, something else was off, or when my health is on point, I can’t seem to get something else in order, and because I’m so excited and aware of everything I want to shine so hard, I seem to get stuck when figuring out how to make it all so good – all of the time.

Lately, I challenged myself that if one part of my life is awesome, all of it is!  And it sounds so silly, and appears a bit juvenile, but it works.

If my 3pm meal was on FIRE – like yesterday – where I had nothing but superfoods romaine lettuce, and kale, and sunflower seeds, and olive oil and avocado and you get the idea —- it was an awesome DAY regardless of anything else!

If I am feeling so in tune with my husband and we are just enjoying each other, and doing a lot of laughing and connecting – REGARDLESS of anything else – life is good!

If I listened to a super You-Tube video and I learned so much, and was so inspired, regardless of anything else – it was a good day!!!

And this is real life, and can it all be perfect all of the time? No.  But can we feel as if it is?  Of course.  Let’s do this.  Let’s be happy even when we get a medical bill for $500 due last month.

Let’s be happy even if every family relationships aren’t optimal.  Let’s be happy even if our kids aren’t excelling in school or sports – all the time.  Let’s be happy if our credit cards are a bit higher than ideal.  Let’s be happy if we are nervous or anxious or upset too often.  Let’s be happy even if the future may feel more meek than sunny.  Let’s be happy if we have an endless problem to deal with.  Let’s be happy if our bathrooms are dirty and the motivation to move that sponge around the toilet is a -10/10.

Let’s make it a great day – even if it doesn’t line up that way according to our old criteria!

I am guilty of judging how good my day is based on what I ate.  If I had nothing but amazing food, and nutrition – you can catch me on Cloud 9.  Because good food makes me feel good.  I’m up in the clouds feeling like a millie!

And most recently – I’m determined to feel good – even when all isn’t perfect, didn’t go according to plan, isn’t ideal, isn’t super, isn’t what I wanted or needed.  I’m going to feel good even if I mess up, even when I make an error, and even when life just happens, and oh well!  Feel good regardless, because we deserve to feel solid about each day.

Is it wise to go through most of our lives feeling ehh or sad or frustrated.  Heck no.  We deserve to feel good – and have positive mental thoughts – without any abuse from our own selves – regardless.  The goal isn’t to ignore all and just float through life like a butterfly, but when we’re swimming against the current, enjoy it – and be proud you are in the water! 

The goal and the easiest way to make this happen, is just to look for that good!  What went well today?  What is going well right now?  What went well this morning?  What is going to go well tonight?

My day is broken up into five different parts.

AM – before kids wake

AM2 – kids up, getting them to school

WORK DAY/LIFE – kids at school, mama working/living/learning

PM – kids home from school, dinner time, family time, bath time, kids bed time

PM2 – just me and my boo

Not every single part is successful!  Sometimes we have AM meltdowns, and that doesn’t even mean just the little ones.  Sometimes this means all gets cross-wired at work, sometimes the PM toddler pick up isn’t fun, and then sometimes we can never get to just me and my boo, because my little human wants to play!  But regardless, when I lay my head down to sleep, I am happy.  I’m happy, and I’m grateful, and sometimes it’s because the day was truly awesome – all parts in perfect motion like an updated iPhone, and other times I’m grateful because the day is over, because over means we can start new again tomorrow!

Continue to look and appreciate what went well.  Don’t harp, focus or put energy into what didn’t.  Sometimes, moving on is the best we can do – and do just that.  Focus on what went well.  What did you do well?  What surprised you positively? What did you do better than yesterday?  What did you learn today?  What did you accomplish? What tiny step did you make in the right direction?  Find it all – even tiny accomplishments and recognize them.  Get so good at recognizing the good in each day, that it’s all you see!

Eyes on the prize of the happy present.

 

 

How to get through life, even if you are hypersensitive.

It almost makes me laugh, because I realized something recently:  I’m extremely sensitive.  I don’t do well with criticism.  I don’t do well with the wrong looks, or the wrong words, or the wrong tone – of course the word “wrong” is only according to my own opinion and mind.  If I even for a second think someone has malice intentions, I believe this to be true 100%.  Yet, being a social creature, living in a social world – surrounded by friends and neighbors and family and social media and the news – this personality flaw can be extremely frustrating and at times even debilitating!

