Thursday, January 23, 2014

Break Through

My wonderful sister Aleesha, who has always been an inspiration to me, has brilliant thoughts that I want people to learn about.  Over the next couple of weeks as I work to learn more about the women around me, and what to focus my own posts on, Aleesha will be writing several posts centered on the idea of Breaking Through, and I will be featuring them gratefully on here.  I Invite you to read her words of wisdom and courage and see another woman working to break through the grey.  I would also like to remind anyone reading to feel free to send me what grey you are going through so that I can better understand the women I write for.  It doesn't matter how old you are- it matters.  This is the first of Aleesha's posts, please enjoy. 

 We, as women, come from all different aspects of life.  
Some of us are married, some of us are single,
 some of us have happy homes with loving husbands 
and some of us are struggling valiantly to raise a family alone. 

 Wherever, and whomever, you are - we each fight the same battle daily; a battle to overcome the doubts that rise within us. Its a battle to feel good about ourselves and who we are.

  We are battling to withstand the onslaught of the world, its views about womanhood, and our value as individuals.  

In the past few months I have read page after page of blog posts addressing this grey-ness that overcomes us all.  "Believe in yourself" they say.  "You are Enough" is the battle-cry".  I'll admit it's heartwarming to read through the never-ending feel good articles of women patting each other on the back.  "I feel this way too," I will think, as I read yet another article about a woman who struggles to feel important.

But sometimes, I wonder..."Is there more to this story"?  

WHY do we feel this doubt and what can we do to really fight against it, instead of just reading articles telling us that we are good enough.  I mean, don't misunderstand me, I enjoy posts encouraging women to believe they are beautiful, but if we don't believe it ourselves, what good did the message from a stranger do?  I know personally, it might make me smile for about 10 seconds, till I walk back into the reality of my chaotic world.

I wonder, how can we effectively wage this war against "The Grey".  How can we convince ourselves and the women in our lives to not just tell themselves that they are good enough, but really believe it?  Ladies we need a PLAN!  And not just some "lose 10 lbs in 10 days or your money back" kind of gimmick, but we need something that will really make a difference in our everyday life. 

I'm not going to pretend to have all the answers, and I am not a professional.  But I have always seemed to have sharpie on my forehead saying "Tell me
your problems"
, and have been on many a living room sofa with a friend pouring out her heart.   I have seen women struggle and cry and I have been there myself.  I have felt the moments (or centuries) of despair and loneliness.  From these years of encouraging others and learning myself I have formulated a plan.  Its a plan to literally BREAK through the grey.  To fight our way out of feeling like we are somehow less, for whatever reasons we have assigned to ourselves.  And it means work.  

I'm going to outline the plan below, and then each week we will focus on one aspect of the plan.  We can do it ladies, we can move forward into the light, believe in ourselves, and spread that light to the world around us.  But first, we have to break through.

B- Believe in your infinite worth
R- Reject the worlds messages
E- Edify and Educate yourself
A- Accept your weaknesses
K- Know your Strengths

T- Take care of your body
H- Have Daily Prayer
R- Reach outward
O- Obey the commandments
U- Use the scriptures as a tool
G- Give Generously
H- Hear the whisperings of the Spirit

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

If you can make it past Wednesday

Wednesday.  It is the day in the very middle of the week.  It’s the “hump day” the “peak day” and when I was little, I thought it was my favorite day of the week. Wow. 

 Now Wednesday has become much less of a favorite day and more of a day to survive.  It’s common to get the midweek blues.  We all get them, whether you’re working and counting down to the weekend, or if you’re a Parent and praying for the Friday night date night to get here, or if you’re a student and it brings the blessed time to catch up on homework, or you somewhat non-existent social life.  

No matter who you are- I guarantee at some point in this life, 
you too my friend will face the midweek blues.

Today I have good news though.  The mere fact that you have made it to Wednesday says something about who you are.  You have courage.  

You pushed past Monday, clearly the most infamous and even hated day of the week.

You also made it past Tuesday, which can be compared to the dreaded  rising of a roller coaster.  Think of one of those old wooden ones with the clicking track as it pulls you up the passage. 
Click. Click. Click. (I know. You’re cringing already)

  So now you hit Wednesday, and it’s supposed to be the downward hill…or so you think.  But it’s actually just the peak of the roller coaster, as it curves around and you head very slowly toward the descent.  Imagine that flat, boring, and all-but dragging part.  

And that is Wednesday my friends, but the good news is that you've made the ascent.  That is a huge accomplishment. That takes strength, and faith.  So now you just have to hold on and make it past Wednesday.

Wednesdays are not just part of roller coasters, or simply part of your week- 
they are a huge part of life.  
A part of life you unfortunately cannot get around.  

Right now my Wednesday is a number of things.  One of them is that it actually is Wednesday, my house is messy, and I’m exhausted.  Another example would be work right now-  I love my job, but it’s been extra stressful lately with getting sick (I had a cold for 3 weeks.  It was great. Not.) and just feeling behind.  Our cat (her name is Ainsley) spilled water across the table, which then seeped into our computer, and $1500 later, we have a chunk out of savings a new computer.  That setback is kind of a Wednesday too.  Do you see my pattern with this? 

Wednesdays in life are short times that seem to drag on forever.  They contribute to the grey times in life, and can even be defined AS the grey times in life.  So here’s my theory: 

If you can make it past Wednesday,
 you can make it past anything. 

I know that feeling, when you’re in the middle of a trial or a struggle, and you find yourself thinking- will I ever be past this?  It is so hard to see the end from the middle, and we have all found that to be true.  

It’s a sentiment I have heard echoed time and time again in my own thoughts, and in the frustrations, the conversations, and the desperation of others.  Working at Crisis Line, we hear so many callers looking for a permanent solution to a temporary problem.  But what they seem to forget is that it is temporary…Wednesday is temporary
     It always has been, and always will be.
Wednesday will pass, and once you've made it to Thursday- it becomes that downhill slope, hopefully easier and not so high stress.  The downward roller coaster is the thrill we wait for, and the ride we enjoy.  And it will come.  But until it does, you just have to make it past Wednesday. 

 Sure it might seem impossible, but that’s what this blog is about-Breaking through the grey, even if it’s “just a Wednesday.”  I've included a list of some daily things that help pick me up. Find your own ways, and what actually works for you- whether it’s a real Wednesday or it’s a proverbial one, you deserve to get past it.  It’s those short period of grey that contribute to longer ones, so we've got to fight them off. 
If you can make it past the little things, the shorter periods of stress, you can make it through anything.

  If you can make it past Wednesday,
 you can make it past anything.

  • Say a prayer
  • List off all the best moments of your day on a sticky note.  Try and fit them all in ;)
  • Drink some water
  • Rub your temples
  • Take a long,warm shower
  • Breathe deeply for about two minutes and ignore EVERYTHING
  • Think positive thoughts
  • List off AT LEAST 5 things you love about yourself
  • Stretch
  • Smile. It actually can help. 
And watch this.  It makes a difference. Every single Wednesday I come to.