INspiration comes before one blooms sometimes...
It is in the process that we become who we are!
On the way to the Women's March, I saw this on the corner in downtown Washington DC near Capitol Hill. (Maybe this sculpture should be closer to the White House and Senate and House of Representatives). We all need the reminder to nurture our inner beautiful butterflies but also to do the same for those around us... all of those around us. Even those that are different than we are!
Of course, in me writing this, doesn't exclude me (as if I have this figured out) because I need this as a reminder as much as you may need it. Especially in a town where "busy" is your clock and your availability is half an hour between Eight and Nine for a get together six months from now... Joking aside, though...
Take care of YOU!
Thirty plus years it has taken me to learn this and heed it more.
So here goes and hope it helps... the 15+ ways to nurture your inner butterfly!
Even in DC culture of "busy, busy, busy" and honestly, maybe even more so, sleep is SO important. Sleep deprivation affects you in such a way that you can only solve with one simple solution... which is, well, sleep. Your health depends on your sleep. It is much more costly to pay dearly for your sleep deprivation in poor health which in turn effects your life, your work, your family, and ultimately your happiness. Strive for 7-9 hours a day!
Don't forget to dream... and dream big. (Notorious B.I.G. would want that, ha ha). But seriously. I wish I would have been more accepting that even my outlandish dreams were possible. Especially at an earlier age, it would have been great for me to allow myself, and honestly, you yourself, to allow yourself to dream.
Also, on the flip side of allowing yourself to dream, in a more therapeutic and serious way in the ability to allow yourself to process all of what is going on in your life. It is a like nature's counselor to be able to help you process past and present feelings towards your past, present and future. It is giving you a way to see into yourself without compare, without a social lens and giving you the ability to deal with what you need to deal with. Be open to that.
Okay... I am not going to lie, I am still learning this myself. I have found though, that it is super beneficial to me to be able to allow myself time to clear my mind with the intention of clarity. Even if I don't get the universe's answers in a nutshell in that meditation time, which you won't, it is important (and if you do please email me-- contact info in the tab above and share with me on this blog about it!).
Finding yourself in quietness and stillness is super important to your well being. We often look outward, myself is no exclusion to this rule, for answers that we can sometimes find within, even if it is not the small voice from our higher selves or God giving us the answers.
Allow yourself quiet time in peace to balance yourself-- you will thank yourself for the few minutes a day you can do this. And yes, you can do it in your own space, at your desk at work, or even outside. And no, you don't have to be a monk to do it-- promise.
4. Read More
Sure, 108 books last year and 9 thus far in January are the number of books I have read. But don't see that has you have to read that many.
You can start small--- even magazines... and yes, Cosmopolitan or Sports Illustrated can count. I promise. I am not grading you. But reading expands your brain's thinking. It is like an exercise for the brain.
Imagine starting out small in reading= 1 pound weights
Adding a little bit more over time = 2 pound weights
Adding in a book or two a month = 5 pound weights
Reading 2-5 books a month = 10 pound weights
Reading 5-10 books a month = 25 pound weights
More than that a month = a champion
If you think about it in the way of weight lifting, you don't have any one prescribed method of reading. You can alternate... it's even good for the brain...
* Insert shameless plug to read the blog more, ha ha ha *
Exercise the brain more... okay?
5. Use Money Wisely
What does this have to do with turning you into a butterfly?
Being able to be wise with your money makes you less stress period.
That being said, not be a tight wade with it either.... I would have described myself in this category for a long time because of the fact that I grew up in survival mode a lot. So my one mode was "not being stupid".
If you allow yourself a little allowance but stick to it, you will not spend hundreds on coffee a month or going out to the movies, or anything like that.
Those things because more satisfying as a reward rather than a method to deal and you learn to deal with what is in front of you instead of using shopping as a temporary coping mechanism. Yes, if you do this, I am gently calling you out. Being materialistic truly doesn't make you happier does it? Now I am not talking about the occasional shopping therapy that makes you feel good. I am talking about making yourself so broke for decades over a break up.
It could also be the scout leader in me that thinks about resources as money too and how many people don't have.
If you want a shopping spree for a coping mechanism, here is a fabulous idea... reach out to an organisation who serves women and children, girl scouts, veterans, whatever it may be, and ask to go on a shopping spree for them. I am sure you will feel better and get a tax deduction out of it.
6. Mark Out Your Time Wisely
Having ADHD myself, I am super bad about this sometimes. I look at my google calendar and think... "yea, that was good thinking, ha!"
However, allowing myself to carve my time out well has always been a struggle for me because I want to do everything, be everywhere, be there for everyone kind of person.
Energy, while limitless in the universe, is limited even in the most energetic of us!
Check in with yourself every day and see where you are.
