Let’s Talk Comfort Zones

So today I had to do some MAJOR “adulting”. To boot, my hubby was out of town/wasn’t able to get to his phone–> so I had no extra help or direction from him. I did “it” on my own. And to be honest, I kicked some adulting butt. (Really I did.)

I was *totally* out of my comfort zone. But I did it anyway.

Was it easy? No.

Did it feel good? No.

Was I scared? Yes.

“It” wasn’t expected. I wasn’t prepared for “it”. What I *thought* was going to be a simple thing turned into a “you lost your afternoon fussing with ‘this’.”

But because I’ve been working on myself and actively dealing with my insecurities, I really handled it with genuine ease. I didn’t get flustered/confused. I didn’t fumble over my words. I was able to be straightforward & honest.

In a word, it felt very “freeing” today. Not in the moment, but afterward. Something that would normally be crippling was handled “matter-of-factly”. I cannot adequately explain how proud I am at my ability to handle this hard situation.

Perhaps my “hard” is another one’s “simple”. IDK. We’re not comparing experiences here.  That’s dangerous ground (that is, comparison). It seemed hard to me, and I conquered it. Yay!

Feeling strong. Feeling accomplished.

But it all started with stepping outside my comfort zone.

It’d be “comfortable” to have someone else deal with this issue.

It’d be “comfortable” if it wasn’t my problem to fuss with.

It’d be “comfortable” if I could wash my hands of this.

But I stepped out and did something scared.

Honestly, I’m on Cloud 9.

Like I said, in the moment, it didn’t “feel good”. It was uncomfortable. I wished someone else could handle it for me. I thought of my escape routes for sure.

But I stuck with it. Did it scared. Prayed. Believed that God was in control over all things.

If there’s something you’re struggling with today, may I encourage you to take just (1) step forward and do “the thing” scared. I’m right there with ya. I did a scary thing today, too. You can do it as well. From one scaredy-cat to another… we can do this!

#formerscaredycat    #nowbebrave    #takethatfirststep    #doitscared    #trustGod    #youarenotalone    #stepoutofyourcomfortzone    #liveawakened   #livefullyalive    #beencouraged    #loveyourlife

comfort-zone

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Stop Waiting

Stop waiting. Make something of the moment you're in right now

Because of the Fall of man and the effects of sin on the earth, there’s always gonna be decay, failure, let downs, problems, sadness, and death this side of heaven. And quite frankly, I kinda think that because of sin, our brains may be hard-wired to immediately see the darkness around us. I think this because ‘seeing the good & the positive’ seems a skill that most of us struggle to naturally have and develop. It doesn’t seem innate to most.

Scripture says,

“… brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things.”
~Philippians 4:8

“Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life.”
~Proverbs 4:23

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, be be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is- His good, pleasing, and perfect will.”
~Romans 12:2

It matters what we meditate on in our hearts and minds.

If a negative thought comes into our minds, it matters what we do with it. Do we run with it? Imagine intentions of other people? Think worst case scenario? Ruminate over it? Meditate on it?

What we’re doing is creating mental ruts and grooves. And quite literally, we are creating neural pathways of negativity in our brains. The more we think negatively, the more ingrained that line of thinking becomes!

We must counter this with positive thinking. Not in a New Age-y way. But in a Biblical way! Focus on what is right and true and praiseworthy. Focus on the good that is all around us. Focus on the blessings of God. Focus on what Christ did on the cross for us.

Having a hard time doing this mentally? Just get out a notebook & pen or sit down with a blank Word document and just start writing. Even if it’s simple things like: the sun is shining and the weather is nice today, it’s Friday and I’m getting paid, no one’s sick in my family right now, we went grocery shopping and have a full fridge/pantry of food, etc. It doesn’t have to be anything huge and amazing. But what you’ll see is that there is a TON of things in our lives that are going RIGHT. We just need to be paying attention/looking for it. It’s there, I promise.

