I'm back!!! I know I've gone MIA for a couple weeks, and I hope you'll forgive me. I want to be really real and let you know where I've been. The past couple weeks have been a little rough, some HUGE humbling experiences that have had me thinking about what really is most important in life.

Today's self-care tip is:

Slowing down  

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A couple weeks ago I went through an experience that brought out some of my weaknesses and led me to land in a place of intense shame and fear. Fear that my weaknesses had been exposed, shame that I'm not good enough, questions about how because I'm not perfect how can I attempt to lead others, and fear that I will fail. I share this with you because I am sure that I am not the only person out there that has ever been in this place and as I've said before, one of my main goals with this blog is to be authentic and real in order to let people know they are not alone. 

So... I decided to take a break and spend some time reflecting, some time resting, some time working on the inner goings of my own heart. Mainly some good old purposeful R&R. 

I say PURPOSEFUL because it wasn't all numbing with Netflix, although I did spend a little bit of time there. :)

I spent time journaling.

I spent time thinking.

I spent time talking through my feelings with the people that are in my box (the people who I know without any doubt in the world will love me NO MATTER WHAT).

I spent time in nature.

Time with trusted friends.

Time driving.

Time reading.

Time clearing my head.

And time reflecting on what this experience taught me and what I can learn from it.

In my planner for today I wrote, "Get back on the horse." And honestly, just writing these words is being hard, but I'm doing it because I am committed to making a positive influence through my own words. 

Last night, as I was crawling into bed, an experience came flooding into my mind that brought me to tears and helped me know that I can keep going. 6 1/2 years ago I got divorced. It was a very hard time in my life, the hardest decision I've ever had to make, and was very emotional.

2 weeks after I filed my divorce papers I was in the office of my religious leader seeking paperwork for my college application and a summer job application to be a youth counselor at a summer camp for my church. We chatted for a few moments, he signed my papers, and I went to leave. As I reached for the doorknob he stopped me and said, "Clarissa, I need to tell you something."

He said, "Clarissa, 99% of women in your position would crawl into a hole of self-pity and stay there for months, but here you are moving forward and doing great things. That is incredible and inspiring." Moved, I said, "Thank you Bishop. I just feel like I have wasted enough time being miserable and I'm not going to waste one more minute." 

Now, don't get me wrong, during the past 6 years there have been more trials come and some (probably lots of ) wasted moments spent in self-pity. I want you to know I get it. We all go through hard times. Every single one of us. And no-one's trials are the same. They come in different shapes, sizes, times, and intensities. Our job is to do our best, take the time we need in PURPOSEFUL rest to figure it out, and then move on.

Because life is meant to be joyful. The trials come to teach us things, help us to grow, and then propel us forward into the next chapter of life. 

If you currently find yourself in a time of doubt, fear, or uncertainty, know that you are not alone. Don't be afraid to take the time you need to REST, just don't quit. Think about what YOU need in order to move through this time, learn from it, and then let it go and move forward. That's what life is about. 

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