When you are sick, you have to allow yourself to be real and honest with yourself. Of course, if you think that you should power through a flu, you need to seriously have your head checked and be forced to take a serious vacation. Okay, this could be something that I need to do because this would be me. I like to power through no matter how I feel.
If you need give yourself a break, than do. If you feel energised, recongise that and allow it to empower you to move up that to do list you have to do. Which I have found helpful by the way.
If you have to, even go old school and time yourself on everything and put it in your calendar. There are even apps out there to track how much time you spend on certain things online. But even those of us that do stuff offline, can track on our calendars, even google calendars, when we have meetings, kid events, work, recreation, catching up with friends, even meditation time. It does work. Especially with the notifications. You just have to set the goal with yourself to be good about it.
7. Set Goals for Yourself
Do yourself a favour and get a note book.
Or use a white board. Or your email.
Pause and write now a few things you want to do today! What about tomorrow? What about long term? The biggest thing I found with goals for yourself is allow flexibility to screw up and being able to be honest with who you are about what you can do. Give yourself forgiveness if you don't meet all the goals.
Make a nitty gritty to do list and try to complete even half in a week. If you do, be proud of that. It could be simple like doing the dishes or for me something that is hard... and don't laugh... but to go to bed at a reasonable hour. This is SO hard for me because I am a natural night owl but also have to be up bright and early with kids to teach them. Blessings and curses right there.
Start with what you can!
8. Allow Yourself Freedom
a loaded word especially in this time in history.
But seriously ask yourself....
What is freedom to you?!
Think about that for a second... most don't know the true and full history behind the country that we live in. And that may be a loaded statement but cue the "Are you smarter than a fifth grader?" game show here...
Find out what allows you to be truly free.
Are you someone who sticks to the local news stations that are popular based on political beliefs? Why not "free" yourself and check out other channels just to see what they are about? Maybe you will learn something with an open heart that you didn't know before.
Are you somebody that believes gossip or starts it (no judgment here so be honest with yourself)? Does it serve you any to do that? If you here gossip about someone, you can choose to "free" yourself by standing up for that person not there or asking the person directly about whatever it is instead of believing it for face value.
Are you somebody that allows yourself to be trapped by all the social, cultural, and familial standards of what you should be and who you are? Why do you do this? Does it serve you and make you happy in the end to do this? Did you know that you can make your family happier by being you and fully loving yourself and others with all of who you are?
9. Think First
I am going to play mum for second... (actually, I can't play... you know, because I am a mum... to three wonderful rumbustious kids). So you are going to hear something you have heard I am sure a lot growing up....
Actually, I believe I am still growing up in this department and I am not sure if I will ever truly grow up in this department and I never apologise for being a tongue and cheek kind of person.
But truly think first about not just what you say, how you say it, but also try to think first in everything you do.
If you can answer some basic questions for yourself, then then in my opinion, you have thought first and done your duty.
-- Do you mean well?
-- Do you say it in love?
-- Are you being honest with yourself or someone else?
-- Is it something that you would truly do in your true form?
10. Say No
.... to drugs! See! Red Ribbon Week paid off! Ba ha ha ha ha! Actually my co leader for girl scouts had zero clue what red ribbon week was... insert the biggest shock emoji here.... Actually, apparently they call it DARE here.
But for real now... (now that I have your attention)
Saying no to anything can be very hard... well for some... some people have this art down to a tee that they say no to everything and serve no one but themselves. But if you are me, that is VERY hard for me to do. So the best way is allowing my permission to not be perfect.
Yes, gasp, I am not perfect. Even bigger shock... neither are you!
Give yourself grace to say no when you need to.
Allow others to say no for you sometimes and take it with grace. Example would be my cub master who asked me to not me to the main den leader next year for the upcoming tigers for cub scouts since my older son would be crossing over into boy scouts and I would likely to be a leader there too. Scott and Colin gave me permission to not be perfect, and what an amazing blessing I will accept! I will instead focus on my strengths and be the event planner and assistant cub master and assistant tiger leader for the pack of almost 100 boys and find out what I will be doing for the boys which will be easier than being the main den leader.
Allow yourself grace and be able to say no sometimes...
11. Take Care of Your Health
No, I am not trying to push Plexus on you... cue my puking by the way. Not that I have anything against the company but if you are like me and have even a few friends selling it, you know that you have repeatedly been asked to buy or sell their product...
But back to the get go.
Take care of you!
I just came off of being sick for three weeks straight... yes you read that right. For one of those weeks, I was so down and out that I couldn't form a sentence to email to my scout families. You know it's bad when lifting my head up and writing a sentence, even in my head was hard. Just saying.
