SECRETS OF A SOCIAL WORKER

Find peace. Find happiness. Find yourself.

Tag: motivation (page 1 of 2)

Rules I Live By Each Day (and you should too)…

1. Know how to laugh at yourself 2. Be kind, always, to yourself and others 3. Always start the day with coffee 4. Don’t worry about what people think of you or what society says is “normal”, do what’s right for you 5. Have confidence, even if you have to fake it, there is nothing sexier than confidence 6. Always check your blindspot 7. Be open to learning something new 8. Be willing to put your ego aside, admit when you’re wrong and say sorry 9. Be more patient (it truly is a virtue) 10. Be a good  listener and communicate clearly  11. Don’t assume anything 12. Never leave the house without chapstick 13. Tell people how you feel and be honest with yourself 14. Sing in the shower 15. Give yourself  a compliment every day 16. Take a risk or do something that puts yourself out there (it’s good to feel uncomfortable) 17. Drive to/from work in silence 18. Eat something that makes you happy 19. Work hard play harder 20. Spend time on your hobbies 21. Release all expectations 22. Let go of control and embrace change 23. Be yourself, everyone else is taken…

-keep shining

Rules I Live By Each Day (and you should too)…

1. Know how to laugh at yourself 2. Be kind, always, to yourself and others 3. Always start the day with coffee 4. Don’t worry about what people think of you or what society says is “normal”, do what’s right for you 5. Have confidence, even if you have to fake it, there is nothing […]

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Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That

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Food for thought:
Maybe when you no longer need anything, you can have everything. And when you stop trying to make things happen, anything can.
Take a second to reread this quote a few times and think about what it means to you. Does it resonate with you as much as it does with me?

We spend so much of our time focusing on what we want and deserve, how to reach that goal, how to ensure the outcome is exactly as we need it to be. We want every situation in our life to play out the way we imagined. But let me ask you this, how is that working out for ya?
How many times have your plans worked out the way you’ve tried to twist and turn them?

Every time something cruddy or unforeseen happens to me I get stressed and upset, just like anyone else.  But  life has been a lot easier to navigate when I take a step back and look at the bigger picture. I can completely understand why that road block, unpredictable adventure, plot twist, happened. Every time I take this step back, I learn something about myself and I am grateful for the experience. It doesn’t take away from the pain or confusion or stress that it had on me as I still have disappointments. Every time I take a step back I trip and fall over an imaginary line, and fall flat on my face (both literally and figuratively because I am the most accident prone human I know).
Taking a step back and reflecting does flood us with emotions, some of which we want to avoid. It’s difficult because we are faced with the realization of ourselves and that change is hard. It’s important to remember that it is normal to feel these emotions; anger or disappointment typically, when things do not work out in the boring, predictable way we hoped.
We need to allow ourselves to trust the process more often, to challenge ourselves to let go. I talk about this a lot in my blogs because I see everyone in my life struggle with this, time and time again. When life happens, we vent and focus solely on the negativity of the event and we ignore all that we’ve gained. It’s easier to complain than to challenge ourselves. But each and every one of you is resilient, and I promise you will get through it. I can promise you this because you’re still standing, aren’t you? Think about how much you’ve been through in your life. The wonderful thing is you’re still here, despite it all. And it’s the difficult times in life that truly define us. Don’t miss the opportunity to be proud of who you are and what you’re capable of.
Click here to read my blog on letting go of control