On learning to take a positive spin on events & circumstances…
An example: this Thursday (7/19/18) AM, I had a varicose vein procedure. I had my alarm set for 4:30a so I’d have ample time to get ready and drive to my appointment. Well, I forgot to turn that alarm off. So come the next morning (Friday), my alarm goes off at 4:30a. Besides scaring me out of a nice dream, my next immediate thought was “grrrrr… this upsets me… I want to sleep!” But I forced myself to take a positive spin: though I don’t like waking up at 4:30a when I don’t need to & I was awoken out of a deep sleep: I am now awake enough to take the Ibuprophen I have on my bed stand. Now, when I wake up at normal time, I won’t be in pain. Yay!

Though “yay” wasn’t my initial response, it’s the one I rolled over/fell back asleep to. I was genuinely happy and slept like a baby like a husband. 🙂 I knew I’d wake up with less pain in a few hours AND the Ibu would allow me a couple more hours of good, pain-free sleep. I successfully took a positive spin on that experience.

Note: I will NOT be accidentally be waking up at 4:30a on Saturday as I successfully deleted that alarm. 🙂

But no matter our situation or lot in life, there is ALWAYS something positive to focus on that can bring a smile to our face. There’s ALWAYS a silver lining. Look for it. Seek it. Search for it. Don’t “wait for it to happen”. MAKE it happen. It seriously starts in the mind and how we perceive the things that happen to us and that are said to us. Happiness starts within us. It’s not an outward thing that happens to us.

Let’s make it happen.
Let’s look for something good to savor today.
Let’s choose now to be happy!

Live awakened. Live fully alive.

#lookforthegood   #bepositive   #livefree   #choosehappiness   #happinessstartswithin   #becarefullittlemindwhatyouthink   #smile   #behappy   #liveawakened   #livefullyalive

Chocolate

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I love this quote.

But upon further thinking… I realized something: with as awesome as chocolate is, there are still people out there that *don’t* like it. How? I have absolutely no idea. But they do exist.

So, if not everyone likes chocolate, or are at least “meh” about it, then you can be *guaranteed* that there will be people out there that don’t like you or are at least “meh” about your existence (for absolutely no understandable reason).

And that’s OK.

We were not placed on this earth to please people! We will die inside trying. We will fail in our attempts. We will miss out on the full and abundant life that God has for us on this planet. We will lose so much of our time and energy with this useless/impossible/futile pursuit. We will waste our potential. We will not be truly benefiting society with our skills and talents and abilities.

We will not be true to who we really are…
We will lose ourselves…
We’ll only be left feeling frustration, anger, resentment, and disillusionment…

Just be the *flavor* you are! Not everyone will like it. But some will. Many will, actually. Be who you were created to be. Focus on pleasing *God* instead. Pursue your dreams and passions. Do your thing. BE YOU.

Live awakened.  Live fully alive.

Do It Scared

For my birthday this year, my bestie got me this flamingo journal. (She totally knows me!) I’ve officially turned it into my “Do It Scared” record book.

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Each day lately, I’ve been striving to do at least (1) thing that is scary or butterfly-in-the-tummy inducing. Not enough to send me into panic attacks. But just enough to say “this makes me uncomfortable”.

I’ve become convinced that living “fully alive” actually means living outside our comfort zones.

Sure our comfort zones allot us some amount of peace. We know what to expect. We can let our hair down, so to speak. We can rest. We can be totally ourselves.

But the minute you really put yourself out there and do the things that are energizing and exciting and dream-fulfilling and passion-pursuing… you oftentimes just stepped out of your comfort zone. And sometimes it’s frightening and can even feel kinda yucky (esp if you’re not used to it).

But that’s where the “good stuff” is. When you allow yourself to be stretched (even if just a little) and you do something new that you’ve never done before… or do something you’re not good at (yet).

If it thrills you but excites you both at the same time, you should really try doing it.

