SECRETS OF A SOCIAL WORKER

Find peace. Find happiness. Find yourself.

Month: March 2016

Human Trafficking in ND (pg. 39)

Easter Is Here, A Time For Regrowth!

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The time has come to celebrate rebirth, Christianity and religion, and spring. Yay for Easter! Easter is a great time to focus on many blessings in life, and one in particular is change and regrowth.

During the time of Easter, I like to focus on celebrating nature after the long and cold winter dissipates. As the days grow longer and the snow melts from the rooftops, the birds will start singing, green leaves reappear, and animals recreate. Just the smell of spring brings me joy and energy! Prior to Christian Easter being established, people acknowledged the anticipation of spring by celebrating the rebirth of life on Earth. And the best part is? We can continue the celebration of this changing season and the meaning behind it all!

I love focusing on growth in my life, which is partly why my favorite color is green. There is so much to think about this time of year; new opportunities, change, and rebirth. It is just such a refreshing, calming feeling for me to think about Easter and spring time, and how that can relate to my life. Around this time of year, I try really hard to focus on the sprouting trees, birds singing, smell of grass, and sound of people outside. Focusing on nature’s regrowth helps me to stay grounded and think about the present moment.

Some things to ponder during this time of year:
What have I grown from this year? 
How can I be more present with nature?
Why is personal growth important to me?
What about myself can be celebrated during this time of year?

What do I mean by growth, you ask? Well, I believe the definition of growth is completely up to you. It is about your perspective. For me, it is all about who I am as a person-What I have learned and what type of person I want to be. Growth is about what changes I have made and continue to make, and the improvements I continue to make in my awareness of nature and staying grounded.  Nature is my “church” because it’s so spiritual to me. There is so much to be thankful for at Easter!

How are you growing as an individual? What have you been through that has gotten you to where you are today, and how are you showing gratitude towards yourself and your strengths, changes, abilities? Easter is the perfect time of year to reflect on these questions.

How can you use nature to make more positive changes in your life and focus on all the wonders that surround you each and every day?

Something will grow from all that you are going through, and it will be you. 

-keep shining and happy Easter

Happy Things Thursday

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1. Finding good bargains
2. Finishing a good book
3. Getting through an entire tube of chapstick without losing it or melting it into your clothes while in the laundry machine.
4. Organizing a new purse or wallet
5. Buy one get one free, of anything
6. Cozying up in a fuzzy robe with a good book
7. Being told ‘I love you’ by a cute little kiddo
8. Easter=time to spend with family
9. The smell of freshly mowed grass
10. Getting a free cell phone upgrade

What Am I Doing Here?

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We all do it…Have those moments of panic when thinking about what we are doing with our lives, where we are headed, and our inability to predict the future. We feel lost, unsure, confused, and may feel we are headed towards a dead end. I am here to remind you that those feelings can be normal; there is no need to panic!

There seems to be a lot of pressure behind finding our purpose in life; what we are meant to do here on earth, and how to best make use of our skills. It can take many years for us to find that purpose, if ever at all. This can be discouraging and stressful. But our purpose here should be anything but discouraging and stressful. Having purpose brings excitement and meaning to our lives, feelings of importance and happiness. We all want that for ourselves, and we all deserve to feel valuable to our society and the world.

I think it is important to remember that we were placed on this earth for a reason. Each and every one of us is special, and we are all here for a reason, whether we are consciously aware of that reason or not. Do not let thoughts of feeling insignificant keep you from being happy and finding purpose.  What you choose as your purpose in this life is completely up to you.

Here are some helpful ideas to help you feel as important and valuable as you truly are!……

Be a dreamer.… Dream about and focus on what you want your purpose to be. Dream about possibilities you feel are far from reach. Fantasize about making things you enjoy being a part of your purpose. Dream away!
Celebrate your mistakes…. I know I have told you this before, but be proud of and learn to love your mistakes! (Click here to view my blog on the importance of making mistakes)  Mistakes make us who we are. They form us, help us grow. Without mistakes, how would we learn? Being accepting of mistakes is crucial to learning our purpose. We need to accept that we are not perfect. Even when we find our purpose we will not practice our purpose perfectly. Part of finding our purpose is making mistakes. Mistakes are a part of our journey, so really try to enjoy the growth that comes from them. Just do YOU.
Challenge yourself….Do not surrender to low standards. Challenge yourself, push yourself, and trust that you are capable of more than you realize. Be confident in what you bring to the table!
Carry on…..When you’re exhausted, make a mistake, or feel defeated…Keep going! Hard work is valuable so try and try again. Carry on and you’ll get there! Hard work and determination are fabulous skills to have, and you will learn more about yourself and your capabilities along the way. Of course, not forgetting about our self care and giving ourselves a break now and again. (Click here to view my blog for self care)
Be open to thoughts and suggestions…. It is so important to stay open-minded. The more open we are to thoughts that come into our mind and to suggestions from others the more versatile we are. We consume and retain so much more information and knowledge when we are open to things, especially things outside of our comfort zone.  For example, I had never enjoyed public speaking. I was terrified of it and not good at it. I never in a million years would think that my purpose would include speaking in front of others. But, as you probably have guessed by now, that has been an important piece in my career. Being a voice for those who do not have one is part of what I feel my purpose is. It is so powerful! Being open to the suggestion of macro work including public speaking and running group sessions has been life changing for me. However, what I have felt my purpose is in life has changed many times, and that is okay! Purpose does not have to be the same your entire life, it can change. Whatever feels right to you at that time in your life can be your purpose.
Simplicity is good, too! Your purpose does not need to be extravagant and life changing.  Your purpose does not have to be your career or your day job. Your purpose can be as simple as being a kind, honest person each and every day. Your purpose can be to be a great parent. You do not need to have some big, grand plan for how you’re going to change the world. Whatever feels right to you right now can be your purpose. Strive to be great at the simple things and know that you’re contributing to society by doing so. 
Volunteer….
We can gain and learn so much from others. Viewing life from others’ perspectives and seeing the world in many viewpoints is huge to finding our own purpose and how we want to contribute to the world. Giving our time to others is a rewarding experience and helps us learn about what makes us ‘tick’.
Enjoy yourself and your journey….
This  is the most important part! Our mistakes, stressors, set backs, obstacles, frustrations make us who we are. We can look back on those moments and reminisce on the decisions we made along the way.  It is really interesting and fun to look back on our lives to think about where life has brought us; how we got to where we are today. Your journey shows your growth, and can be a great learning experience when you look back at all you’ve accomplished and been through.  Enjoy continuing along on this journey. After all, it is the only one you’ve got.

The two most important days in your life are the day you were born, and the day you find out why. ~Mark Twain

-keep shining

Happy Things Thursday

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1. Holidays off from work
2. Having your favorite leftovers for lunch the next day
3. Receiving a compliment from a stranger
4. Wearing shorts for the first time after a long winter
5. The anticipation of wearing a new outfit
6. Midday naps
7. Lunch breaks with friends
8. Unexpected raise or bonus at work
9. Someone buying you a treat, coffee, etc. unexpectedly
10. Watching someone’s face light up when you surprise them with something, just because…