Most of the time we refuse to look at how that negative experience could also benefit our lives. We really can have everything when we expect nothing, when we let it flow and bring on life’s adventure. Anything is possible when we let go of expectations or plans for the future. Doesn’t that just make you smile and exhale a little bit? I know I relax a little more each time I remind myself of this. I feel more motivation to accept and appreciate the unknown.
Not only do we try to manipulate life’s tests to make them fit our impossible mold, we focus on what others have. If there’s anything I have learned through my career in social work, it is that we have no idea what anyone is going through, regardless of what we see on the outside. We constantly focus on the next shiny object; the they-have-what-I-want mentality. We focus on who we strive to be like and base happiness on materialistic things that others possess. Just try to focus on yourself, comparing to others is a huge waste of energy. Trust me when I say, there’s enough to go around. Life is so much sweeter when we can just be happy for others and move on. But know that you too will find what it is that you need, always. And don’t forget that regardless of how great someone’s life seems, it’s not your life. You don’t have that life because it was not meant for you. Embrace your own path.
Speaking of focusing too much on others, I have also learned to be picky with friends. People can be toxic and add to the stress of your world. I often hear people say that as you get older, you start to notice those diamond friends that are always there; good, bad, or ugly. Some ‘friends’ are just around for all the good times, or others only show up when you’re life is full of obstacles. We let these people influence us too much. Don’t drink other people’s poison, even when it’s offered with love….
We all have that one friend who never fails to be right at our side when it involves some juicy drama or tragic event, however aside from that they mysteriously disappear. Your struggles make them feel better about their own lives. Or the ‘friends’ you only hear from during times of fun and adventure and social outings. I have one word of advice for you; drop ’em like they’re hot….Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Click here to read my blog about self-focus; letting go of the world’s expectations
Click here to read my blog about connection vs attachment, and when to let go of some relationships

Okay, sorry for that ‘squirrel!’ moment on lame friends; back to letting go…
I also want to point out that we never know what blessings an obstacle is creating behind the scenes. I would argue that you could totally be avoiding larger nightmares and mishaps because this obstacle arose in your life, thankfully
For example, I was previously employed at a job I loved. It always felt smooth-sailin’ and doable, even on the long and emotional days. However, my biggest blessing and curse as a human is that I get bored easily. I constantly need to be learning and feel like I am being challenged in my work. God forbid I just pick a job with no stress, chaos, or overtime, but I can hardly imagine that!
I was starting to get a little stir crazy at this job due to the desire to always be challenged. But because I enjoyed my clients and could not fathom moving on, I could not get myself to leave the organization. Out of the blue, there was a huge misunderstanding that has caused a lot of self reflection in my life. I ended up leaving that job in a really confused and upsetting place, however because of that I found a better path for myself. I am now in a position that was meant for me, and that I am beyond passionate about. Had some random, unpredictable experience not occur at that previous job, I would not be here today. I would not have had the drive to leave and allow this new job to practically fall into my lap. As far as misunderstandings go, talk about good timing. Not to mention that since I left that job, a lot more has changed which has placed much more stress and workload onto the wonderful staff there. AKA, I dodged a bullet and avoided those bigger nightmares that I mentioned earlier.
During that time in my life, I was not myself. I took on someone else’s problems and internalized them making it my own fault. I wasted many days wondering why. But once I took the time to step back and focus big picture, I learned so much about myself. I learned to be more assertive and stand up for myself, I learned that it is okay to not take the fall for someone else, and I feel more confident in knowing I did not do anything wrong. I am always trying my best, and at the end of the day that is what matters. And ultimately, it was those feelings that motivated me to leave, to move on, and to know that the position was no longer serving me. That chapter was closing, and opened me up to a path full of new possibilities.

Long story short, life can be unrealistically unpredictable in the best of ways if we just lessen our expectations and let life be beautiful…The way it was meant to be.

 -Keep shining 

Click here to read more about how to instill more fun in your life
Click here for the top 10 reasons to call in sick
Click here and here for blogs on how to be more assertive

Click here for more tips on letting go

‘Like’ and share my Facebook page for regular blog updates.
Quotes and motivation for today’s blog came from the book Outrageous Openness by Tosha Silver

Happy Things Thursday

 

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  • A successful first date
  • New slippers
  • Toddlers trying to walk in boot and snowsuits
  • The smell of Barnes and Noble
  • Drinking your favorite fountain pop
  • A baby falling asleep in your arms
  • Lighting a new candle for the first time
  • Wedding receptions
  • Someone letting you budge in line
  • Getting reimbursed for college books at the end of the semesterClick here to ‘like’ and follow my Facebook page
    -keep shining

