Archive of ‘31 Days of Fearless’ category

31 Days to Fearless {Get Help}

I’m an anxious person. No, I mean really anxious. I’ve been living with an anxiety disorder for 20+ years. Something will scare or upset me and I physically can’t get myself to come back down. Even after I realize things are okay my brain stays stuck in an extremely anxious space.

It ruins me. It depresses me. Depression has about killed me.

This is why I need people.

My friends and family are the most valuable tool I have for fighting fear, anxiety and depression. I’m learning to be honest and to STOP ISOLATING. If you struggle with any of these things you know exactly what I mean. It’s weird, but loneliness, sadness and fear tend to bury us. We shut the door and hide out. Alone.

And then fear wins. Depression conquers us. Anxiety masters us.

In my own lifelong battle there are a few things that have given me relief.

1. Refuse to isolate. I get how strong the pull is, but it is still YOUR choice. Choose freedom. Push against the current and call your best friend. Tell them you are stuck and sad. They won’t fix you, but it will lift you up (even a little). There is something powerful about bringing to light what has been brooding in the dark. 

2. Do drugs. Ha! No, really. We are definitely an over-medicated country. Antidepressants are prescribed for everything. People walk around numb and suffering from side effects, but their hearts aren’t healed. That being said, there are times when you have to conquer the crushing sadness before you can deal with WHY you are sad. So, do what you gotta do. Since I’m still breastfeeding I’ve been taking some supplements to help me function. They don’t do much when I’m having an actual panic attack, but they do wonders for my brain in the every day stuff.

3. Exercise. No more excuses. This isn’t about having the perfect body. It isn’t selfish or a waste of time. It’s just not even an option. Exercise increases serotonin levels in the brain which makes you feel HAPPY. When I’m feeling particularly nasty, I get out my Vibrams and I hit the gym, or I do a 10 Minute Video, or I take a Revelation Fitness Class, or do me up some Holy Yoga. If all else fails, we take the kids and the dog on a hike. If you want a quick lift get MOVING.

4. Get inspired. Seriously, sometimes all I need is a new house. Kidding (kinda). I’ve been known to frequent quite a few blogs that inspire some super creative (and cheap) DIY projects. This one in particular makes me drool. It seems like a small thing, but it really does help to change up your environment a bit. Plus, I’m a firm believer that your house reflects you. When my house is trashed, so is my spirit. When my house is fresh and happy, so is my heart.

5. Invest in a blender. Or in my case, a Magic Bullet. Smoothies are almost always necessary. We throw in frozen, organic berries, bananas, rice milk, protein powder, vitamin C, B vitamins, vitamin d (especially in the winter months when we don’t get as much sun) and anything else that looks delicious. Every single person in my family loves smoothies, even the baby. Clean food = less fatigue, less grogginess and happier people. 

6. Find Jesus. This should probably be #1. No joke, I look back at my life and wonder how the hell I would have survived without him. My sorrow drives me straight into his mercy. When I start to sink, I furiously grab my Bible and speak some damn truth to myself. I almost instantly experience some relief. This brings me back to #1 – you need people who will speak truth and love to you. I don’t know where I would be without my girlfriends. They don’t let me forget that I need Jesus more than I need air.

7. Last, but not least, take a break. Take a freaking break. Put away the vacuum, throw a pizza in the oven, let the kids run amuck, turn on your favorite dvr’d show and veg out. We scurry around like the sky is falling; we act like everything must be done right NOW. Sheesh. Get some perspective. It’ll wait. What won’t wait is your sanity. So nurture it.

*Note: I am not a doctor, nutritionist or medical professional. Everything I’ve shared here is my own experience and opinion. Every person is different and requires a different road to health. If you are depressed or feeling like you just cannot cope, get professional help friend. Don’t wait. Do it today.

31 Days to Fearless {Don’t Waste Love}

My kids are growing.

Just when I think I’ve figured out who they really are I find something new sprouting up in the soft soil of their souls. They are changing, reshaping themselves every second of the day. They are discovering things they love; things they hate. They are reaching out with little fingers to discover who they are… who they will be.

Last night we looked at pictures of our kids the night Daisy was born… only 10 months ago. Judah was a little boy, soft and pudgy. Aravis was small and round. Daisy was wrinkly and teeny.

Today I watched them at lunch with my mom. Judah, long and ridiculously handsome; his features much more defined, his heart growing independent and determined. Aravis, tall and strong; her spirit wrestling already with anger and frustration over sharing her room and her life with her brother. Daisy, tiny and pudgy; walking everywhere and grinning at us while she plays her game of “to the chair and back”.

These are my kids. I don’t know how I became their mama. I don’t know who decided I was capable of parenting 3 mold-able souls. What if I screw them up? What if, in doing my very best to create a life of freedom and love for them, I miss a step? What if I make the wrong choice? What if I discipline the wrong kid? What if I forget to stop what I’m doing to read to them, comfort them, affirm them? What if I yell at them?

Oh shit.

There are just too many things I can do to make life imperfect for my kids.

I hope you’re reading this thinking, “I’m scared of that too!”

