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!  🙂