Start small. You don’t need to move mountains at first. Just talk to that new person… make that phone call… apply for that job… start that blog… fill out that application… try that new place out… sign up for that class…

God promises us life, life abundant. Don’t let fear stand in the way from you fulfilling the life you were created for.

Live awakened.  Live fully alive.

#fearless  #livefullyalive   #abundantlife   #stepoutsideyourcomfortzone
#dosomethingnew   #bebold   #beyou   #doitscared   #youhaveapurpose

An unconventional coping mechanism

How do you handle: Loss? Pain? Discomfort? Anxiety? Grief? Fear?

Or just an ordinary day that goes from bad to worse?

I am probably going to sound totally off my rocker when I share my thoughts here in a bit. And there’ll probably be several nay-sayers in the crowd. And I must say this “coping mechanism” must definitely be handled with great care. But… then again, what I have to say could be the very thing someone really needs to hear.

So back to the question above. How do you handle stress?

Journaling? Yoga? Meditation? Reading Scripture? Prayer? Working on a hobby? Music? Video games? Essential oils?

Several articles I’ve read suggested common ideas like: limit caffeine, get involved in physical activity/exercise, get more sleep, try relaxation techniques, talk to someone, keep a stress diary, manage your time, learn to say “no”, etc.

These really are fantastic ideas. Probably lifestyle habits we should regularly be investing our time and energy in with or without stress/anxiety/pain. They truly lead to a balanced, happy life.

But may I suggest a little something else that may be just the trick to quickly soothe your frayed nerves and wrecked mind?

This coping mechanism has been SO shamed in the media and by our culture. And it’s really sad that this is so.

Want to know what I think is an excellent and almost immediate calmer of the mind and body? Something you easily have in your home right now this minute? Something most everyone can afford?

I warn you. With this strategy, there is most definitely room for abuse/taking it too far. It needs to be approached with great caution. More on that in a bit.

So what’s a simple, quick way to feel better?

Food.

Ok, here comes gasps and boos and what-have-you.

But I stand by it. I truly think God gave us food to help take the edge off crazed/hurt emotions and mental distress.

When you’re hurt, angry, and overwhelmed, doesn’t it make you feel better to eat a piece of hot, freshly baked bread with a pat of melty butter? Mac-n-cheese? How about a hearty bowl of soup? A bowl of ice cream? Cookies? Donuts? Chocolate?

BUT, quantity is everything here.

1 slice of baked hot bread with butter. Not a whole loaf/stick of butter.
1 bowl of mac-n-cheese. Not the entire pot.
1 bowl of soup. Not the whole pot.
1 dessert bowl of ice cream. Not the entire pint.
1-2 cookies/1 donut. Not a baker’s dozen.
1-2 pieces of chocolate. Not the entire bar.
Moderation is key here! Absolutely key!

Only take a small amount to take the edge off. Go slowly. Savor. Focus on the taste and feel of what you are eating. Experience the nuances of flavor.

They call it comfort food for a reason!

And it’s OK. I’m telling you– it’s ok.

For so long, we’ve been told that using food for comfort is bad, wrong, going to make us fat, etc. Then, when people do turn to food (because it works almost immediately), they instantly feel guilty. Which just adds more fuel to the inner turmoil they’re experiencing.

I’m telling you– it’s false guilt to feel bad about turning to food for a bit of comfort! It’s not real. Shake it off and let it go.

Food is ok! It’s not sinful!

Most can agree with me that after a stressful event/season, a comfort food taken in moderation and savored slowly gives the mind, body, emotions, and soul a “sigh”… a breather… a must needed break and calm. It literally “takes the edge off”. And it does so pretty darn fast.

It allows the body to relax for a moment so that you can think clearly and plan and figure things out, or rest/sleep. It gives you the “ahhhh” needed to make good and right decisions. And it pairs beautifully with the many other coping mechanisms mentioned earlier in this article. No one single strategy is going to be the fix-all. Food alone isn’t going to “fix” the problem. It’s going to have to be done alongside other strategies.

