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.

caring for yourself

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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Utilize Your Gifts

This morning at work I noticed a familiar smiling face in which was not smiling. It was abnormal to me to see this sort of expression on this individual’s face. With a feeling in my gut that something was wrong I proceeded to ask the person how their weekend was. I actually received the response I was expecting; something was wrong.

This person had been informed just yesterday that a close friend had unexpectedly passed away. I could immediately relate to the feelings attached to death. It might be the hardest concept to comprehend and accept. I know that it is for me. Nothing about death has ever seemed fair to me. However, I know that it is a natural part of life and often times it is something we just cannot control.

It bothered me seeing this person in pain. It bothered me knowing I could relate so much to the heartache of death. In part, that is why I decided at some point in my day I needed to make an attempt to reach out to this hurting person in order to express my condolences and concern. More importantly, I wanted this person to know, that they were not alone in this feeling.

I am hesitant to become personal with people in my work setting. I am very comfortable with the concept of keeping my work and my personal life separate. I think it just helps to remain professional and productive while at the office. I do believe there are exceptions for this behavior and this time, today, would be one of those.

The moment I walked away from the individual the phrase “Utilize your gifts” came to my mind. It was almost like God was speaking to me as a reminder for me to not ignore reaching out to someone in need…especially someone I knew I could help. I know the good Lord understands better than anyone else that I could relate and offer some sort of encouragement or comfort in this time of need. And so, I didn’t ignore Him or my heart.

Sometimes using our own personal gifts is sort of a hard thing to do. But why is this? They are a huge part of our purpose in this life. They are the best way we can make an impact on this world.

First, I think it is important to clarify what exactly I mean by ‘our gifts.’ I think our gifts can be found by taking the time to recognize something you are naturally good at, a part of your own testimony, something you have been through that changed your life in some form. I believe our gifts can also be something we are extremely passionate about; something that makes us who we are. Sharing your gift is using yourself to provide for someone who is need of whatever it may be that you have to offer.

Unfortunately, sometimes these gifts have required a lot of heartache; for instance, losing my mom unexpectedly at nine-teen years old. It has been the most heart breaking journey, I hope, I will ever have to take. I wish that no other teenage girl in this world would ever have to experience what I have. But throughout this journey I have developed a set of skills in order to overcome the heartache that trapped me in darkness for far too long.

I find myself in a place now where I have hope in peace and I can feel joy again. I understand the true significance of feeling broken; I know what it is like to receive comfort, guidance and encouragement and I also know what it is like to not. But more importantly I have learned how to give all of those three things and more. I understand the true importance of giving when someone needs it the most. It has created this strong feeling inside of me that wishes more people in this world would not be afraid to GIVE. The reward is unimaginable.

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That is why I now decided in my life to make a commitment to myself and the people I come across. There is no exception to not giving and utilizing the gifts that God gave you to help another human being in need. His purpose for our gifts is to reach out to one another and help each other to live this life to its fullest.

At the end of today, I had a visitor at my office door. The person had a smile on their face as they thanked me for not only reaching out to them on a day they needed it the most, but also for being brave enough to share my own heartache in order to make a difference in the person’s day.

Good for Your Soul

One month from today will be my 22nd birthday. One month from today is also mother’s day. This will be the third birthday and mother’s day I have spent without my mom. One month from today will also be the day after my college graduation. And then I made it. Four years straight I buckled down and made it. The commitment wasn’t easy with the adversities I faced but it is finally really happening. So much coming up so very soon. It feels very surreal typing this.

It seems to me like I should have started to see the light right? I should start to feel some sort of weight lifting from my little shoulders… That’s what I’d hoped.

There were many times I recall asking myself “how can I keep doing this?”

The end of my college journey has been anything but easy for me but then again what part of the four years was easy. The past few weeks have been trying. I thought I could share with you a little bit of what I have been going through.

The past few weeks, I have been sick; very sick. One virus after another and mono. Dreadful mono. What a bummer and terrible timing. I was already over my head and exhausted finishing up my last overwhelming semester of college. At the same time I have been working hard to start off my career and become comfortable at a new job. Only one month to go and the past several weeks I have spent feeling hopelessly drained.

To start, two weeks ago I took a day off work. Yes; a full work day. For anyone who knows me, this is definitely not the norm. I slept all day long. My body was exhausted. It happened to be on a Friday and I ended up sleeping away the whole weekend. However, I still did not feel ANY better. From there things went down hill for me. As I am typing this post, I have still not been back to work but I hope to be after the following week.

I had to learn a couple valuable lessons these past few weeks. It was a little bit of a reality check!

People do have limits. Our bodies do need rest. And one person can only take so much.

Four years had come crashing down on me. I was anticipating a break, some sort of relief but was also scared for it. What happens when I slow down? Will I be okay? What will I do with my time? What will make me happy? The questions consumed my head.

And I miss my mom; oh I miss her terribly. And with it coming up on two years after her death, my 22nd birthday, another Mother’s day, my college graduation… all WITHOUT her it was too much. I was tired… my body was sick and I needed a break.

The real kicker is I am no good at breaks. They just haven’t existed for me. But this time something was different, I could feel it in myself that I desperately needed this break because I wasn’t willing to give up everything I had worked so hard to achieve. Of course giving up is always an option for anyone but it has never and will never be my choice.

butterfly dont give up

As we all know life is full of choices. We are forced to make decisions throughout the course of our lives. Some of those choices may bring us repercussions, satisfaction or even consequences.

That all said, a piece of my mother’s best advice was to always follow your heart and to be willing to accept wherever the place is that it leads you to. And that is the exact advice I decided to follow. Even my heart felt weak. All I could do was cry. I went to my doctor’s appointment and she asked me what was wrong. I replied something like every part of me hurts and it was the truth. Of course then I proceeded to explain to her medically what was going on with my body but it was confirmation to myself that I really did need some time to rest and refocus.

So what is the purpose of this post? It’s simple.

The purpose of this post is to reach out to the people who can relate to the feelings of not knowing when enough is enough. The people who don’t exactly know their limits (and I do not mean that in a bad way). I actually think it is a gift. I think that throughout each of our individual journeys we must take time for our mind, heart, body and self. I will be the first to admit, I am not good at that. But maybe together we can work on it.

I have made a new commitment to myself, I can’t wait to share it with you…

“Whatever is good for your soul, do that.”

I’d like to end this post by asking you what is good for your soul? What keeps you going and brings you an abundance of joy? Please share with me!!! 🙂 I hope this week you will take some time for yourself and enjoy whatever it is that is GOOD FOR YOU.

You deserve it!

Until next time,

Randi

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