Help, I’m trapped and I can’t get out!

Bathroom StallToday we were out and about running errands. During one of our stops, nature was calling so I went to the ladies room to take care of that. Unfortunately, it turned into quite the experience. When I was finished flushing the toilet, and of course, pulling up my pants, I went to open the stall door. To my surprise, the door wouldn’t open. Yes – the door wouldn’t open. I was trapped! I kept struggling with the door, but to no avail – the door still wouldn’t open. At this moment, panic/survival mode was kicking in. Thoughts were racing by at the speed of light. Should I call out for help, but what would the other lady be able to do? Oh my gosh, I’m going to have to climb under the door? Yikes, is the floor clean? When was the last time the floor was mopped? Did the previous person actually sit on the toilet, or did they squat over the toilet? No way am I going to get on the floor to get out of this stall! All of my thoughts kept returning back to getting out of this stall via laying on the floor and scooting myself out.

I have seen parents with toddlers that were stuck in the bathroom stall, trying frantically to keep their children calm while trying to coax them to open the door latch on their own. Heck, I have even been one of those parents myself with each of my four children. Trying to keep your child calm while they are clearly upset because they can’t get out is a daunting task. Sometimes the toddler will be able to open the door, but most often it turns into the child stooping down and crawling out under the stall. Every time I see this happen to other parents, it always brings back my memories of each time I went through that with my own children and I find myself giggling to myself since I have been there and done that. For Pete’s sake, I never would have ever imagined that I would be the one trapped in a bathroom stall.

The decision was made. I had no choice, crawling under the door looked like my only option. But before I committed myself to this unbelievably icky option, I had to give the door latch one more try. The door was jiggled with one hand while the other hand jerked and pulled desperately at the latch. Hip Hip Hooray! The latch finally gave in to the force from my hands. Thank goodness the door opened. Sadly, the door was not finished because it took aim at my brute force and my index finger was pinched badly. After washing my hands, I was finally able to leave the bathroom. My husband was waiting outside the door with this look of, “Wow, what took so long?”. I had to explain what had just transpired in the bathroom. He did like anybody would do can you guess? He laughed.

This whole experience made me realize that we all hit brick walls at some point during our lives. We all feel trapped and start to think irrationally because we just go into this primitive survival mode. It seems that if we can just take a step back and relax for a little bit, our mind will sort out everything so that we can get back to what needs to get done. Our actions are always fueled by our thoughts. If our thoughts are not focused, then our actions will be erratic. This doesn’t mean quitting because something doesn’t work, or throwing in the hand towel because something didn’t go your way. Each and everyone of us need to keep trying. Our perseverance, determination, courage, motivation, and positivity will get us through all of life’s challenges. Believing in yourself is key. With that anything is possible.

I am so happy that today was not the day that I was destined to crawl on the floor of a public restroom. On the bright side, this experience gave me a topic to write about. Sharing my almost humiliating experience has indeed brought laughter to this new memory. Without laughter life would be very dull.

 

We all need time to breath, relax, and collect our thoughts.

 

Have you ever felt trapped, and if so what did you do to resolve that situation?

I survived my first #leadfromwithin tweetchat

I survived my first #leadfromwithin tweetchat. My husband has been trying to get me to try this for quite sometime now. Unfortunately, there were always things keeping me from joining the chat. It was mostly my fault, and I’m not big on excuses, but we do have four children who need to be looked after. My goal was to keep the house under control so my husband could do the tweetchat. Sadly, I was also nervous since my husband has previously mentioned that in order to do the #leadfromwithin tweetchat you have to be quick and go with the first thing that comes to mind for the questions. Yes, that’s right I was nervous because I over-think and analyze everything before I write or talk.

I managed to psyche myself out well before each Tuesday evening with all the things on my mind like:

  • what if the kids are too noisy
  • what if the kids get into one of their, “mom he did this” or “mom he did that to me”
  • what if I can’t type fast enough
  • what if my answers aren’t good enough

I think you get picture on where I was going about this all wrong. Of course, this night was no different than any other Tuesday night, or for all that matters, any other night of the week. Ten minutes before the tweetchat was to commence, the kids asked if I could bake a batch cookies from the pre-made cookie dough, so I turned on the oven to pre-heat and put the cookie dough onto the cookie sheet. Five minutes before the tweetchat I was starting to question how can I possibly be able to do the chat when two of our four kids were yelling at each other over who was going to sit at my desk and use the computer. I told my husband at three minutes before the chat there is no way I can pull off sitting during the chat and give my undivided attention to only that. He reassured me that I could, but I still had my doubts.