When you are sick, allow yourself recovery and grace in that. It is one of the hardest things I have had to learn. Especially since I hold many community roles. I had to be willing to give up some things to be able to heal my body so I can come back stronger. I am still recovering and back to it, but it is such a good reminder how fragile our bodies can be when we wear them down so much.
Take vitamins (yes, they do help), drink water, drink tea, and even wine and coffee. Don't tell anyone I said that last one but sometimes the mental health of my sanity depends on it. Like coffee when I am off so early in the morning to spend half the day getting cookies in the thousands for my girl scouts. Yes, I am dedicated!
Sleep well, take vitamins, exercise, don't smoke... you know the drill, right? Implement it!
12. Recongise Your Potential
If you are the shady slim shady, please stand up! Okay, put that way for a reason.
We often don't recongise our true potential. I am one of those people finally coming out of my teenager phase it seems where I can be my kid-at-heart self but also be able to balance that with the true person inside with a passion to change the world. And being able to have a plan for that is one of the hardest things to be able to figure out.
Self confidence doesn't come easy to some of us... I can't lie that I am one of those people.
So know that you are here for a purpose on this planet...
No matter how small your purpose is on this planet, you don't have to be President or Mum of the Year to win the purpose award of the year. You can be you. You can make a difference.
Remember, as cliche as it may sound, allowing yourself to realise that you can have an impact on who you come across no matter how you see that affect is a tremendous humbling thought. You can have the domino effect that turns a child into an Olympian without even knowing it. You may say something at just the right time or be there to make sure that they don't have something happen to them or you are there to be their scout leader and those years of dedication turn them into the men and women they are suppose to be.
13. Know You are Beautiful
Oh me gee... Not even going to try to lie on this one... mainly because I am tongue and cheek and I am not going to lie about something even like this. But I struggle with seeing myself as beautiful sometimes. I used to see myself as one of the ugliest things because of how I was treated growing up. Read more here on my next project that will go through it.
Everything you experience in life is something horrible, wonderful, divined, unknown and all the same it can define you. For better or for worse. It is allowing yourself to go through it and allow yourself to see the beauty in everything.
When we are allowing ourselves to see beauty in everything we can see beauty more often in ourselves. We are beautiful beings. We are loved beings. We are amazing.
Think about it... seriously!
We are all unique and loved. We are all strong. We are all different!
Different is so freaking beautiful! Allow yourself to see yourself as beautiful. I wish I had a long time ago!
14. Take care of Family
This is one of the words on the wings above but I like it. Love your family.
We, as a general population, usually take advantage of those around us. It's nature. We don't realise that one day they can be gone--- at least not on the surface. It takes digging deep and allowing yourself to be in true touch with yourself to truly appreciate what you have. This is more natural to some than others.
Know that your family is there in the most purest of forms to teach you, guide you, and stand with you. Some of those of you who are like me who have been through some treacherous times in their childhood were robbed of this in a most natural form. But in a way we weren't.
Stick with me.
If you had a hard child hood-- you learn something and you were guided. Even though the toughest of times. I can guarantee it because I know. It took hurt to learn love. It took belittling to learn my self worth. It took being different to be strong. And it may have taken longer... but when I got there, it was more part of my DNA than just the surface could ever provide.
And now, I know the true meaning of family... I have many in my heart family that mean a lot to me. My family, My scout family. My friends. All my family.
Care about your reputation... do.... but please don't!
Don't allow ego to get the way of what is right and true.
But don't down grade yourself. (This is something I have done personally, but never intentionally).
Don't do what is popular... as the popular saying goes (ain't that ironic)...
"Doing what's right isn't always right and doing what's popular isn't always right"
16. Love Fully and Fiercely
Two "F" words.... he he.
We don't love each other enough... and it frankly bugs every cell in my body.
We can love each other fully and fiercely without compromising who we are people.
We are different and that is what makes us so strong. Both as a nation (United States-- sorry world, most of us, myself included do not agree with the current President's assessment and activity. Thank you for those that see that and support us. This may be the turning point of realise we are way more global then we think and need to start acting more like global family) and as a people.
We are capable of love. Deep down, I believe everyone is capable of love. Love of everyone. Love of the Earth. What we need to do is tap into it.
We need to embrace differences. Politically. Religiously. By Gender. By affiliation of any kind.
My girl scout troop is made of of girls who wear hijabs, girls that have two mums, girls that have single mums, girls that have rich parents, girls that are bi or tri racial, girls that are socially different, girls that have disabilities, girls that are many different personalities--- and I LOVE IT-- and that is how it should be. It is never to be politically correct, ever once, See me with my girls and see that they are my nieces by heart. The same way my boy scouts are my nephews.
Allow yourself to love in the capacity in a way that is more naturalistic to you!
Be beautiful and bloom big beautiful butterflies!!!
* Share with someone you know who could the encouragement! *