Eat The Popsicle That Turns Your Mouth Blue…

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Why is it that when we turn into full-time working, tax paying, house cleaning adults we forget to have fun? We take life too seriously and don’t laugh as much as we should. We lose our ability to be spontaneous and we forget the importance and excitement of being immature.
We were all kids once, and for some of us those are the best memories of our lives. We didn’t have an agenda, no ongoing stressors, and life consisted of having fun by using our imagination and acting impulsively. Being a kid consisted of enjoying the little things which made us happy. We were at our most simple and innocent selves.
The good news is we can still incorporate that mindset into our lifestyle as adults. We should never let go of our ‘kid-at-heart’ mentality. We all have a child inside of us that still wants to be carefree, laugh, and act immaturely. There is no reason we need to repress that kid inside, but instead should embrace what that brings out in us.
So how can we remember to play more and work less, you ask? Here are my thoughts…

First and foremost, don’t forget to do the things that brought you joy so many years ago. Whether you walk by a tree and have an impulse to climb it, or you want to eat the popsicle that will turn your mouth blue, paint a picture, or have an urge to dance in public…Do it! Those were the things that made us happy as kids, and we did them without thinking twice about it. As adults, we care too much about what others think of us, and focus too much on what needs to be done versus what we want to do.
Other areas we neglect as we get older is our creativity and imagination…. Creativity is why our world is so advanced, so never lose site of your imagination. Imagination is what helped you morph into the savvy, sophisticated human you are today. Our imagination is what motivated us to be creative, to make things up, to play things out, and to be curious. By using our imagination we learned about what we loved, what we were passionate about, and what we fantasized for our futures. We created so many incredible things by using our imagination; forts, drawings, silly jokes, games, lifestyles, costumes….The list goes on and on!
And in case you don’t recall…we forgot and forgave as kids. I do not ever remember holding a grudge against my sister when she forced me into blue jeans, frilly socks, and bows when all I wanted to wear were cowgirl boots and sweat pants (I screamed bloody murder every.single.time)…We moved on, and remembered the importance of still loving those in our lives who were important to us, even when they made us mad. As kids we did not judge people or talk badly about one another. We loved unconditionally, it was that simple.
And weren’t all of us annoyingly curious as kids? Always asking questions, and always exploring. Think about how much we learned by being curious and asking the “why’s” to everything adults said and did. But now that we are adults, we feel that asking a question makes us irrelevant or is something to be embarrassed about. We feel vulnerable when we ask questions and when we do not know the answers to everything. Asking questions and being curious is how we learned and grew as kiddos, and we cannot let our egos distract us from the importance of that. Nor can we judge one another for not having the answers. There truly is no such things as a stupid question, how would we know otherwise? There is so much truth to the simple saying, you don’t know what you don’t know.

Of course over time we have gained more responsibilities and stressors, but do not forget to be who you truly are. Who you are resides within the kid that lives in your heart; it’s where you came from, your passions, your curiosity, your endless love, your simplicity, your creativity and imagination. Our time is precious, and no day should go without doing something we love and being who we are. Make time to laugh each and every day, be impulsive, and eat that blue popsicle.

Can you remember who you were before the world told you who you should be? ~

-keep shining

Top 10 Reasons To Call In Sick

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On Monday I woke up with an agenda on my mind. I had things to do, people to see, and money to make. It was a Monday, after all, and we all know what that means! So you can imagine how frustrating my morning was, waking up sick as I have been the past few days. Lucky for my husband, I had no ability to use my voice for 4 days. Unlucky for my agenda and career, my every day life requires me to use my voice to coordinate, train, and meet with people.

This current experience of being sick has been a clear reminder to me of how much I like order and control in my life. Being sick makes me feel vulnerable and incapable of doing every day tasks, especially ones that have been planned and coordinated in advance. And let me tell you, I do not like this feeling. The feeling of having to reschedule trainings, not being able to answer my phone calls, having co-workers take on my job duties…This is extremely difficult for me to accept.