Well, it was starting time and the kids were surprisingly calm, so I stayed at my laptop next to my husband sitting at the kitchen table. My nerves were still pulled tight with worry, but that was a good thing, since I committed myself to this, I would have to muster up the courage to follow through with this. Amazingly, as soon as it started, I immediately saw so many familiar faces that I already interact with on Twitter. It was so comforting that I quickly got over my worries only to have them resurface by how fast the tweetchat was going by. I found myself struggling to keep up, and at times frustrated when I went to click on the retweet button only to have the screen refresh leaving me with a different answer in the box than the one I originally went to retweet, but no worries a quick “command a” followed by “delete” got me back to a blank slate.

Interestingly enough, the topic for the night was on mental models: how they interact/effect us in leadership, life and communication. Holy moly, what a topic, and of all things, it was part of the reason that has been keeping me from doing the #leadfromwithin tweetchats before. I know from past experiences that I tend to bite off more than I can chew, and since I haven’t discovered a way to clone myself, I tend to limit myself from certain things along with the fact that I really do over think things like trying to lay out and figure out all the possible scenarios before acting on my ideas. I guess you could say I over plan – oops, never mind, you can definitely say I over plan. Over planning is great, but at some point you need to set aside your own rules to try something new and challenge yourself. This actually turned out to be such a great learning experience for me and of all things, it was wonderful to be able to do it with my husband sitting next to me.

Oh and the cookie dough was forgotten about until the chat was over. I can’t believe not one of the kids came and said “Mom are the cookies done yet?” or “Oh my gosh mom you didn’t even put them into the oven yet, Why?” Instead, I baked the cookies after the chat and all the kids were super excited when I handed them out. Hmm maybe I can do more than I give myself credit for. 🙂

It is simply amazing what you can accomplish with a little bit of courage, motivation, determination, great friends, and the loving support from your spouse. I can’t wait to hangout with the leadfromwithin family every Tuesday here on out on the #leadfromwithin tweetchat.

Have you ever tried anything new even though you were nervous and scared if so what did you learn from it? Please share your stories below!

Failure is an option – but Fear is not

Hand of Fear

Here are a few questions I want you to read and just think about your answers to yourself. There are no right or wrong answer to these questions.

How many times you have failed at something?

What is it that you do when you have failed?

Do you try harder the next time and learn from your mistakes?

Do you give up because your afraid of failing again?

Those are bold questions, as well as they should be. Failure happens to be a vital fact of life. Without it, we could never improve and learn something new. Fear, on the other hand, keeps us from moving forward. Just remember Failure and Fear (fear of failure, fear of the unknown, or fear of what others think about you are) are very distinctly different situations.

Think about this —

Do you think that: Jone of Arc, Emily Dickenson, Amelia Earhart, Oprah Winfrey, Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin, and Rosa Parks – just to name a few – allowed fear to keep them from doing what they achieved? I’m sure you would all agree that these women faced their fear head on, armored with chain mail, and ready to fight. I am sure that they had many failures (mistakes) along their path, but they just kept climbing until they reached the top.

Failure (mistakes) is a small hurdle, but an important part of life. Fear is Fear, nothing will ever happen if you let it take ahold of you. You might think about the things you want to do, but you will never do them..

If you allow fear to be a part of your actions, you will never know if you could:

  • Get that promotion
  • Get a new job
  • Speak out in public
  • Make a million dollars
  • Become the next American Idol
  • Create a new blog site
  • Make knew friends
  • Climb Mount Everest

Or whatever your heart desires unless you try. Who cares if you fail. It just means you have to try harder and keep telling yourself like the little engine that could “I think I can, I think I can” until you can say “I know I can”

We as moms need to grow and stay strong. Learning from our past failures, basking in the knowledge and strength we have found from our mistakes. Never allow fear to keep us from doing what we dream of. Fear is a powerful force that will keep us weighted down so heavy until you feel like your sinking down further and further into a bottomless pit. You must fight fear with all your strength. Charging at it head on, and never giving in to it.

