Be Mindful of Your Needs

Do you ever just feel like you need a day to yourself? A day in which to escape reality or the everyday life of being an adult. Maybe you just want to stay in bed or spend the entire day doing whatever it is that YOU like to do. How about the possibility of utilizing the entire day to catch up on; rest, chores or even some reading. I think these days are referred to as “mental health” days. And boy would I like to take one!

A part of me is wondering why they aren’t a “real thing?” Why it isn’t acceptable to have one every few months or so? It sure would be nice wouldn’t it? Can you imagine the difference it would make in our health?!

I have started to really evaluate myself lately. Daily. I think about how my body is feeling and what its needs are. I also think about how my heart is feeling and what my emotional desires are. I evaluate my personal goals and the outcome of my hard work and determination to reach them. These are really just a few of the examples I have learned can be very beneficial to not only my physical, but mental well-being.

But why is it so hard to take a few minutes throughout the day for ourselves? 

This is a question that most likely doesn’t have a miraculous answer, but if it did the world could truly be a better place. We are not giving, expressing or doing are best if we are not at our best. By this I mean feeling, looking and performing to the fullest of our abilities.

Before you get down on yourself, I think it is critical to acknowledge that really it isn’t our own fault. There is so much pressure in this world and within society that can overpower and take such a toll on us as human beings.  The expectations we have and set are far too high for anyone to feel rested, caught up or achieved.

We are always longing for more or to be better. The house can never be clean enough, we can never spend enough hours at our jobs or how about at the gym. Not to mention feeding our body healthy meals and taking care of our families. The list goes on and on.

One message I’d like to strongly encourage is to ALWAYS take those few precious moments throughout your day to evaluate yourself. When your body is sending you signs that is aches, is tired or needs reprieve…Listen to it. We will never get ahead and be where we want to be without fulfilling the needs our minds, bodies and hearts. Nothing is worth the sacrifice of your own well being. Be mindful of that.

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Trust Yourself

I debated on exactly how in-depth I wanted to get with this post based on my own privacy, I suppose. After giving it a lot of thought for a few days I decided to just begin writing to see where my words would take me.

My thoughts begin with the word honesty. If you can’t be honest with yourself, how can you ever expect to be honest with anyone else? For those who know me well, they understand one value that I hold incredibility high is trust. It is impossible for me to be involved in a good friendship or even more so relationship without the feeling of mutual trust.

Your word is only as good as your actions.

Trust can be very complicated. It takes a while to build, but can be broken within a matter of seconds.

Throughout the past five months I have been dealing with debilitating pain. My body has felt trapped within a state that feels extremely unhealthy. I have felt fatigue, along with an assortment of chronic pain that has been capable of controlling my life both physically and mentally.  And at times it has. However, I’ve felt determined to overcome this sick feeling no matter how much it would take out of me.

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I had to trust myself. I would remind myself of this daily. There were multiple times I recall crying out to myself or some of the close people in my life… “Am I crazy?” I wasn’t even sure if I was asking myself or if I was waiting for someone else to declare it. I had to be crazy. I’ve felt physical pain before, as losing my mom took over both my mind and body for a while, but this was something much different. I almost felt in some ways like I couldn’t manage to function.

I knew something was going on with my body, I just wasn’t sure what it was. As I went from doctor to doctor, I would find myself in tears recalling the same story. I would read my journal to them where I kept tabs of what I ate, how many hours I slept, the medicine/supplements I would consume and what I was feeling. I took multiple tests where minor abnormalities would pop up but nothing explaining the deep and controlling pain I knew I was experiencing. It quickly became a nightmare.

I could feel myself losing patience; but that wasn’t even the worst part. I could also feel people, who meant so much to me, pushing away from me because it began to consume me. I wasn’t fun, I sure wasn’t happy and it’s very possible, it was quite difficult to be around me.  People at work began to recognize I was in pain. They would complement me with how well I was coping. They’d even make mention of my positive attitude and devoted energy to my work. But inside I could feel that it was fake and draining me. I was giving it all I could just to make it through a day of work. One day at a time.

Finally one night I was absolutely hysterical. I was crying out to my father and friend, “I am in so much pain, I can’t do this anymore.” And in spite of what they may of thought, I truly felt this way. I was losing hope because I was trying desperately to find some sort of answer and relief. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t happening.

Very shortly after that night, I think God heard my cries and answered my prayers. I met with an extremely talented and generous doctor. For once, in this journey, I felt that he actually wanted me better as much as I did. I knew he was determined to help me and lead me to recovery. Within a few long months he connected me with a very special lady. She was a specialized in the area he felt I needed to be connected in. He was right.

Within a month of my first visit with her I was getting put to sleep for surgery. I went into the surgery nervous, but anxious with some sort of excitement. I was looking for answers that I so desperately needed. My first memory after recovery was the voice of the sweet lady doctor. She held my arm and said “Randi, my dear, you are not crazy.” It turns out something had been taking over my body and was causing me intense and terrible pain. If they wouldn’t have found it, it would have only gotten worse for me and could have resulted in a lot of permanent damage that would have been devastating for me.

I am still recovering, I have a long ways to go, but I know now how important it is to always trust yourself. You know your own body and needs. Don’t ever sell yourself short by not acknowledging what you feel. Be your own advocate and fight with every ounce of hope that no matter what you are facing there are better days ahead. Healing will come for those who believe.

