If you are ANYTHING like me then you find yourself more often that not FREAKING OUT about all the crap on your "to-do" list! I tell myself that I am going to say no and that I am going to simplify my life and that I refuse to let the "things" control my life....and I will do really good for a few weeks BUT I find myself right back here...in need of a serious purge!!
I am getting really tired of living that way and so I knew that this month our #WomanNow series had to be on how we can help each other SIMPLIFY our life....and I decided that it wasn't going to just be about the lists and the piles and the clutter but that it was also going to be about simplifying your heart and the "things" that fill up your time and mind!
I have spent many years of my life living in survival mode. Just clawing and biting and fighting my way through my days. I would kill myself to meet expectations and deadlines. I would stress greatly over money (or serious lack of) and I would be angry and frustrated and overwhelmed!
I felt like a walking circus ALL THE DAMN TIME!
My dear friend and I were talking recently about the role of being "Super Woman" and what a great burden that truly is. To be told that all the time and the comparisons and all the ways that we see "reality" in this amazing time of technology can be so overwhelming. I wanted to share some of her thoughts from a quote that I shared with her.
She posted this on her IG :
(ps. if you are on IG go follow @thelottofus, @itsjustemmy and @bigtoughgirl)
I love this. If you caught me on #periscope (going to try and post a link to it in my profile) last night - you heard me talk about highlight reels vs behind the scenes. I was talking to @bigtoughgirl about how we all have to stop looking at social media as anything other than people's very best, their highlight reel. She said she had read a quote once (pictured) that talked about not comparing our messy behind the scenes to someone else's highlights. WOW. YES. How guilty of that am I? Very. We know comparison is the thief of joy - yet we get caught in that nasty trap anyway. So, we also talked about @itsjustemmy and her awesome hashtag #justsaynotosatan! Don't let comparison be satan's foothold - just say no!
Friends, this is my highlight reel. If you have ever believed that I am super mom or I have it all together or my kids don't act up or Emory and I don't fight or anything of the sort - I am here to tell you I AM NOT super mom (ask my kids), or super wife (ask @ttolyrome ) or super consultant ( ask my @facadopts fams )......I struggle with balancing so much that I don't do any one thing well most of the time. •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
We also discussed authenticity. Friends, there is a difference in being authentic and airing your dirty laundry. So often I feel we get caught in the trap of wanting to be authentic to the detriment of families - our husbands and children. We have to be careful that the things we share are not shaming or hurtful to our hubs or our kids. So many times, in effort to be "authentic" to share the "real life" we cross that line. So, while I want to be authentic, I won't do it at the expense of my family. So, this is my highlight reel. Please know that while you're viewing the pretty pictures, the happy moments, the 15th family picture where everyone is finally looking at the camera and smiling, there is a whole lot of messy and real life going on behind the scenes. •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
So, friends, as we start our day, I'm praying for us - praying we can appreciate each other's feed for what it is - a highlight reel.
I LOVED THAT SO MUCH and it is so true!!!
As my schedule starts to get busier and busier and my kids get older we are pulled in so many different directions and I truly hate feeling SO out of control of my own life all the time.
I used to be totally out of control of my life...in a different way. It was ugly and dark and the drama and pain and chaos and blame kept me stuck in victim hood. And the WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME crap that I pulled all the time....that is who I was....and so when I feel like my life is a little crazy and out of control I freak because I can't go back to that! It is NOT who or what I want to be.
I don't want to be spending my days stressing and crying and fighting and worrying and hating everything about my situation....I MISS SO MUCH IN MY LIFE WHEN I FEEL LIKE THAT!!
We asked our Big Tough Girl™ Community about their thoughts on Simplifying Your Life. They poured their hearts out about the struggles they face of taking on TOO MUCH and how they set themselves up to fail before they even get started!
Some of the things that were discussed:
- saying yes to everything
- not wanting to feel guilty for not doing the same things as all the other moms in their communities!
- balance is bullshit! Understanding priorities
- making goals and bucket list items
- creating a different relationship with money and bill pay systems
- letting go of the "stuff"
- trusting in a God that is big enough to handle it all!
SO WHAT CAN YOU DO??
We are sharing 4 tips to help you simplify your life and to embrace your inner
Big Tough Girl™
TAKE THINGS OFF YOUR BUCKET LIST!
One of the greatest things that I ever did for myself was to take things OFF my bucket list that would make me feel like a failure because I was NEVER going to do them....mostly because I didn't even care about them!
For example. It seems that EVERYONE in the State of Utah wants to run. They want to run a 5K or a marathon or RAGNAR and so when I would see the ladies in my neighborhood and ladies that I went to church with jogging together and bonding I would feel like crap. I felt like I was missing out on something or that I was never going to have friends because I wasn't joining in. SO...I added 5K to my bucket list (goal list). And then I would post and get all excited and I would look up the Couch to 5K program and then I would fail after a week. I wouldn't get out and run, I would take a nap and watch Netflix instead and it made me feel like crap!!!
SO my one little word for 2015 is INTENTION. That everything that I was going to do I was going to do with great intention and purpose and if it wasn't something that I really got excited and lit up about then I wasn't going to do it.
SO guess what gang, my bucket list (my longer term goal list) now has 5 items on it!
1. Get my picture taken at every College Football Stadium in the country.
2. Write a book.
3. Attend Brave Girls Camp
4. Break a bottle of Champagne open at the base of the Eiffel Tower
5. Summer in the Hamptons ( I was obsessed with Revenge and I really need to live like the Graysons for a summer....don't judge.)