But I want you readers to know that using food is a-ok to take the edge off your hurt. Just use moderation and care. Shake off that unnecessary guilt you may be experiencing. Add to your plate other calming techniques, too.

And remember this: say you *want* to over-do it in the comfort food department because you are REALLY upset about something. Know this: if you decide to binge, you are only punishing yourself and your body. And the problem or stressor hasn’t been solved. It’s still there. And now, the guilt you are feeling IS real. You overdid it. You lost self-control. You abused your body. You are making your body suffer unnecessarily. Even if someone did something horrible to you, and you are SUPER upset– a binge is a punishment on you alone, and not on the other person. This may seem harsh to hear, but it must be said. It’s never ok to overeat or to drown your sorrows with food. It doesn’t make you feel better. It doesn’t clear up the mind. It doesn’t calm the nerves. It hurts you. It makes things worse. The original problem has now been compounded even further. It can also set some people up for a future food addiction if they repeatedly do this to themselves.

So please, when I say “try comfort food to calm down”, I am NOT advocating over-indulgence at all.

Moderation.is.key.

So enjoy that cookie. Enjoy that piece of cake. Enjoy that bowl of mac-n-cheese. Go on and take the edge off. While you’re at it, try some yoga or journaling, too. Take a nap. Go for a walk. Do whatever it is that makes you feel good. And don’t wear that unnecessary guilt associated with using food for comfort. It’s ok.

Hope that helps. Hope you can now try releasing that white-knuckled grip you may be hanging onto that “food for comfort is bad”. It’s not. It’s good. Enjoy it. Feel a little better. Let go of false guilt.


There’s some “food for thought” for ya. 😉

Blessings to you!

~Momma Duck

Today’s Adventures

  1.  Got to go to a Chamber of Commerce donut & coffee breakfast with my hubby this AM. I’m not much of a sweets fan, but there is this one type of donut at this shop we were at that has truly won my heart. It’s some sort of sugary twisty loaf of awesomeness. It was also fun hanging out with the local business men & women that I’ve been building relationships with through the years. Absolutely great people in our community!

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  2. My 11 year old daughter took the cardboard hand grippy thing off my to-go coffee cup from breakfast and turned it into a Harry Potter magnet for the fridge. So far she’s got Gryffindor & Slytherin one done. It’s actually one magnet– just flip it. But she found a flat, round magnet lying around the house and glue-gunned it between these two cardboard cut-outs of the house letters she drew and voila, a super-cute magnet! I love her and all her creativity! Gonna boldly wear that on our fridge!


3. Yoga with Adriene this afternoon. She’s got a new 30 day series entitled “TRUE” on YouTube and it’s just a lovely practice. Today I completed Day 14- LISTEN. Been enjoying it immensely. I’ve been doing at-home yoga practice for the last couple of years and I find it very fun, challenging, cathartic, and imaginative. It almost makes me feel like a kid again, uninhibited and free. It helps center me, calm me, and get me focused. While I’m on the mat, the rest of the world sorta falls to the wayside… and it’s just me. The practice is guided, but I can (and do) most definitely veer off the trail to “find what feels good”. It’s helped me deal with anxiety and depression. It helps me to find my breath and my thoughts. I truly love yoga.

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4. About two weeks ago, the new church that we’ve started to attend presented this song by For King and Country: “It’s not over yet”. It’s been on my mind and heart every.day.since. I have struggled for the past 4-5 years with depression, anxiety, and panic. Just this past winter, I have been finally overcoming so many hang-ups and fears and hurdles. It’s been a quiet season of growth and maturation and FREEDOM… Such spiritual victories! This song has become my anthem! I hope it’s a blessing to you as well!!! Keep on fighting. It’s not over yet!