Cause that’s what makes you a good mama. You just have to really SEE your kids. You have to want a good life for them more than you want a comfortable life for yourself. That’s it.

There isn’t a perfect parent. Anywhere. Heck, Martha Stewart’s daughter just wrote a book about how awful it was growing up with a glue gun pointed to her head!

It doesn’t matter how much we long to pad the walls of our kid’s lives. It doesn’t matter if we don’t have the energy for dinner and end up serving mac n’ cheese. It doesn’t matter if we try our hardest and still come up short. Because there is NOTHING we can do to make our kids not need Jesus (my own mama tells me this all the time).

But there is definitely something we can do to lead them to him.

So, when you screw it up, look your baby in the eyes and apologize. When you break their hearts, hold them and cry with them. When they want the popsicle and you hand them the cheese stick, grin at them so they remember your joy in nourishing them. When you skip a day (or two) of homeschooling because everyone just needs to calm the chuck down, don’t stress over it.

Just love the crap out of those babies, because they are going to need to look back and see how MUCH you adored them. There is no doubt they will look back and wish you had done something different. Don’t let that something be how much you poured out love on them.

Love is worth too much to be wasted.

31 Days to Fearless {Do What Is Right}

Let’s just be honest here… I’m not ACTUALLY going to make 31 days out of this. Life doesn’t let me blog every single day. I would love to sit down with a green smoothie, a clean house and perfectly behaved children and blog my life away. It’s a fantasy. Someday…

But while I’m here, let’s talk fearless.

There is someone on the fringe of my life who causes so much drama. This person is manipulative, selfish and abusive – has been for a long, long time.

It really upsets me. It makes me anxious and defensive. Every time something goes down I get more and more frustrated. And, recently, it’s occurred to me – WHY are we still playing this game? Why do we do it? Why do we engage?

I’m going to be honest. I’m tired of looking like a bitch when I draw a boundary. It always gets turned around on me. It’s such a subtle manipulation that I don’t realize I’ve been controlled and pushed until they’ve left the situation and I’m sitting there dazed and confused. I hate it.

And I’m not doing it anymore. I’m done.

No more games. No more manipulation. It’s just plain unhealthy. It’s fear of trouble, of rejection, that keeps me playing.

At this point I’d rather cause a tsunami than be yanked back and forth anymore. I’ve had enough.

And I don’t want my kids getting sucked in. I don’t want to turn around in 5 years and realize that they have been manipulated and pushed around too. It’s my JOB to protect them. It’s the most important job I will EVER have. I just do not care, for even a second, who I offend in the process of doing my job.

The road to living fearlessly is going to be littered with choices like this – do I risk causing an insane amount of drama to protect my kids? Every single time, without fail, the answer will always be HELL YES.

For those of you who are parents, don’t you get what I’m talking about? When you see a bully approaching your kid what is your first instinct? When another adult is rude or condescending to your child don’t you want to smack them? When anything in life attacks the health and wholeness of your baby isn’t your gut reaction to rise up against it?

Obviously.

I’m going to say this because it is so often overlooked. It does not matter AT ALL who it is who is threatening your children. It could be a respected leader, a neighbor, a teacher, a friend, or a family member. I’m so tired of hearing about people who were never protected as children because it was uncomfortable. Do not place the fear of consequences over the well being of your children. Stop telling them that they are expected to act a certain way towards certain people. Give them the voice they so desperately need. Encourage them to stand up for themselves when ANYONE scares them or makes them feel stupid or cornered. At the very least, make SURE that they know that YOU are their safe place; that you will protect them from anything – no matter what it costs you.

The only way to produce a fearless generation is to teach them NOW that they have nothing to be afraid of – that they will never fail to have a haven of trust and safety to run to.

It makes me sick when adults tell me how cold their parents were when they told them about abuse inflicted on them as children. Who was it who said that all it takes for evil to prosper is for good men to say NOTHING. Don’t make yourself as guilty as the people who abuse others. Don’t let silence work it’s way into your heart and steal your voice. Say something. Stand up. Break down the barriers that allow others to be violated and crushed.

Step into a fearless life by refusing to play the game. No matter what the price, do what is right.

Drive out a mocker, and conflict will leave. Quarreling and abuse will stop.

-Proverbs 22:10-

31 Days to Fearless {The Challenge}

What are you afraid of?

Are you like me, with a list longer than your arm, fear trickling through random thoughts and experiences?

Fear of confrontation.

Fear of rejection.

Fear of loss.

Fear of isolation.

Fear of  fear.

Just fear.

Fear is paralyzing. Fear is crushing. Fear is about locked doors and closed fists.

No really. It is.

Fear keeps us locked up inside tight little cells. It keeps our hands gripping things and people.

It gives the illusion of being in control, but keeps us chained to the wall. We never move. We never take a full breath. We never stretch out and enjoy the warmth of life.

We’re trapped.

Here’s the freaking kicker…

Fear is a choice.

You’re probably shaking your head or saying, “No. Not for me. Fear is an actual condition. My brain keeps me trapped here. I have REAL things to be afraid of.”

Listen sister (or mister), I GET it! I’ve had very scary things happen to me. I’ve been out of control. I’ve been wounded and violated.

And I’m scared too.