I know it isn’t easy – trust me. I also know it will seem impossible at times to accomplish anything because you keep failing at it, but don’t let any failure cause you fear. Instead, embrace failure as a stepping stone you must climb. One that will always be there creating new steps until you have climbed them all, reaching the top of the mountain and finding self gratitude.

Just a final thought to keep you motivated and inspired.

Eleanor Roosevelt said:

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, “I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.” You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

What are your biggest fears? and/or What are some of the biggest failures that you have overcome to get to where you are today?

 

 

10.5 Simple ways to brighten someone’s day

Hands Framing SunWe did something nice for someone who hasn’t asked for anything, and it felt good

We recently helped a friend do major house, yard, and garage cleanup for his elderly parents. They were completely surprised by the visit from their two boys who live across the country, and also from the visit from us, who they haven’t seen in a very long time. We all showed up ready to work, and got tons accomplished. It made them very happy, and in return, made us very happy, too.

Here are some simple ways to hopefully help you brighten someone’s day:

  • Bring someone flowers
    It doesn’t have to be roses to say, “I love you”, or anything like that. It could just be a pretty potted number, or even a silk arrangement to last. Bring them to your mother just to stop by and say hi, or bring them to a friend’s mom, your grandma, a hospital, a random nursing home .. be creative!
  • Send out a card to someone for no special reason, on no special occasion
    Snail mail – what’s ever in it except for junk or bills? It may just brighten someone’s day to find a card with a nice note inside, rather than the ordinary for a change.
  • Give someone a compliment
    Best if it is something not ordinary, but extraordinary, something really genuine. Do you know of someone that hasn’t received the proper credit and recognition that they deserved for a recent accomplishment? Have you noticed something really special about someone that no one else has? Notice something new?
  • Repay a favor out of the blue
    Has anyone done anything nice for you recently? In the past that you may have forgotten? I’m sure someone has, or has at least tried. Return the gesture.
  • Bring someone something homemade or fresh
    It doesn’t even have to be someone you know – it could just be that nice elderly couple down the street. Or, it could be that couple that you know that is always eating out because they’re too busy, or don’t like/know how to cook.
  • Volunteer your time to a cause
    There are always plenty of opportunities here, and I’m sure you know where to look. Who knows, you may even meet some cool new people.
  • Neighborly yard work
    Who doesn’t need help weeding their lawn or garden? Some folks hate mowing. Gutters? Did I mention gutters?
  • Carry someone’s groceries out to their car and/or help load them
    Tried and true, but always appreciated. Try elderly, handicapped (permanent or temporary), pregnant, etc.
  • Help someone with some housecleaning
    Do you know someone that has been ill, has limited mobility, or even has just been plain old “down in the dumps” – too much so that they are letting their home go downhill? It’s no fun doing this stuff alone, especially when it seems like you’re too far behind to catch up. You may be able to lift them up from this drudgery and boost their motivation. A lot of times the hardest part is getting started. There’s plenty to do (you know the drill) – dusting, vacuuming, laundry, dishes, etc.
  • Teach someone something
    Do you have a skill that you can share with anyone? Do you know of someone looking to learn something that you know how to do? This can be what you want to make of it – one time, short term, long term, on occasion – you may even find that you like teaching others. Being a mentor to somebody can be a very rewarding experience, and often you will find yourself learning just as much as the student.

What’s this about the “.5” ?

Smile and be happy, but we know this, and that’s always a given.

Got more?

 

How to change a day from hell into a day of paradise!

Bad DayWe have all had our fair share of days when everything goes wrong.

Those days you wish that you could climb in a hole and come out when it’s over. The very kind of day that you question, “Why does this have to happen to me of all days?” Everything just seems to be unraveling and falling apart at the seams all while you are feeling there is nothing you can do to stop it.

It all starts as soon as you wake up an hour late because someone had to have been playing an evil trick on you and shut off the alarm. In your infinite glory of trying to get back on time – you spill coffee all down the front of you. Quickly, you change your clothes only to discover that  your car keys are not where you left them.  Now you’re getting frantic, searching everywhere until you find them in plain sight, as though somehow, they just miraculously appeared out of thin air. Finally, you’re pulling out of your driveway thinking to yourself, “Things can’t get any worse!” Guess what – you become aware that all the lights keep turning red as you come up to them. “Cheese and Rice!“, “Shut the front door!“, “God bless America!” (G-rated of course) shouts are spilling our of your mouth. Suddenly, your mouth has projectile vomit spewing everywhere, but hey, who cares – it makes you feel good, and to top it off, you don’t have to smell it or clean it up. I’m sure you are so late now. Nothing is ever going to get you back on track. All you think to yourself is, “Why does life have to be so unfair”! Of course the rest of the day goes to hell on a one-way ticket, but you already knew that – you have experienced it first hand.

