Say Yes To YOU

For a long time I struggled with saying no.  I thought I should be able to do it all. I thought I should be an exuberantly willing participant in the doing of it all. I thought it was part of the job description. If you’re a woman living on this planet, you can probably relate.

Eventually I came to understand that sometimes, saying yes to me meant saying no to something or someone else, and that’s okay. Wanting time for what’s important to me doesn’t make me a bad person or a lazy parent; it makes me human. And being that this is my life and all, it’s sort of my responsibility to do the things that are important to me.

So, I set about mastering the art of saying no. I practiced a lot, and I got better at it (mostly.) But over time, even though I felt a huge sense of relief from taking a lot of things off of my plate, I still didn’t feel like I thought I would feel.

I kept wondering what was going on…I was saying no left and right, I had more time, but I still wasn’t saying yes to ME. 

Whoa. That realization hit me hard. Because if I’m honest, the one area in my life where saying no was easy, was to myself. I had been saying no to myself for so long that it had become a habit, and little by little, it was stripping away the things that made me me.

The next thing I had to learn was how to say yes to me. Yes to things I didn’t necessarily feel worthy of; yes to things that scared me a little bit (or a lot.) I wish I could say I’ve mastered this, but it’s a work in progress.

I have post-it note on my desk with this reminder to myself: sometimes no keeps sane, other times it keeps you safe (but not in a good way.) Say yes to YOU.

Christy  xo

A New Level Of Mastery

If you’ve been following along on Facebook or Instagram, you may have caught a glimpse of this little guy. Meet Marcel!

He’s been keeping me on my toes, so I haven’t posted many pictures of him. Or gotten much work done. Or taken a shower on a regular basis. Puppies are hard, yo.

In fact, I had a little bit of a meltdown this morning.

But let me back up for a sec. Marcel came home two weeks ago, and despite the fact that he was already almost four months old, he was not potty trained. Like at all. The first few nights, I got up to take him out every two hours, and every single time, he’d already peed (or worse) in his crate. 2 am baths were becoming his new normal.

Luckily, after making a few adjustments to his crate to make it a little smaller (and probably after he’d gotten over some of the stress of leaving his family to join ours) I was able to establish a more reasonable nighttime routine with him: bed at 11 pm, out at 3 am, up at 6:30 am. He’s been able to make it 3-4 hours at a time without having an accident–HALLELUJAH!

Some sleep is better than no sleep, for sure…but after finally resolving YEARS of sleep issues, it hasn’t been easy to purposefully reintroduce them. Hence this morning’s meltdown.

I couldn’t go back to sleep after getting up at three with the puppy. I tossed and turned for hours, and just as I was drifting off, the alarm started dinging. The alarm my husband was supposed to get up to, but was pretending not to hear. I reminded him that it was his turn to take care of the dogs. I poked his side. I asked him to please get up (maybe “asked” and “please” are slight exaggerations) but all I got was incoherent mumbling in response.

So, I let out the most exasperated of sighs, threw off the covers, and went downstairs to let the Marcel and Leo out. And cried, and cried, and cried. The wrath of sleep deprivation had gotten the best of me, and I was feeling really sorry for myself. 

I kept thinking about when we got Leo two and half years ago, and went through the stress of potty training, and teaching him to sit, lay down, and not eat everything in sight. We’d mastered all of it, and now here we were, back at square one.

But that’s how life is, right? You put all the work into reaching a certain level of mastery over a particular area, and before you know it, you’re starting all over again. And it can feel like all that work was for nothing. It’s not though, I promise.

All the work you put in is what allows you to reach the next level of mastery more efficiently than the last. It allows you to experience fewer bumps and bruises along the way because you’ve learned some things and you’ve grown. That’s kinda what it’s all about, isn’t it?

I know Marcel will be potty trained soon, and the 3 am jaunts to the backyard will end. We’ll probably be able to teach him some things even quicker than we taught Leo, because we’ve figured a lot of things out along the way. In the meantime, I’ll try to remember that when I’m running on little to no sleep.

It’s a good thing he’s cute.

Gratitude Vs. Appreciation

One of the tools I used to use with my clients was to help them develop a gratitude practice. This would generally be something simple like ending their day by writing out three to five things they were grateful for. The idea behind this practice being that many of us are very future oriented, and tend to focus on what we want but don’t yet have. Living in this mindset of lack, day in and day out can really make your current reality seem pretty blasé at best.

I believed in this tool because in my own life, I found that taking the time to be present to and acknowledge what was already pretty great, (and putting it in writing even though it seemed kinda cheesy) literally changed how I experienced my life without actually changing anything.

But then I realized that there’s an important distinction between gratitude and appreciation.

Gratitude allows you to recognize the blessings you have in your life, whereas appreciation brings more of an awareness of the importance something (or someone) has to you, the value you place on it, and what the absence of it would feel like. In other words, appreciation is that much more real and tangible.

Gratitude is a great jumping off point, but now I like to help my clients cultivate a practice of appreciation. I truly believe that’s where an amazing life begins. <3

Christy  xo