Yet, I also would consider myself extremely forgiving and extremely strong and extremely easy going, so there ya go for a complete circle of how do these fit together?

At first you may think you have a multiple personality disorder!

I’m one to quickly forgive a news story about a murderer who is regretful, but then get extremely more upset about a misleading headline!

How do we deal with this?  How do we not let these flaws (which seem tiny or big at times), conflict with what we set out to accomplish each day?  How do we quickly move on and not let things affect our lives?  How do we run past what has turned us around in the past?

1 – Identify and voice it.  My husband is my best friend.  He’s also extremely calm and an extremely peaceful human.  He doesn’t judge and is good to talk to.  And while in recent convo, I let him know that this is me!  Once the light bulb went off and I realized this!  I am easy going, and forgiving and fun and determined and strong – and yet super super hypersensitive, at times.  Voicing this, and saying it out loud was freeing and it made it real, but what it also did – was it turned it into now a SOLUTION, instead of a constant unknown problem.  The next time I do get quickly upset because of xyz, it’s okay for me to even say to myself:  okay, you are being extremely sensitive in this situation – time to move on, or what can you do to quickly move on?

How cool is that?

2 – Practice forgiveness.  There are incidents that come up to the front of my mind, when something else completely unrelated happens.  Does this happen to you?  If someone says something, and it makes you feel angry or annoyed, don’t you automatically think back to something else they said that also made you angry and annoyed?  It’s almost because grouping the WHOLE experience with a situation or a person intensifies the current situation.

Yet, is that fair?  Is it fair to say: Listen, this is what you have done or said the last 20 years of my life, and therefore, this text message right now is responsible for my massive (and perhaps absurd) reaction?

But this is what we do, at least us sensitive folks.

Can we separate this?  Can we separate these situations that quickly raise our negative reaction time?

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3 – Be as cool with you as you are with others.  Ironically, when I see someone upset over something, or hear a story – most of the time, I’m able to quickly (in my own head) assess the situation – and realize – in the big scheme of life – this is a non-critical issue.  I can advise whoever I’m with to relax and realize that – IT AIN’T NO THANG.

Can we do this with ourselves?  I have recently started doing this.  At first, my natural or initial reaction is to still get TOO UPSET, but then, I practice this and talk myself DOWN the crazy ladder, and say:  “No big deal.  This is no big deal.”  It works.

It’s when your friend calls you and tells you why her and her husband are fighting, or when a friend tells you about her work situation.  You can sympathize, you can understand, but you can also say:  “Listen – relax, be cool, this will pass, just move on and give out more love than hate, and all will be fine.”  All of this without raising an instant of your blood pressure.

4 – Lower the heart rate or raise it, the right way.  I don’t practice meditation (I should), and I don’t practice yoga (I wish I did),and I don’t practice deep breathing (I need to), but I do work out.  And when you can get really ACTIVE (like sprints or a fast bike ride, or running or something that makes you sweat), the hypersensitivity you feel towards something, decreases immensely – post workout.   Even if it’s just five minutes long.  Getting physically and metabolically distracted from your own woes – redirects your attention, mind and makes things all better.

If my husband and I disagree on something, and it’s one of those disagreements that you can let fester for a while and you logically know that 1 – You aren’t strong to get out of as is or 2- Time will make it better but you don’t have days to invest — I go for a run.  I have to, and as soon as I come back, I give him a sweaty kiss, and ask him to move on, because no married couple with work and children and life has time for that!

5 – Play the other side.  As annoying and obnoxious as it is to put yourself into another person’s shoes, while still on your own bandwagon, please do.  This is probably the most humbling experience, and one that works the quickest, with the most benefits.  It expands your comfort zone.  It expands your humility, it lessens your hypersensitivity, it makes you human, it makes you realize that perhaps we are all hypocrites at times, and at the end of the day – it makes things so much better.

I am weary of anyone on either side of any argument who claim they are right or correct.  It’s almost illogical to think that you are right, and no one else is more right, and that you know it all.  And when you feel this way – it’s the best time to say:  Okay – how does the other person, how do the other people, how do the others involved in this or that situation feel?  Is it possible to feel what they feel?

Whenever I see something online, that is strongly one sided, I practice this.  The good news is that it doesn’t have to be a conversation, it doesn’t have to involve dialogue and it doesn’t have to kill or embarrass your spirit – it just has to teach you – with the outcome bringing only benefits.