Negative thinking causes negative energy. Negative energy causes chaos. Chaos causes everything to be out of order. Everything out of order causes the cycle to start over again. Breaking the cycle is key. Well duh, but how is that suppose to happen? Apparently, she hasn’t had the same kind of days as I have. You’re right! Everyone has different feelings, triggers, and perceptions of their surroundings. I’m sure what I think is a bad day could be a walk in the park for someone else and vice-versa. If you think the worst, the worst will hunt you down and find you.

Now that you know how negativity causes a vicious cycle, just imagine how a positive attitude can move mountains with the slight touch of a finger and a simple smile. Don’t let that alarm clock get the best of you. Instead, look at it from the glass half-full perspective. Perhaps you needed the extra sleep, or that maybe someone might be wearing an outfit that would’ve been a twin of the one you spilled coffee on, or maybe all the lights were red to keep you from dealing with the extra traffic on the freeway, etc..

A few tips on how to change a day from hell into a day of paradise!

  • Listen to your favorite music – sing loud and be proud
  • Imagine yourself having a perfect day:
    Oh, I can feel the soft warm sand between my toes with the water rising up to my ankles,
    a tasty margarita in one hand, while the other is ever so relaxed.
    Can you see it also?
  • Think about your happiest memories – think about all of them don’t stop
  • Think / relive an experience that was very pleasurable and/or enjoyable
  • List off things that you are most grateful for – don’t be afraid to say them out loud over and over again
  • Take a couple deep cleansing breaths
  • Wave “hi” at someone cutting you off, or giving you the bird – You might as well squash them with kindness
  • Repeat each step with a smile

Before long, your day will be paradise. Yes, I can hear you all saying this person has no idea at all, and this list is crazy. My answer is yes, this list is crazy – it is crazy simple. I’ve tried these over and over again. It always works. Of course, sometimes it takes a little it before it starts working, but hey – better late than never.

What other ideas hove worked for you in this kind of situation?  Please tell all!  🙂

Research studies prove that eating your toenails makes you smarter!

ResearchersI am sure you are thinking to yourself, how in the heck can that be possible? I know you are because I can hear your thoughts right now. Well, the truth is all in the research. We all know that if the doctors, politicians, celebrities, news media, and psychologists say it is true than it must be true. As if we couldn’t form our own judgement or opinion, we are surrounded by those that tell us to do as they say because, of course, we are not capable of knowing the facts.

For every research study and every poll that is taken, it is amazing to see how the results are skewed in favor of what they are dishing out. I don’t care where, how, or why they decide to constantly tell us this junk, but it all needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

  • You are not overweight because you were born by a c-section.
  • You are not going to be less of a mom if you don’t breast feed.
  • You are not going to have children that are stupid if you don’t breastfeed.
  • You are not going to be smarter if you eat your toenails.
  • Your daughter will not become less of a woman because Winnie the Pooh has mostly male characters.
  • Cell phones will not cause the end of mankind, and definitely will not make the bees become extinct (really reaching on that one)
  • Being great at racing video games does not give you a license to drive in the real world.

My point is that using common sense is really the answer. If something seems too surreal to be true, then generally, that is the case. Time spent worrying about what others say to do, is time lost figuring out what works for you and what makes you happy.

Honestly, there are some researches that you should take note of and truly listen to.

  • Drinking while pregnant can cause brain damage to the fetus. (I have witnessed this first hand – I have a sibling that has been affected by this).
  • Shaking a baby will cause brain damage and death.
  • Drinking and driving does cause more fatal vehicle accidents.
  • Texting and driving does cause you to be less aware and attentive (If you don’t believe this, then you don’t do enough driving).

Life isn’t meant to be lived in a bubble or herded through like cattle with cattle prods. No wonder we all have problems staying motivated, when all we hear is: this is good, or wait – no this is bad, or wait – now we suggest this, or never mind – we were wrong all along.

Be smart, use your mind, and always rise to the occasion. You will be better off if you worry less about what others think.

