Archive | beauty

Happiness or Joy?

IMG_8956

I recently attended an evening meeting with women from my area where the topic of happiness and joy were discussed. It was then that I really started to think about the two, the differences and what I do daily that contributes to one of the other. There is a difference between the two that I never thought about.

Happiness

Happiness is that feeling that comes over you when you know life is good and you can’t help but smile. It is a sense of well-being, joy or contentment.

Some things that make me happy are: playing volleyball, working out, alone time, vacation with the family, the cabin, when I’ve had a successful day of eating healthy, chocolate, shopping, girls nights, date nights, bedtime for the kids, music, a walk outside in the sunshine.

IMG_8958Joy

Joy is the emotion evoked by the prospect of possessing what one desires: delight; the exhibition of such emotion. Bliss. Intense and especially ecstatic or exultant happiness.  The definition of the word “rejoice” from which our word “joy” comes, is to “feel great delight, to welcome or be glad.”

Some things that bring me JOY are: making a family member or friend feel loved or happy, vacation with my husband, seeing my children excel in a sport or activity, connecting with God, hearing my child say a sincere prayer, the beach, the mountains, girls getaway, helping others accomplish their goals, serving others, when a friend or family member feels joy.

Self Reflection

As I looked over my list I realized that most of what brings me joy and FILLS MY SOUL comes from connections with nature, God, my family or serving others. My happy times come mostly from superficial and temporary things.  Experiencing true joy leads to happiness and seems to overflow into many aspects of my life.

How do I accomplish this?  How do you accomplish this?

Focus on others, enjoy the simple things in life, find gratitude in life’s blessings, be the best version of me, seek for light and peace on a daily and sometimes hourly basis and “dance in the downpour”.

This self-discussion and reflection reminded me of what is truly important in my life and that if I desire joy, I need to “throw away the mirrors and look out the window”. (Talk given by Cheryl Esplin which you can find here .)

IMG_8959

What is it that makes you happy and what truly fills your soul?

 

Tana Post Signature

0

The Roller Coasters in Life

Life is amazing. And then it's awful. And then it's amazing again. And in between the amazing and the awful its ordinary and mundane and routine. Breathe in the amazing, hold on through the awful, and relax and exhale during the ordinary. That's just living heartbreaking, soul-healing, amazing, awful, ordinary, life. And it's breathtakingly beautiful.

You’ve finally got it figured out.  You feel good, you look good, things are going well.  You’ve read books on self-improvement, health, happiness and can check those off.  You are becoming who you want and life is wonderful, beautiful and amazing.  Then an emotional event or something occurs that throws you off and out of routine.  Pretty soon you are two steps back, the guilt seeps in, frustration takes over and you’re flooded with feelings of failure because you have done this over and over.  You are back on the roller coaster that seems to be a regular ride.

Why does this happen like a rollercoaster in life?  Up, down, all around.  Emotions, thoughts and feelings all over the place.  I know it’s not just me, although I often feel that way.  I’ve met with many woman who go through the same eating roller coaster.  On the up we are doing well and feeling great; in control and making healthy choices and feel peaceful.  On the down, there’s more sugar, more portions, less control = more guilt, frustration and less patience.

I’ve been on this roller coaster for most of my life but recently I thought I had it figured out.  I’ve transformed in many aspects and KNOW HOW and WHAT to do.  I have tools, not just mental and spiritual tools but tools to provide success with my eating- which I use regularly.  For some reason I jumped back on the ride and the roller coaster continues.  You know what I’m talking about right?  When you worry a lot about what you can and can’t eat, how it will or won’t affect your body and that seems to consume your thoughts?  Yeah, that’s where I’ve been AGAIN and I really don’t like it.  Do you enjoy the ride?  I can’t say that I do so here are a few things that I do to get me on solid ground again.

Call it what it is.

I know what is happening, it’s what has happened all along but unlit the past two months I didn’t recognize what it REALLY is.  It’s the cunning devil.  Seriously.  Who else know knows how to make me frustrated, upset, insecure, think unkind things about myself and to think that food will make me happy.  He does and he loves it because it takes away focus from happiness and good.  If he can get me to ride the coaster and feel down about myself, stumble and fall then he is successful- misery loves company.  So I call him out and change my focus.

Choose your ride.