I’m sad.

But I’ve made a choice. When fear is thrashing around inside of me I run STRAIGHT THROUGH IT. I don’t hold back. I don’t wait for it to calm down. I conquer that bitch.

Now, I’m not talking about ignoring intuition. When wisdom tells you to run from a dangerous situation – LISTEN.

I’m talking about the fear that keeps us from living life.

Sometimes we have to make a CHOICE.

It might be a small choice with a huge result or it might be a giant obsticale that has been blocking your way for a long time.

Whatever it is, the challenge is the same. Run through your fear, friend.

And if you can’t… it’s okay. There’s no shame. Just try again.

And again.

Until fear is exposed.

Cause fear is a bully.

 

31 Days of Fearless {He Has Been Good to Me}

“How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?

Look on me and answer, O Lord my God. Give light to my eyes or I will sleep in death…

But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.

I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me.”

{Psalm 13}

My girlfriend Alisa taught Revelation Fitness from this one line earlier this week: “for he has been good to me.”

It’s been resting in my mind since then. I keep coming back to it.

Hasn’t he been good to me?

When I was a child and things, outside of my control, wounded me, he drew me to quiet places and I was safe.

When I sat on the threshold of death, depressed and ready to let go, he drew me back into a full and vibrant life.

When I was alone and overflowing with sorrow he opened my heart to Joe and brought me a sister in Tassie.

When I was lonely and purposeless he gave me my first baby and I started to learn to live selflesssly.

When I was utterly crushed and despairing in my marriage he increased my community and surrounded me with my Holy Yoga family.

When I could barely breathe anymore and I couldn’t imagine bringing another baby into our mess, he drew me to the name Judah because Leah had named her own son “Praise” in the midst of her rejection.

When the thought of giving birth again filled me with terror and sadness, he blessed me with a beautiful, healing birth and a strong, perfect baby.

When my perfect 6 month old was stung by a scorpion in the middle of nowhere and getting closer and closer to dying, he sent numerous gifts, assurances and people to ease our fear and sadness.

When our circumstances seem like they might strangle us slowly, he reminds me of the beautiful transformation in my marriage and family.

Although I have experienced enough sadness to ruin me, every single moment of my life carries the very same message…

He has been good to me.

He has been so good to me.

See what I mean? ;)

31 Days to Fearless {Anxiety}

When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.

{Psalm 94}

This one line is enough. There is only one thing to do with anxiety; only one place to release fear.

There is only one Consoler.

When everything seems ready to pop, stop. Breathe deep. Get quiet.

Do nothing.

Let the Consoler into deep, lonely spaces.

You will find JOY nestled into the creases of his hands, spilling out over your tired soul.

And that will be enough.

31 Days of Fearless {Do It Anyway}

I’m five days late. Oops. But I’m here, and that’s what counts.

I’m doing this 31 Days of Fearless series because I’m in a really wild space of conquering fear these days. The funny thing is – I’m freaking terrified. This is not a clean, pretty little paved road with everything lined out and organized for me. This is a narrow path overflowing with sharp rocks, predators and sharp dips. Sometimes I have to stop and look around to make sure I’m even still on the path.

Very old, forgotten wounds are surfacing. I am seeing my life, my past, as if for the first time. There are things I should confront, but I’m too afraid. There are things I want to come to terms with, but they seem to loom over me.

So, I’m doing the only thing I can do. Rather than trying to clean house, I’m inviting Jesus in. There isn’t much I can do about the gunk inside of me, but I can open the door, or even a crack, and whisper, “Come in. Do what must be done.”

Yesterday, in a Holy Yoga class, my friend Brooke said that all of the abuse and sorrow that has been inflicted on us IS true, but there is a GREATER truth, a BRIGHTER truth, a STRONGER truth.

I’m swallowed up by the little truth, but tiny, feeble movement by tiny, feeble movement I’m moving aside for the Greater Truth. It’s healing me. And, as it heals me, I’m finding myself a little bit braver. I’m starting to do the things I’m afraid of. I feel that sting of fear and my spirit jumps forward shouting, “Do it anyway!”

My marriage is changing. My parenting is changing. My friendships are changing. My ability to function is changing. I am changing.

It’s so small you might not even notice it yet, but I notice. There’s a tiny cup of sunshine in the deepest, darkest spaces of me.

It’s radiant.

Sometimes the only way to conquer fear is to push against it, or to simply refuse to feed it. Stand your ground. Dig in your heels and force yourself to be brave. What comes next is exhilarating.

A brick breaks free from the wall and there is a little more light, a little more freedom.

A tiny bit more Fearless.

31 Days of Change

I love this 31 Day Challenge from Nesting Place! 31 days to change… and change is something I’m in full pursuit of. 

The challenge doesn’t start until October 1st, but I didn’t even think twice about the subject I’ll write about. Fear is my enemy these days. I am constantly looking for ways to live fearlessly. So, starting in October I’m going to write EVERY DAY about living fearlessly! EVERY DAY people! :)

If you’re interested, start thinking about your 31 Day Topic and join me! When you choose your topic leave a me comment with a link to your blog. I can’t wait for October to GET HERE! :)