Why work for something to accomplish in your life if you really don't want to? That is just a silly waste of time!
IF IT IS NOT A HELL YES THEN IT IS A NO!
One of the GREATEST lessons of my life has been to SAY NO to things that were not a HELL YES in my life. You guys I am a recovering YES girl and I am a co-dependent mess.
I have seen this so much in my personal life but also in my business life. I felt that to build my business and to be SEEN that I had to say yes to everything. My life AND business suffered greatly. But I was TERRIFIED to say no. I was afraid that I would be saying no to an opportunity that would help me and that I would make people mad at me.
I gave so much of my power away and it brought total chaos and stress to my life. I was taking time away from the things and people that I loved.
Here is what I know!
Think about that!! When you say yes to something that you don't want to do what happens?? You start to get angry, you have resentment and start to murmur against the person/event that you said yes to, you lie over and over saying " oh I am happy to help" or "it is no problem" or even "you can ask me any time". STOP DOING THAT!!! It ruins relationships, takes tons of energy and strength and makes you a resentful liar.
LEARN TO SAY NO WITHOUT GUILT OR WITHOUT EXPLANATION! When we say no we feel guilty and we tend to OVER talk and make up excuses for reasons why we can't help with something.....again making us a liar! Maybe I am the only one but I know that I have made up reasons why I couldn't help....that makes me out of Integrity with my word and I don't like feeling like that!
So I have learned that if I say no....and am just honest about it, I feel better...people respect me more and I am able to maintain relationships with people because I don't hate them for "making me do something I don't want to do".
So know this about me.....If you see me post about an event, a collaboration or an activity know that I am doing it because it was a HELL YES!!!!
CLEAR THE CLUTTER!
You guys seriously! It is time to LET IT GO! I going on these crazy cleaning sprees in my house when I get in a "mood" and I start throwing EVERYTHING away! I get so angry that I have so much junk in my house.
Now listen. I live in a 1400 square foot house so ANY extra things lying around make my house feel VERY SMALL very very quickly! I always have stuff on my counter and I always have that ONE drawer that is full of NOTHING BUT CRAP. So It is time to let it go!!
A few weeks ago my husband and I spent 4 hours cleaning our garage, with REAL INTENTION of clearing space and letting go of things that were no longer necessary to hold on to.
We ended up with 3 garbage cans full for the trash and for donation we ended up with 4 bags of clothes, 3 boxes of books, a Christmas tree, a car seat and several random bags of decorations etc.
I know we all have those jeans in our closet that we are keeping just in case we get "skinny" again, we all have the books on a shelf that we might have time to read again, we all have that box of projects that we might sit down and do when school starts and on and on and on....
This goes back to bucket list thing. The MORE stuff that sits around unfinished and unused can make you feel guilty and like you are failing because it is more stuff that you haven't accomplished! TIME TO LET IT GO!
Now my hubby and I live pay check to pay check! It is tough!! So I think that I can sell every little thing that I have in my garage or closet. I am just going to say this...I know that I will receive greater blessings by just donating those items then trying to sell them. I had bags and bags of clothes in the garage that just sat there, taking up space and stressed me out because I hadn't gotten around to listing them to sell.....
They went to the donation bin. Not only was my list and heart lighter but someone else will get use out of them that really needed the blessing of the donation.
Take some time to REALLY go through your stuff with INTENTION to clean and clear the clutter....you will be amazed at how much lighter your house and soul will feel!
YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH MONEY
Money is the GREATEST struggle of my life. It is my greatest stress, my greatest source of contention, my greatest worry. All the arguments with my spouse are about money. My biggest fears stem from money. My greatest demands come from money, my greatest goals and dreams are held back because of money.
I am spending a LOT of time learning to change my relationship of money. Learning to see it for what it is...
The very definition of Currency is this:
something that is used as a medium of exchange
Money is meant to flow! It is designed to be an exchange of energy and service. It is NOT meant to hold me prisoner.
Trusting that there will always be enough, trusting that my God is BIG ENOUGH to handle anything that comes our way, there is ALWAYS a way.
If we can truly learn to have a relationship with money, with what its main purpose is then we would celebrate every amount that comes in, praise God for the flow that comes to us and THANK God as it flows from us.
Now I have a household to keep and a family to take care of! I now I get it!! TOTALLY. So YES we need to make sure that we are taking care of our needs. BUT in doing this we can simplify our bills and the things that we pay for....the extra stuff that we can cut to make our need for money less...the cable, the eating out to dinner, the excessive shopping etc. There are always ways that we can cut and make sacrifices.
As you are learning to simplify your life, money will be a big one. FINDING A SYSTEM that works for you will be EVERYTHING! I am grateful for a friend who shared her process with me (@itsjustemmy on IG) And more than anything she reminded me to KEEP IT SIMPLE! The process should be simple because it is a simple exchange.
WOMEN OF THE WORLD. We love you, we honor you and we respect you. We want you to love yourself your simple life. We want you to fill your life with things that make you feel full and accomplished and not stressed or bitter in your own life!
Keep it simple! Life is full of crazy messes. Don't add to it. Keep your space clear and open for abundance and blessings to flow!
We are all learning and we are all trying to discover the Big Tough Girl™ within!
Ashley Mitchell, Owner Big Tough Girl™