To become grounded again these are a few tips that may help:

*Enjoy the moment.  What is going on RIGHT NOW that I am loving and excited about?  It may be that I got a killer work out in, maybe I had a great hair day or HOORAY I get to watch my kids in their athletics today and see how they have improved.  Maybe it is the WHOLE bag of Cadbury Eggs that I somehow just ate…enjoy it and move on.  Whatever it is, enjoy what is going on at that moment and be grateful.

*Recognize what is happening.  I notice that I am thinking about myself, my body, food, how my clothes fit way too much and not in a positive way.  I feel more emotional, stressed and frustrated.  Is this me?  Do I enjoy this?  Is this happiness and what I want?

*Share your fall or frustrations with others. You’ll be amazed at the support you will get and the support you are to others.

*Relax and focus your attention on others.    At this frustrating moment I realize that I am too focused on me.  Once I begin serving others, focus on my kids, family, neighbors and less on my frustrations, I begin to forget myself and my problems.  The coaster is coming to a stop for me to get off.

As a woman who craves balance, peace, “perfection”- the ups and downs drive me crazy so I seek solid ground as soon as I can.  Life is a journey and I am working on enjoying it with more rides I choose and will enjoy.

What are some things you do when you find yourself out of balance?

 

Tana Post Signature

2

The Truth the Media Doesn’t Want you to Know

Her Value is More Precious than Rubies

The other day I walked past the floor-length bathroom mirror and caught a glimpse of myself out of the corner of my eye. I felt truly beautiful and valuable, kind of out of nowhere. It really surprised me! I haven’t forgotten the feeling and want to share because it has calmed all the negative voices once and for all and I am truly happy and working patiently where I’m at. But it wasn’t always that way.

shannon tulip 2

The struggle is REAL!

Seriously! Can any of you relate? I’ve struggled with self-worth since I was a teenager. I became more aware of my looks and body shape, I started to compare myself with others, criticize my flaws, and cared way too much about what others thought. These feelings of not being enough stuck as I moved through college and marriage.

At the height of some of my most difficult Mom years, I had 5 kids under the age of 7–all BOYS! My husband was in residency and I mothered full time at home with my beautiful babies.  We had a LOT of fun and I worked my butt off, but I was also overwhelmed and stressed out, not to mention sleep deprived trying my best to be a great Mom! It didn’t help that everywhere I went, people bombarded me with rude comments and intrusive questions about my age and the number of kids we have etc. At the time I didn’t know how to handle the emotional attacks other than to feel shocked for the harsh judgments being thrown at me. This happened so regularly that over time, I came to feel so undervalued.

3 Books that Shift Negativity

I needed support and I needed the best kind. I turned to Gordon B. Hinkley’s book Standing For Something. AH-Maaa-zing! He prompts, “The home produces the nursery stock of new generations and parents are the gardeners. In that light, I must emphasize the importance, the value, the singular impact that women have within the fabric of our society and in the makeup of our homes.” I had to let that sink in. Internalizing this idea has been a turning point for me. My role as a mom to a handful of kids wasn’t just valuable, it had the power to influence generations. Wow! This woke me up. I started to see I truly had the power to change how I felt about myself and my role as a mother.

When negativity came my way, I followed another trick from Gordon—as much as I could, I made it an opportunity to respond with humor and love. A couple of my favorites:

1) In the checkout at the grocery store I could count on the clerk to ask with wide eyes and a sagging jaw (in reference to the kids in and on the cart), “Are they all yours???” I’d smile and reply back, “Aren’t they adorable? There’s a buy one get one free sale and there were only 5 left. You owe me a kid!” 😉

2) Going place to place like a Mama with her ducklings all in a line, others would see me and ask, “Are you the Nanny?” (HA!) I’d smile and say, “No, they’re mine.” That was followed by disbelief and the remark “You look so young!” and then (of course) the demand to know, “How old are you?” I decided because this is one of the top questions I get, for my own sanity I’d not just change the subject or ignore it, but answer with, “Isn’t it great? When I’m 50 I’ll be looking fabulous!”

This kind of response either made people laugh, changed their attitude, or shut them up. It’s funny to watch—try it! This positive spin is so helpful in keeping a better perspective for myself and it shows a good example to our kids.

Another book that really helped is I am a Mother, by Jayne Clayson Johnson. She shares, “[M]otherhood involves some sacrifices…You will certainly lose some sleep over the years, and, every now and then, you might temporarily lose your sanity. But you will also learn about yourself…the world…the Spirit…As you learn these things…you do not lose your identity, [but you more] closely identify with God.” Isn’t that amazing? It reminded me of Lucia in Max Lucado’s book, You are Special. She didn’t let the dots or stars others tried to put on her stick to her. I decided, I wasn’t going to either. It’s such a gift that we can become free and unspotted from the judgements others throw our way and identify ourselves as His greatest creations.