What are your thoughts, and how do you feel about all of these researches, or any others that were not mentioned.

Being a mom

Mom and Child

Being a mom is the easiest and the most difficult thing you will ever do

It’s a job that you don’t get paid for. It’s a job that never ends. It’s a job that, no matter how prepared you think you are, you find out that you know nothing about it all. It involves sleepless nights. Constant worrying. Changing diapers. Potty training. Cleaning walls that have been decorated with the latest in art techniques. It involves singing, dancing, and just being plain silly. It means kissing a boo-boo to make it all better. It means cleaning up vomit. It means making sure everyone is fed, clothed, and tucked into bed.

Being a mom isn’t just being a mom

It’s being a best friend, story teller, a shoulder to cry on, cheerleader, teacher, maid, chef, scientist, artist, historian, hero, mathematician, builder, visionary, nurse/doctor, chauffeur, philosopher, plumber, mechanic, protector, disciplinarian – just to name a few.

What being a mom is not

It doesn’t care what kind of clothes you wear, it doesn’t matter what kind of shoes you buy, or whether you wear makeup or not. It doesn’t care if you’re curvy, thin, tall, or short. Being a mom doesn’t involve itself in the music you listen to, mistakes you may have made in the past, or when others don’t see life the same as you.

We as moms don’t realize what our job title really means until we take on this role. What I can tell you is that with all the times that I think my mountain of strength is gone, all it takes is a hug from your child and your mountain of strength has just grown exponentially. We don’t need much; our love is unconditional. Just seeing the smiles on our children’s faces is enough to lighten even the darkest of places. The tears our children shed is more than our heart can bare. We never ask for anything in return, nor do we expect anything in return.

No matter where you live, what language you speak, whether your a stay-at-home mom, or a working mom: being a mom is the greatest experience we as women will ever know.

Truly, all of us moms hold the future of the world in the palm of our hands.

Mom and Baby Hands
Be proud of who you are. I can guarantee that you are the world to your little ones, even if they are all grown up and have children of their own.

 

Staying motivated when you are a stay at home mom

Staying motivated when you are a stay at home mom can be very challenging. It has its moments when you can feel like you are trapped, but only to realize it is yourself that is making you feel that way. Although these feelings always pass they do tend to creep back up on you from time to time. One thing I’m absolutely positively for sure about is that I am happy with my choice.

Having a daily routine is a necessity. For instance making sure you get dressed and feeling good about the way you look is crucial. I myself tend to be a tom boy and simplicity is my style choice for clothing, hair and makeup. If you don’t start off your day on a positive not then nothing falls in place.

While having a daily routine is a necessity it can sometimes be a drag. When you reach this point, then its time to change the order of your daily routine. Even if it means doing your chores in a different order. Our brains can go stagnant to easily and you need to keep your brain firing on all cylinders.

Making time for yourself like learning a new hobby is something that I can not say enough positive things about. I can hear it now everyone thinking to themselves sure if I had the time but I don’t and what would I do. Well let me just say this if I can do it, so can you! Trust me on this. Not only does learning something new or trying a new hobby give you motivation and self esteem but it also relaxes you while uncluttering your brain. My new hobby for instance is this blog site. I am not a pro, but I am learning.  This has been very motivating for me and fun.

I’m sure there are those that say, of course you can do all of this. You have the time to do this because you are a stay at home mom. My answer to that is I have four kids with four different start times, I manage my whole household, I manage the finances, I do the home improvements which we are currently engaged in, I also take care of my mom, and I do most repairs that are needed on my vehicle. Yes, I did say repairs on my vehicle. I learned how from watching videos and reading. Now I can honestly say, I know how to do repairs on my vehicle, ranging from changing spark plugs to replacing my breaks/rotors. All because I wanted to learn how, and save us quite a few dollars in repair costs.

What I am saying is that anything is possible as long as you believe in yourself and try.  So, if you find yourself feeling like you are trapped or overwhelmed, think about all of the positive things, and learn something new.

I would not change anything. I have been here for each of my children, and that, I am always thankful for.

A truly inspiring and motivating story

While I was checking out the news today on my phone, I ran across this very interesting article that was truly touching. Talk about a motivated young woman who can stay positive, even when everything seems to be falling apart around her!

Check this out: Homeless Miss Colorado: ‘Anyone can fall victim to this’

I wish her the very best.