6 – Lastly, don’t engage.  Stop before you start.  I noticed, that when my sensitivity starts to spike you have to stomp on this bad boy before it starts to grow a wave.  Just keep moving on.  And start running away from this if you have to. There are so many examples to this, and the best ones are our children.  It’s easy to react when they do or something that immediately makes our blood boil.  But next time – don’t.  Just keep moving forward.

My son came home the other day, and I asked him to go wash his hands.  And this child screamed on top of his lungs, and almost busted out into tears something like “Stop talking!!!…”  And of course my initial reaction was to get upset back – and get frustrated that he doesn’t realize how extremely lucky he is to have two parents who welcome him home each day – and love him so much.  But I did’t.  I didn’t’ say anything back. I didn’t engage, as I could tell he was in that, “I just got home from school state, and whatever you are saying to me (regardless of the content), is just too much at this time.”  And so I let him be, I walked away, and tried again a few minutes later, with better reception.

Sometimes, we can be most powerful in our lives, when we choose NOT to engage, when we let time pass, when we breath through an incident, when we make ourselves MORE uncomfortable by putting ourselves on others’ sides and talking our way through our hypersensitivity.

Having acknowledged that this is true of me, my personality, perhaps because of my upbringing or past – I’m determined to use this knowledge to become aware and use it to create more SOLUTIONS than problems.  And that – my dear lovers – is a true gift!

Use what you have been given, and turn it into fuel.

I can’t stop living in the moment.

At one point in my life, I couldn’t stop living in the “as soon as I reach this goal, I’ll be happy.”  As soon as I get there, I’ll be happy.  As soon as I am married, I’ll be happy.  As soon as I have my baby, I’ll be happy. As soon as I lose this weight, I’ll be happy. As soon as I do xyz, or accomplish xyz, or make $$$ I’ll be there.

And lately, I recently noticed, that I’m there.  Not because I have accomplished everything I needed to or I wanted to – but because I am.  Because life is so incredibly short, and the days go by so incredibly fast, and boom, here we are, living each minute of each day, without the ability to ever get it back again. And so let’s make the best out of each day.

What also changed, is I decided to focus on quality.  I decided to only watch what brings me immense pleasure and happiness (Jeopardy), I decided to spend the few hours my son has outside of school and my work, by doing work with him, I decided to sleep in, and not wake up with an alarm, but naturally rise – as I need to.  I decided to let my daughter get into my bed at 10pm if that is what she decides to do, and brush my hair, because she’s so sweet and funny at this time.  It’s these moments with her, I won’t ever forget or can get back.  Even though I could get to work a bit sooner, but I walk my babes to the bus, because it’s my favorite part of each day.  I stroll in the hot sun, while they scoot or ride their bikes.

I decided to invest in awesome lotion for my skin, because I love soft, smooth, amazing skin. I decided to buy as many avocados as I need to for each week, regardless of price. I listen to educational YouTube videos that teach me so much, that open up my mind, that give me hope, and best of all – make my mouth drop.  Like holy fuk – are we serious.  I never knew this, I never thought of this this way, I never could have imagined, and here it is – right here, ready for the taking!

We ended up adopting a doggy.  A bigger doggy.  At first I was nervous my home was going to smell like “dog”, and then I was nervous that he was going to hurt one of the kids, and then I decided to enjoy the heck out of our pooch, and love him so much.  He’s brought so much happiness and fun into our lives, it’s indescribable.  We also took in a little kitten.  She’s so cute and sweet, and I just can’t handle life without her purring.  And you know what I love most about both of these animals – I love picking up their poo!  I love keeping the yard clean, and I absolutely love never leaving even a nugget of poo on public grasses, and this brings me happiness.  It makes me feel like the good human I know I am inside, regardless of any conditioning or past behavior or criticisms.

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We make up our own lives, yet often, we give the power out to others, or to our hurtful selves.  Make your life the best life possible, and make sure you are the one setting the tone for each day – each moment of each day.  Celebrate victories, celebrate good news, celebrate good people.  Our thoughts are responsible for our happiness.  Why roll our eyes, when we can cry tears of joy?