Jeffrey R. Holland teaches, God “knows your name and knows your circumstance. He hears your prayers. He knows your hopes and dreams, including your fears and frustrations…and He knows what you can become through faith in Him.” When we truly understand His love for us, the confusion clears and our priorities align. Our walk as disciples of Christ becomes more joyful and our lives take on new meaning. It’s so refreshing to look in the mirror and not focus on the imperfections, but to see myself as a beautiful daughter of God, precious and happy. I’m excited I am finally here!

What are your favorite ways to combat negativity? Do you also have some favorite positive responses? I’d love to hear them!

 

shannon signaturestripes shannon

 

 

0

You are enough

Unrealistic beauty expectations

Could I just have a moment to vent about what society is doing to women? I have such strong convictions about this and have to share or I might just burst!!

Last night, I flipped through a beauty/fashion magazine for the first time in many years, and I just felt this overwhelming hollow sadness. Sadness not just for myself, but for my mother, my daughters, and every girl and woman in our society. We wonder why so many girls have body-image issues, low self-esteem and eating disorders? It occurred to me… the under”lying” LIE that each and every page is selling is that we’re not enough. No matter how hard we try and no matter how much we buy, we’ll never be enough.

The ultimate goal of advertisers (and the adversary) is to get us to keep consuming the latest fashion trend, makeup product, wrinkle cream, plastic surgery procedure, etc., and to continually strive to become this standard of beauty which is simply unattainable… because it’s not even REAL. These images are airbrushed and distorted, and yet girls see them everywhere and accept them as reality. It burns an image into our minds of what we should look like, and we jump on the hamster wheel of trying to keep up, but we’ll always fall short. Even if we come close to “ideal”… it doesn’t last and it can all be taken from us in an instant.

The magazine featured a professional manicurist boasting that she treats her nails with oils 10 times each day and recommends the same for ultimate nail care. I’m sorry… but what a colossal waste of TIME. Looking back on our lives will we wish we had spent more time in the salon?? I don’t think so!! We’re not taking our perfect manicures, breast implants, hair extensions or chiseled abs with us ladies!! You know what I think?? I think it’s all one BIG FAT distraction. Distraction designed to keep us from pursuing what we’re really here on this earth for. Distraction to distance us from God. True happiness will never come from achieving the perfect body, perfect hair, etc. It’s vapid. It’s vain. It’s an illusion!!! It keeps us trapped in this insatiable cycle of consuming and becoming so consumed with OURSELVES that we forget to lose ourselves in the service of others; the true source of joy.

Balance is Best!

Don’t get me wrong. Attention to hygiene and physical appearance is obviously important. There are spiritual benefits to mastering the body through proper nutrition and fitness. It’s all about balance, and our society has taken it all to the extreme. When our hearts become set on these things, when we neglect more important spiritual things in the pursuit of it, when we feel less than enough because we’ll never measure up to the images of “perfection” all around us, it becomes a real problem. Not just for us, but for those who are depending on us to lead them to the truth. The lie leaves us insecure, but the truth reassures us we’re secure in Christ. The lie yells: “You need more!! You’re NOT ENOUGH as you are!! You will never be enough!!” The truth whispers: “You ARE enough. You have always been enough. You are His. You are bought with a price and you are now priceless. You are fearfully and wonderfully made.”

Call to action

I’m not a fan of venting unless there’s a call to action attached to it. So here’s a call to action for myself, and anyone who cares to join me. Our daughters need the women in their lives to stand in stark opposition to the crushing tidal wave of lies they’re getting from our culture. They need women who refuse to buy into the lie. Women who are willing to take a stand for the truth and teach them about the value of DEEP and lasting beauty. To demonstrate the virtues of modesty, humility, and dignity in dress and appearance. And to show them by example that their true VALUE has NOTHING to do with how they look. That means less time in front of a mirror, and more time in front of a book. Less time shopping, and more time serving. Less money consuming, and more money contributing. I want to be that kind of woman. I can do better!! Let’s do better together. Our daughters deserve nothing less.

It’s your body and your journey.

Nicole Post Signature

 

0

Powered by iNFLUXPC.com