“It’s Not Over Yet”

They are inside your head
You got a voice that says
You won’t get past this one
You won’t win your freedom

It’s like a constant war
And you want to settle that score
But you’re bruised and beaten
And you feel defeated

This goes out to the heaviest heart

[Chorus:]
Oh, to everyone who’s hit their limit
It’s not over yet
It’s not over ye-et
And even when you think you’re finished
It’s not over yet
It’s not over ye-et
Keep on fighting
Out of the dark
Into the light
It’s not over
Hope is rising
Never give in
Never give up
It’s not over

Yea-et-et, whoa
Yea-et-et, whoa

Oh, game set match
It’s time to put it in your past, oh
Feel the winter leavin’
It’s redemption season
Long live the young at heart (Here we are)
Cheers to a brand new start (Here we are)
We’re revived and breathing
To live a life of freedom

[Chorus:]
Oh, to everyone who’s hit their limit
It’s not over yet
It’s not over ye-et
And even when you think you’re finished
It’s not over yet
It’s not over ye-et
Keep on fighting
Out of the dark
Into the light
It’s not over
Hope is rising
Never give in
Never give up
It’s not over

Life is a race we run
So run till the race is won
Don’t you ever give up (Here we are)
Oh no never give up (Here we are)
Life is a race we run
So run till the race is won
Don’t you ever give up (Here we are)
We will never give up (Here we are)

[Chorus:]
Oh, to everyone who’s hit their limit
And even when you think you’re finished
It’s not over yet
Oh, to everyone who’s hit their limit
It’s not over yet
It’s not over ye-et
And even when you think you’re finished
It’s not over yet
It’s not over ye-et
Keep on fighting
Out of the dark
Into the light
It’s not over
Hope is rising
Never give in
Never give up
It’s not over

Yea-et-et, whoa
Yea-et-et, whoa
Yea-et-et, whoa
Yea-et-et, whoa

Run Wild. Live Free. Love Strong.

Moments of Happiness

Learning to live in the moment and savor the simple things in life…

 

1- New skills learned.

Went to a homeschool co-op Mom’s Night Out this week. It was “Crochet Night.” I had NO CLUE how to crochet but I was assured food and fellowship… so I went.  🙂

My mom showed me (years ago) how to do it. A lot of my crafty girlfriends do it. But me? Nope! It was challenging at first. And I’ve made several mistakes along the way. But I do find it fun. And I’ve been sticking to it these past couple of day. It gives me time to slow down and think. Gives me something to do with my hands. I’m creating. Who knew I sorta have a crafty bone in my body? And isn’t this color fun?!

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2- Warm(er) Spring days when the kids are busting down the door to play outside after a long winter.

So long as they pick up after themselves, I don’t mind kid messes as all. It’s a sign of life and creativity and imagination. I sit here on the steps outside watching my little ones play and laugh and squeal with delight. It seriously warms my heart. They are so full of life and play and adventure. I truly LOVE being a mom. So thankful for a day of warmer temps. It’s 60F or so and my kids insist on running around outside barefoot. The cool doesn’t phase them in the least. I am SO thankful for Spring coming!!! Bring on happiness and sunshine!

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3- On the topic of Spring… new growth.

This winter, for me, has been one of conquering strongholds and overcoming things that have been challenging me for the last 4-5 years. For many, this winter has been long and dreary and depressing.  But not for me. It’s been one of growth. So when I see these buds popping forth from the ground, I see a reflection of me and where I am right now in life.

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4- As the warmer weather approaches, the neighbors have begun playing music outside by their poolside.

The pool itself isn’t open yet, but my neighbors are starting to play music from their outside speakers. Yet *another* display of the on-coming of Spring!!!

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5- Professionally manicured gel nails.

I was originally going to get acrylic nails put back on. But after calling the salon to schedule an appointment, I was convinced to first give gel nails a try. After my first gel nail application with my beautician, I was sold. I LOVE them! I keep my nails. They remain healthy. They’re absolutely gorgeous. So thankful for something so simple as beautiful finger nails!

Today I went in and got mint green and sparkles, in prep for St. Patty’s Day. LOVE it!

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