During my personal pity party Monday morning, it dawned on me that there is absolutely nothing I can do about being sick. I realized that I needed to accept that the situation was out of my control, and that everything is going to be okay! Everyone will go on with their lives and in the meantime I will get healthy again. Once I somewhat accepted this ( I am still working on it) I came up with a quick list of things to remember in times when things do not go according to our plans:

  1. Life will go on – If you’re frustrated with things not going according to plan or not having control over a situation, I can guarantee you that you’ll move on. Someday, you will not even remember what you’re upset about right now, in this moment, and it will not matter. Is this really worth stressing over right now?
  2. “Let go and let God” – To me, this saying means that by letting go and going with the flow, things will fall into place as they are meant to. Everything happens for a reason, and there is a reason you aren’t in control in this very moment. Embrace it, accept it.
  3. This too shall pass – My favorite saying that my grandmother used to say. I use this all the time! Whether I am sick, scared, annoyed, in pain, hurt, etc…I remind myself that soon this will be over, and I will be past this moment in my life even stronger than I was before.  This is comforting to remind myself during icky moments.
  4. People can carry on without you – Yes, it’s true. People can go about their daily lives without you in it for the time being. Maybe those people will learn something new today because you weren’t present and/or in control. Maybe they will appreciate you even more when they experience moments without you present or without you being in charge. Everyone will be okay without your help and/or presence today, I promise. 
  5. Breathe and enjoy letting go – Enjoy the time you have to sit back, not make any decisions, and breathe.  It’s okay to slow down from time to time and understand that you cannot solve all the world’s problems today. What other options do you have now that you are not in control? What else are you able to accomplish today that typically you would not have the ability to do? Yes, you may be sick like me, but it still allows you some extra time in your day to do other things. Even if those other things consist of binge watching tv and staying in your pajamas all day. Who cares?! Enjoy that time to yourself, even if you are feeling crumby. 
  6. Embrace the chaos – Use this time to your advantage and challenge yourself. If things are not going according to plan, what can you learn from this? Try to find the pieces to enjoy! Are you home sick like me? Great, take that time to do the laundry in between working from home. Have that cup of afternoon coffee  that typically you do not have time for.
    Are you in a situation where you have no control? Or in a situation that is unorganized and chaotic? Learn from that chaos. Change the way you control and coordinate things based on the chaotic experience you’ve endured.  Also try to enjoy things not being predictable, sometimes it can be fun to let go and be unaware of what is coming next!
  7. You’re your own worst critic – You are going to judge yourself more than anyone else who you feel you’ve let down today. You are going to notice when things do not go according to your plan much more closely than anyone else that is present. Remember that we are always harder on ourselves, and that typically people view us much differently than we are viewing ourselves. Plain and simple. 
  8. Remember that you’re human, not super human – You cannot do it all, people! It’s not possible. Even if you try really, really hard there are things that will not go according to plan, and situations where you cannot have control. Remind yourself that there is only so much you can offer each day without completely burning yourself out. Remember to take care of yourself. If you’re not healthy, no amount of control can make things go smoothly for you because you’re lacking basic needs to keep yourself on track each day. It is okay to ask for help sometimes. We all need to practice being vulnerable (click here to read my blog on The Power Of Vulnerability).
  9. Loss of control brings change – Change is wonderful, but change can be hard. I can tell you that the times in my life where I experience the most amount of personal change are in situations that are unpredictable and challenging for me. This is where I learn how I respond as a person, and how I want others to view me. This is where I learn what I am made of. Chaos can be a beautiful thing. I challenge you to think of a time you learned something new about yourself, and think about how much control you had over the situation where you changed.
  10. Be grateful – Awe, the most basic but powerful point of all! Stay positive! On Monday, while sick and incapable of doing my job to the fullest, I reminded myself of how lucky I was to have a job that I want to partake in each day. I think about how lucky I am to have trustworthy coworkers who I know can carry on without me and support my personal health. I am grateful to have a husband to call the doctor for me because I have no voice and cannot make my own appointment. I am glad that I have insurance and can pay for medications. I am grateful that most days I do have my my voice and my health, as the past few days have been some of the most challenging I’ve had in a long time. I am grateful for a comfortable home where I can work all day, and a nice work computer that still allows me to get some stuff done. And I am grateful that being sick gave me a great writing idea for my blog!
    See how easy that was?! Thinking of these positive things makes me feel happier, and helps me keep my focus where it needs to be…and I’ll give you a hint, it’s not on the fact that I am sick.

Letting go is hard…but sometimes, holding on is harder

-keep shining

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