As painful as this is, say goodbye to people who are unable to be happy for you, who do not understand you, who do not love you, who can not support you, who do not better themselves, because these people will drain you.  Regardless of how much you explain yourself, regardless of the good you do, regardless of the amount of love and resources you provide – there is no love there, and your self love will be stolen.  So move on, and focus on the people who can do this for you – but you first and foremost must take care of you.

I started focusing on everything I was so absolutely grateful for.  Each night I tell my husband, because saying things out-loud really works for me, how much I love what we have, and our friendship and our children, and the people around us, and this and that.  Each morning, if we have a few minutes alone, before the kids wake, it’s the same thing.  If I’m taking a conference call and listening, I walk around my home, and think the same.  I Windex my big windows, and instead of getting angry at the re-appearing hand prints, I’m so happy they are there!  I breathe, and say thank you.  Not every single day is perfect, not every single thought is right, not everything single room is always clean, and not every single moment my children are happy – but at the end of the day – each of us go to sleep well fed, happy, healthy, educated, clean and free.

And what is better than this?

When we need nothing else, we have it all.

We all do have it all.

 

 

Strengthen Yo’ Flossing Game

I love flossing my teeth. I’m not sure when and why this started, but I do.  I absolutely love it.  I remember my mom always flossing her teeth, and I never found it to be gross, or unattractive, I just loved that she loved to floss her teeth, and had to floss as soon as she ate.  I guess this is the most recent great habit she shared with me.  I don’t ever remember us talking about the importance of flossing, it was truly just modeled behavior.  Kinda cool right?

My first memories of my own personal flossing are throughout high school.  Yet, I also remember getting a few cavities filled in high school, so maybe I didn’t floss as much as I needed to.  I also remember going to the dentist often and regularly.  As soon as I went to college I stopped going to the dentist, and did not go back until I was married. Thankfully, between high school and 10 years post high school, nothing seemed to stand out to the dentist, and it was business as usual:  a cleaning and an appt for the next 6 months.

When I met my husband, he introduced me to the tooth flossing pick.  Prior to this, I always just flossed with floss.  I never minded it though, and I never thought of a simpler solution.

Well, here comes in the tooth flosser pick!

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How simple, and clean, and brilliant?  And so easy to get to every single tooth.  I love these things, and have now been using them to floss non-stop.  I will floss my teeth throughout the day (sometimes if I’m just deep thinking about something and need a physical distraction), and always before bed, and right after brushing my teeth.  I try to floss alone, and would obviously not floss in front of others – outside of my immediate people.

I went to the dentist a few years ago, and the hygienist asked me if I floss, and I said yes.  And then she proceeded to show me how to floss correctly!  My mind was blown.  She used the floss and showed me how to grind it against each side of the tooth, and how to go deeper into the gum.  Obviously not deep enough to draw blood, but deep enough to remove any stuck food.  If you don’t floss, and plan on starting – be very gentle with yourself.  If the gums aren’t used to floss they might bleed, but stay patient, and keep flossing.

Also, my gums did bleed from time to time when I was preggo with my son.  They never bled when I was preggo with my daughter, but because some hormones are elevated when growing the baby, at times this might affect our gums and make them more sensitive.

Start flossing.  It’s such an amazing and awesome habit to get into.  Plus, it leaves your mouth feeling so fresh, so clean.  I also love to floss, because it’s a legit way to say:  “You are done eating for today!  You have flossed!”  And who wants to get a clean mouth dirty again with a meal or more snacks!

I also floss in the AM.  Even before having any food.  Obviously our mouths are food free, but the plaque and saliva hangs there all night, so after brushing my grill, I sometimes floss to get the day started.  It makes me love my mouth, and the love comes back when I look at my teeth and they are the best they can be.  Tooth and gum health may not be that important to us when we are younger, but as we age, it grows in importance.  Do everything you can right now, to avoid problems, and take care of the mouth right now.  Plus, visiting the dentist for cleanings is so much more enjoyably (1000% more) than having to visit the doctor for actual tooth and gum issues.  And let’s not discuss how expensive dental procedures actually are.

Tooth and gum health is genetic.  Some people are blessed with great genes, and some people are blessed with issues – but either way – do all you can to help yo’ mouth out!

So, grab some floss, or tooth picks, and get right to it!  Floss away! Start flossing daily! Get your mouth as fresh and as healthy as possible!

Cheers, Flossers!