General

That’s It!

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If you’re a parent you’ll know what I mean when I say that some of the pep talks I’ve given my kids get given back to me when I need them!

No doubt this will be one. And that’s good! It means they’re listening in and… heaven knows, I do need reminders!

To start, a few questions:

How do you feel when you get your kitchen drawers cleaned and orderly?

When the pile that’s been driving you to distraction is sorted and decided upon and gone?

Or, how do you feel when you realize, that instead of beating yourself up for a perceived failure that might have depressed you for a week a few years ago, you have automatically given yourself kudos for trying and committed to keep trying? Wow!

It feels great!

It’s liberating!

It’s the feeling of winning and accomplishing and conquering!

If you aren’t feeling that way pretty regularly, what is a problem or job you could pull apart, decide upon, attack and finish today?  (Even if it’s ‘just’ putting the folded laundry away, do it! It’ll give you the feeling of finishing and lead to other finishing tomorrow!)

Being fierce in the face of our daily problems turns that sluggish, overwhelmed, tired feeling into an air-punching, celebration kind of feeling!

And, I submit that when we attack problems that are ours, we are less likely to attack people. We also lose the compelling notion to control other people when we are taking care of our own stuff. Attack problems, not people. 

I’m rootin’ for you today! You are doing great things (even if they feel small) with great love. That’s the ticket!
Jacque

P.S. “The older sets are the easiest to fix: simpler circuitry, uniform tubes. Maybe it’s wax dripping from the condenser or charcoal built up on a resistor. Even in the newest sets, Werner can usually puzzle out a solution. He dismantles the machine, stares into its circuits, lets his fingers trace the journeys of electrons. Power source, triode, resistor, coil. Loudspeaker. His mind shapes itself around the problem, disorder becomes order, the obstacle reveals itself, and before long the radio is fixed.” All The Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr

 

The Art of Questioning

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Questions are magical.

They narrow our focus, as if through a special seeking lens, onto something we don’t yet know.

Then, seeing through our seeking lens, we begin to see the answers before us.

But we can’t be lazy about questions.

Questions that hang around, yet don’t receive any effort, can become nagging, dragging negative thinking.

Ask! Then get to work!

Read. Study. Search. Think. Write. Give thanks for each piece that comes!

We won’t get where we want to go by passively waiting for the answers to appear.

Work is a great blessing!

Questions that lead to work find answers.

Love to you this winter day!
Jacque

“Truth eternal, truth divine,
In thine ancient fullness shine!
Burst the fetters of the mind
From the millions of mankind!”

Truth Eternal, Parley P Pratt
fet·ter
/ˈfedər/
noun
  1. 1.
    a chain or manacle used to restrain a prisoner, typically placed around the ankles.
    “he lay bound with fetters of iron”
    synonyms: shackles, manacles, handcuffs, irons, leg irons, chains, restraints;

 

On Purpose

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Hello my friend! I hope that you are off to a good start this week, speaking kindly to yourself and validating your feelings and efforts.

Just wanted to reiterate something we discussed back in Step 1 of the 7 Steps to Family Wellness Seminar which was, Take Charge of Thoughts & Vision.

But first a quote:

“Right now, in this moment, without moving from where you are, you can find ample evidence to prove your life is a miserable, depressing, terrible burden, or you can find evidence to prove your life is an abundant, joyful, exciting adventure.”
John-Roger & Peter McWilliams, You Can’t Afford The Luxury of a Negative Thought

Inspiring and true isn’t it? Not sure? Ok, how about a little meditation?

{This whole exercise will only take about 60 second, two questions, 30 seconds each.}
Please read each sentence, close your eyes and answer carefully in your mind.

If I shift my mental focus to look for them, what are the beautiful gifts in my life right now?

Close your eyes and think clearly about the answer.

{30 seconds is a long time to stay focused isn’t it?}

Now, when you are finished answering that question, please take 30 more seconds, eyes closed, to answer this one:

What percentage of my time am I focused on seeing and appreciating the positives in my life?

Close your eyes and let the answer come.

Any revelations?

Now, what will you do with these insights? {I hope you will quickly write them down and post them where they will keep inspiring you!}

Now a few challenging thought questions:

How can you alter your environment so that it will remind you to keep your focus where you want it to be? Sticky notes? Reminder on your phone? Daily gratitude journal? An accountability buddy? Put your thought training bracelets back on?

And lastly, what will you do each time the habitual negatives creep in?

Well, this is where we Lionesses get fierce! We knock the negatives out! We don’t invite them in! In fact, we disarm them by calling them out and exposing them as the deceptions they are!

Going with the flow on this point doesn’t work. We will de-volve if we stop trying! We must practice keeping mental boundaries that will aid us in moving forward to becoming the force we were born to be!

Much love to you today my friend.
Jacque

P.S. Life is beautiful. Peace is available. Support is ever around you. You are loved. That is the truth. Life is also challenging and trying, but that is on purpose and by design and even that truth can turn out to be beautiful too when our hearts are humble and teachable.

