Posts in Self Care
Peace, Gratitude (and maybe fluffy cupcakes)
"I never used to be one for journaling - hah, just kidding.  When that lead hits the paper, a doorway opens that" ... Self Care tips for Women | Gratitude Journal | Journaling | Self Value | Positive Mindset | Restoration | Rest | Love of books | All things journal | Gratitude Lists | Joy | Self Care Practice | Self Care Quotes | Nature Quotes | Fern Picture Quotes | Winston Salem Photographer | Jasper & Fern

I never used to be one for journaling - hah, just kidding. I've always had a pencil in a book scribbling away my thoughts and feelings. When that lead hits the paper, a doorway opens that helps me process. It's rather wonderful. My mind gets to be cleared and all that tension inside my head and chest dissipates as I work through my thoughts. While journaling was never a foreign concept, the first time I heard about Gratitude Journaling, I was a bit puzzled. My initial thought was that it must be just listing out everything you're grateful for in a book and, honestly, that sounded kind of disengaging. I've since learned that it's nothing like that and, now, gratitude journaling has become one of my favorite self care practices.

Karen Perry, a vibrant woman with a curious gaze and warm heart that overflows into her joy-filled nature, was the wonderful woman who introduced me to the concept of gratitude journaling. I had the opportunity to get to know her through a monthly meeting she hosted for women where we met to speak joy into eachothers’ lives. This is where she shared her concept of gratitude journaling with me and I got hooked. Through her time as a life coach, she crafted a simple gratitude journal that provided the opportunity for you to allow yourself to go as deep or as uncomplicated as you needed while also helping you grow and appreciate your life. She calls it the Peace Pages. 

Now, you may be wondering why we're talking about something that doesn't seem like a "self care" practice. Our take on self care is slightly different. We fully believe that self care goes beyond your standard "refreshing" practices. We believe that self care also helps you be restored. A grateful mindset spreads joy, relieves stress and helps you build stronger, healthier relationships.

Whenever I stop practicing my Peace Pages, I inevitably notice a drop in my mood and motivation after a few days. And, because I'm true to pattern, my brain always asks "What changed?" Many times, I can link the slow decline to my neglect of gratitude - because, transparently, I'm not a grateful person by nature. This is exactly why I love adding the Peace Pages to my self care though. They help me keep my perspective where it needs to be - aiding in the restoration of my heart and mindset. 

Now, remember that self care is personal. What works for me, might not work for you. If journaling isn't your cup of tea, that's okay. Find another way more suitable to you to fit more gratitude into your life, something that can get your heart and head in the right place. Find your equivalent to lead hitting the paper.

Now, go LOVE HARD!

P.S. If you come up with an awesome idea of how to do incorporate gratitude in your life, we'd love for you to share that with us!!

From the Trenches of Imposter Syndrome

I had a wakeup call recently. Someone told me “Stop focusing on what you’re not” and it hit me square in the chest. I was sitting there wishing to be one of those CEO, Type-A women who always has her life together (and color coded), and is somehow always ten steps ahead of the game. I was seeing my failures in BOLD.

What was so kindly pointed to me was that what I admired about these women were their strengths. BUT just because I didn’t share those same strengths didn’t mean I did have my own strengths or my own pieces of my life together.

It’s not what I wanted to hear. I wanted to hear a “You’ll be like that someday with enough hard work.” I wrap my head up in these ideas that some day I’ll run my life “like a boss.” Really though, even if I stopped and listened to my own advice that I’ve shared with you, I already know the way back to peace and contentment.

Stop Focusing on What You're Not | Inspirational Quotes for Self Worth | Self Care Quotes | Encouraging Quotes for women dealing with Imposter Syndrome | Boss Babe | Entrepreneur Life Quotes | Hustle Quotes | Comparison | Strength | Winston Salem, North Carolina Photographer | Jasper & Fern

Being strong and successful is not about matching someone else’s abilities. It’s not about making the same type of impact as another woman I admire. It’s not about pushing myself to be something. It IS about realizing that I’m built a specific way. It’s realizing I have my own strengths which I need to celebrate and not ignore or demean because they are different than what strengths I think I should have. It’s remembering that life is a journey and the “end game” isn’t even the end game. I just need to focus on being the best me. After all, I am me and I was made to make a specific difference. I have my own pace, my own path and I need to accept who I am and where I’m at.

(Sincerely,
Self)

No, really though, I’m writing this to myself and to anyone else who feels this way. Don’t just tell other people how great they are and that they have wonderful strengths. Make sure to celebrate your OWN strengths. Encourage yourself, lift yourself up, be real about what you’re going through and hold space for what’s happening in you. Be your own wakeup call.

People are People

A friend shared some heartbreaking news with me recently. News that, while it didn't directly affect me and my every day, brought up an old deep heartache. This heartache brought back a mantra I say multiple times a day and is something I want to share with you - if you haven't heard me say it already (which, if you spend any time around me, you've definitely heard it).

People are people.

Yes, I know this is obvious but, sometimes I need to remind myself that we are all humans, inherently flawed, each dealing with our own burdens and struggles. We all are acting from our own perspectives, our own personal history, our own hurt and life experiences. We each have needs, wants, desires, unique ways we are fulfilled, unique ways we are gifted and unique ways we respond to the life happening in and around us. Each and every one of us are in need of unconditional love, grace, forgiveness and understanding. 

I remind myself when the person in the checkout line in front of me does something to annoy me, "people are people, Alyson, be kind and understand that you have no idea what type of day they've had or what they're going home to or anything else that may be going on in their life;" When the person driving erratically does something rash, "Breathe, Alyson. People are people. You don't know why they are in a hurry or what/who is depending on them or why they're making this decision." To myself when someone takes what I say or do negatively "People are people, Alyson. You may have hit a nerve, not been sensitive, or could have handled the situation better. Maybe they're having a bad day. You don't know why they're reacting like they are. Be gracious, show them love, stop judging, know where you're coming from and do what you are able to help the situation and encourage them." This saying comes to mind all the time.

Inspirational Quotes | Blogs About Depression | Living with Mental Illness | Stories about Redemption | Self Care | Self Love | Forgiveness | Understanding | Love is the answer | People are People | Winston-Salem Photographer | Nature Quotes | You are Loved | WSNC | Coping with Struggle | The importance of Community

It also comes to mind when I hear news like today of a young pastor committing suicide, a pain that hits close to home as I've been in the congregation of a beloved, godly, inspiring pastor who made the same decision. The truth is, depression doesn't use discretion. It doesn't say "well, you're a pastor. So, I'll leave you alone." In fact, with the weight pastors and church staff carry, it's likely that the struggle with depression may be found more right there amongst our incredible church leaders.

When it comes to depression and struggle and pain, people are people. Just because people have a certain status, job title, influence, or wealth - they are not immune to the negativity of life. At the most basic level, we are all human - all judgements, differences, and prejudices aside - we are people. We all struggle. We all experience hurt. We all need to experience kindness, to be encouraged. Everyone... everyone... needs love and support.