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Life is too Short

Lately I’ve been on this whole kick of ‘Life is too Short.’ And really, it can be.

I think because of both the many fortunate and unfortunate events that have occurred in my life at a fairly young age, I feel compelled to live every day to its fullest and make the most of my life. As wonderful as it sounds, it is actually a very hard and demanding task to complete. Not only can life be incredibly beautiful, but it can be extremely challenging as well. It is difficult to remain in positivity when at times there can be so much negativity surrounding you.

I’m starting to believe that awareness is the key.

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To start, become aware and acknowledge that your mind is powerful. Some of the most gifted and talented minds have taken nothing and made it into something. We can control the majority of what we are feeling and the way we behave by being in tune with our own minds. I come across many obstacles, both big and small, throughout my daily life. My approach towards tackling the obstacles varies based on what they actually are. However, I am fairly certain that I would not be able to overcome a large percent of my own personal obstacles without acceptance.

There are things in this life that seem unfair. I have several examples in mind. One that continuously occurs to me is sickness. I know several beautiful individuals that have battled severe illnesses that either left them in despair or led them to death. It seems like no matter how hard you try to comprehend something like terrible illnesses that happen to people all over the world, it just doesn’t make sense. And it probably won’t. Through a lot of hard work I have come to the acceptance that there are not answers for everything; especially the things we cannot control. Lucky for us, there are so many things we can control. So, let’s focus on that!

In today’s world we are blessed to have the gift of freedom. We are entitled to choices. As we know there were once days when having freedom wasn’t as easy as it is now. But right now, in this moment you are able to decide what you want to do and when and how you’d like to do it. You may choose your religion, your occupation, your education, your spouse and so much more. But not only that you can choose your church, your location, your school, your soul mate and again so much more. If you really stop to think about it, how awesome is that?!

So I have been asking myself a series of these types of questions lately. I have committed to take time to dig deep in searching my soul. I want to develop confidence that I will spend each day of my life the way I truly desire to. This process is just beginning for me and as I am finding out already it can be quite confusing. But in the end, I totally believe it is going to be worth it.

I have awareness of the power of my mind. I have accepted that there will be obstacles to come that I may not understand and I am ready to focus on all the things that I know I can control. I am working to have the confidence I encourage us all to have. Live life doing what makes you happy.

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Embracing the Challenge of Change

It is hard to believe it is already the beginning of June. How fast time flies. Through the good and the bad; time still continues. And we are here to face each and every day we are fortunate enough to spend on this earth.

I thought this would be a good time to take some a few moments to reflect. I wanted to post a writing that could reach out to those of you whose summer may or may not be going as planned.

Why do we plan?

Is it to keep ourselves organized or could it be to keep things rolling in the direction we think they should go. Or could we consider it somehow a way we set ourselves up to be let down. If we fall short of what we expect to happen then we are left with disappointment. But does it have to be that way? I don’t think so.

I can tell you first thing, my life is far off the path I had planned it to take. Yet somehow in its own unique way it is working, I am breathing, and I still find beauty daily in my life. In fact, a lot of beauty.

I will admit to you, I am a planner. I like to have each day of the week in advance. I want to know exactly what is on my agenda at the office, what activities will be taking place after work, and I even like to plan the meals I eat. It keeps me feeling organized and on top of things. In addition, I feel flustered when I do not know what is going to take place in my life.

I would like to think that this can be a good thing, in most cases. I know an employer would think so! There are many benefits to being organized and have a distinct plan. But in terms of a more personal aspect, when coping with life and the unexpected events that occur this may have not been a good quality for me to have. Micromanaging can be exhausting, especially when things don’t go your way. And if your life is anything like mine, often times they just don’t.

There are several times in my life I can recall almost throwing a fit when things did not go my way. Not in a bratty way or anything, but more of an emotional fit. I could completely unwind and fall apart over a change of events or lack of control. I lived most of my life with “things” going my way. Whatever that may mean to you. I felt in a very comfortable place with my life, my plans and what I wanted. It would be fair to say that I had not developed much coping skills. I never had to, praise God for that.

However, I had a major turn of events. Despite my planning and desire to have control over the situation and my everyday life, I now had none. Within days my life changed around the age sixteen. It was time to grow up quickly. It was time to face heartache; intense heartache. Whether I wanted to or not. And it was time to realize that life does not always go as we had planned. Which is almost unbearable to accept, isn’t it? I wasn’t sure how much life was going to change for me and never in my worst of nightmares would I have imagined it to change to the extent it did.

Unfortunately, it happens and I’ve had to learn that a very hard way. As I am sure many of you have as well. However, I do believe we can use these major trials of heartache as tools to guide us in the direction we need to continue in. Even if it isn’t the path we originally intended to be on and even if it takes fighting each day to move forward in that direction.

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Life does go on, no matter how hard it is. The lack of control of events in our life can seem unbearable. However, we must learn to deal with changing our plans and find it in ourselves whatever it will take to continue forward with a good attitude. If not, what is the point of living? Each day is a gift and as the days pass you realize you can never go back in time to embrace what happened yesterday.

Finding control of your attitude can be much more beneficial than maintaining control of your plans and what you want to happen each day. For as I’ve learned, we have little control over our plans. No matter how hard we attempt to hold onto them.

EMBRACE life as each day comes to you, no matter how much your heart aches. As you learn to find beauty in the change of events that occur in your life, you will grow stronger and you will find joy throughout the journey. I promise you this. change pic 1