P.P.S. I would love to have you join us in the next seminar group! You won’t regret it if you do! I have gift certificates for your husband to purchase. “Oh Santa…!”

 

 

Cleaning House

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Have you had the experience of walking into someone’s home and feeling the peace of cleanliness and decision-making? {By that I mean there isn’t overwhelming clutter and commotion, but mostly calmness and order underneath the daily activities of cooking, creating and learning?} Maybe that describes your house!

I remember thinking that if you had young children you’d have to pick between having a clean house or a happy family.

In my mind, I thought that in order to keep a nice home you’d have to be grumpy all the time and constantly reminding people to take care of their stuff or not make messes!

A wise friend then pointed out to me that those two things were not mutually exclusive! Imagine that. You can keep order and be happy together. Children, even very young children, love to contribute to the work of the family and can be taught to not only put their own things away, but also to help with maintenance. I have learned a lot about that idea since then and I continue to learn more every day.

This is really a conversation about boundaries isn’t it? 

About practicing being kind, gentle, respectful and FIRM all at the same time.

{For me, it does take a great deal of practice!}

I am continually working to create a vision in my head of how I look and sound when I am upholding boundaries with respectful kindness, while also being very FIRM in my understanding of what boundaries are mine to make.

For instance, the boundary that is the perimeter of our home and property clearly marks “our” space; my spouse and I are in charge of making decisions for everything within that space. It’s like this:

If we decide that we want people to remove their shoes before entering, that expectation will somehow be stated and kindly enforced. Maybe there will be a sign posted by the door with a rack or basket for shoes.

Or if we would like coats to be hung on the laundry room coat hooks, then that will be made known and expected. {Hmm, I need to free up a few of those hooks!}

This space is ours. We can claim it and engineer it and love it and confidently share it!

On the flip side, if we don’t value our space; if we don’t make decisions and teach others how we want our space to be treated; if we don’t show by our actions {keeping our personal things in order, or having the right tools for the jobs we have to do, or speaking respectfully about our jobs,} that we value the work that we do in our homes, we’re not doing anyone any favors. Everyone, particularly children, deserve to be respectfully taught how to behave in ways that will help them to be respectful of the property of others and responsive and considerate to others’ needs.

Homemaking is an art, or it can be! Do you value the challenging and ultra-important work you do in your home every day? It is literally what makes the world go ’round. Making orderly and inviting spaces where people can fully function, feel loved and belong means more connections, and more connections can mean less despair, addiction, divisiveness and sorrow…and those connected individuals go out into the world and create more places of love and connection and your work ripples out to bless many! Yes! The work you are doing is at the heart of a functioning and healthy society.

I challenge you to value your contribution! Speak highly of your role! Create a vision for yourself that gives you the drive to learn, to make changes, to rise above the past, to excel in what matters most to you!

Much love to you for a great weekend!
Jacque

P.S. A note about tools: I’m in the process of trading in a rag mop that has reached the end of it’s usefulness, for a flat mop with removable pads and I’m trading in my cleaning rags for a microfiber glass cleaning cloth. {I’m so excited! My friend loaned her glass cleaning cloth to me for a few days and I couldn’t believe what a difference it made in all the reflective surfaces I cleaned with it! My stainless steel fridge has never looked so clean! Same amount of effort on my part, but a much better and longer lasting result.} And, I just traded in a wonderful old vacuum for a new, while inexpensive, awesome one that is simpler to use and more effective in getting at the details like woodwork, stairs and corners.

Think of it, if you cleaned houses for your profession, wouldn’t you invest in the right tools so that your work would be as efficient and effective as possible?

Banana Pancakes!

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My daughter-in-law shared this recipe with me last week. It certainly is a hit with all the kids in our family so I wondered if you might be interested in giving it a try!

It couldn’t be easier!

Put 1 banana in the blender, then add:

1/4 cup oatmeal
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla

Blend and pour into a skillet or waffle iron. They are lightly sweet and really good with butter or coconut oil! Such a nice little breakfast or snack!

I’ve made them a few times, {Anna calls them “banana waddles”} and they are delightful. For myself, I add a few shakes of salt and a teaspoon of coconut oil in the blender too. Waffles work a little better with that oil in the batter, otherwise you have to grease the iron.

If you want to dress them up and serve them as a dessert, you could add real whipped cream sweetened with a little honey and sprinkle with cinnamon or nutmeg. You could cook them thin like a crepe and roll them with whipped cream, coconut cream, yogurt or cream cheese inside and add whatever fruit you like. Strawberries would really set off the banana flavor! Or maybe add those tiny chocolate chips to the batter…such possibilities!

Is this something your little ones would like? Let me know if you try them and what your people think.

I hope you are having a good week.

Remember that you are loved and appreciated!

Love,
Jacque