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self-care

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Show Yourself Some Love Sesh #3

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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Show Yourself Some Love Sesh #2

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Show Yourself Some Love Sesh #2

This week's Monday "Show Yourself Some Love" sesh is a good one. This past weekend I had the opportunity to spend 2 days in the Pheonix, Arizona area soaking up some gorgeous weather, with a couple of my favorite people, as we explored the works of one of my favorite men of all time, Frank Lloyd Wright.

Taliesin West

Taliesin West

Now, don't worry, you don't have to be as big of an architect nerd as me to get something out of this post because the self-care principle that I am going to focus on today is that of

gratitude 

because even if you are unemployed, or things aren't going your way. Even if you have financial burdens and don't know what to do. Even if you are going through medical hardships or a relationship just ended or you're miles away from home and feel like you are in your darkest days, there are still SO many beautiful things to be grateful for.

Now, don't get me wrong.... I don't believe in foo-foo fluff and pretending that things aren't hard if they are, we all go through some tough sh*& and it's okay to be sad about it for a minute, but I promise you, life gets a whole lot better when you focus on the things that are going RIGHT instead of wallowing in all the things that are going wrong. 

Let's get real. Life is hard, but OH SO GOOD.

Frank Lloyd Wright was an American architect, interior designer, writer, and educator during the early 1900's. He designed more than 1,000 structures, 532 of which were completed. His style was that of "organic" architecture where he designed his buildings using natural elements and taking inspiration from the beauties of the natural world. His work truly was ahead of his time, and was 100% timeless, which is why it continues to be admired and loved today. He said,

Taliesin West

Taliesin West

"If you foolishly ignore beauty, you will soon find yourself without it. But if you invest in beauty, it will remain with you all the days of your life." 

So... you have a choice. To be grateful and see the beauty's in your life, or to ignore them. They are there, all around you actually. It is up to you to see them. 

A couple years ago I was NOT happy. I was grasping for more, totally unsure what my next step in life was to be, had just quit my job, and literally spent every second being angry and miserable and unhappy. A good friend taught me a routine and I'm about to teach it to you because it changed my life. 

Goals and Gratitudes

Every morning when I woke up my first thing I was to do was to pull out my notebook and write down 7 things I was grateful for and then 3 things I wanted to accomplish that day. I took this routine even a step further and at the end of the day I went back to my list and checked off the three things I had gotten done as well as write down 7 more things I was grateful for. 

It only took a couple days of doing this before my perspective changed, and life was seeming to change overnight. I got offered a job. An opportunity to work a conference in San Francisco came up. Then an opportunity to live in San Francisco for next to nothing came up. Then I moved and life got better every day. Things were still hard. I had zero dollars and every day was a question for whether I was going to have money. I didn't get a full-time job for a while and working for the temp agency was tiring and unpredictable at times. I missed my friends and life that I had left behind and was finding it hard to break into a new life, but one thing I knew for sure.

By focusing on the things that were going right in my life, I was happier, had more drive and motivation to problem solve, work hard, and make things happen for myself, and I was more attractive to others and was more fun to be around. 

And guess what... the gratitudes don't have to be big grandiose things... my first list consisted of this... 1) music 2) my computer 3) Rachel 4) institute 5) scriptures 6) sunshine 7) getting my oil changed for a good deal. The next day I listed, 1) family 2) a car, 3) my friendly personality 4) mountains 5) opportunities 6) games 7) phone. See.. not that hard to think of 7 things. The hard part was not stopping at 7!

It is scientifically proven that gratitude has these seven benefits:

  1. Gratitude opens the door to more relationships.
  2. Gratitude improves physical health.
  3. Gratitude improves psychological health.
  4. Gratitude enhances empathy and reduces aggression. 
  5. Grateful people sleep better.
  6. Gratitude improves self-esteem.
  7. Gratitude increases mental strength. 

and that is just to name a few! There are so many benefits to being grateful. So.... this week I challenge you to add Goals and Gratitudes to your morning and nightly self-care routines. (and if you don't have a self-care routine, ADOPT one, starting with this). 

  1. Wake Up.

  2. Pull out notebook next to your bed.

  3. Write down 7 things you are grateful for.

  4. Write down 3 things that you want to get done that day. (It is also proven that 3 is the magic number of things a person can realistically plan to successfully accomplish in one day)

  5. Smile at all the beauty that surround you.

ALSO, you know what has given me the greatest lesson in gratitude of all? Learning to find beauty in the desert. I am a country girl from the beautiful mountains of Northen Utah. I love trees and mountains and rivers and lakes. I also am a true California girl at heart and I love the ocean and flowers and everything green. Living in the desert for the past 3 years has been a huge lesson in seeing the beauty in unexpected places!

Let me know how incorporating this routine benefits you in your life! I promise it will! 

"Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude."

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Show Yourself Some Love #1

Exploration

Preface: Okay, so with starting up this business, and starting a new job, and working on a master's program full-time, and trying to be a present daughter, sister, and friend, I have realized that I am getting burnt out! I mean, who needs sleep really, oh how I wish that were the case!

Today marks the start of the "Show Yourself Some Love" Monday Sessions.

So every Monday for the next who knows how long... whenever I run out of things to say about it, will be on a different facet of self-care. Self-care is SO important because we cannot pour from an empty cup. When we are running on empty we lose our creativity, we lose our ability to think clearly, and we lose our ability to love and serve others effectively. 

Self-care is not selfish.

It is the exact opposite. If you are dying, how effective are you in saving someone else? Not very. So I hope with these Monday self-care sessions we can take care of ourselves more, so we can, in turn, serve others more. It's time to show yourself a little more love!

I also want to use these as an opportunity to let you into my life a little more and document the things that light me up and bring me joy and recharging goodness. So... here you go!

How exploring and self-care makes me feel. :)

How exploring and self-care makes me feel. :)

Session 1: Exploration

When was the last time you went somewhere you had never gone? Like actually stepped OUTSIDE and went somewhere? 

According to NASA, and Google, humans explore because of an innate desire to learn about the world around them. The urge to explore was ingrained in the psyche so that human ancestors could find places that were abundant in food, water and other resources necessary for survival. Nowadays we have the ability to sit at our computer and pull up basically any place in the entire world and see it on our screens! While I admit, that is freaking AWESOME, and I have spent my fair share of time exploring things I wish I could see from the safety of my computer screen, there is NOTHING that beats the rush, joy, and recharging capacity as getting outside and seeing something new.

Exploration wakes up the brain.

It ignites creativity. It usually involves some time of exercise (which we will cover GREATLY in a later session) which benefits every single area of your life. It opens your eyes. It heightens gratitude. It makes you more social. It gives you more drive to continue the work.

Like I said, I have been working HARD. LOVING every second of life, but working HARD and I've been feeling it. The burn-out was coming. So this past weekend I got to go home, which for me is a little town in Northern Utah called Kaysville. One of my cousins was getting married and I was so happy to be able to go home, set the work aside, focus on my family, and think about other things. On Saturday after the wedding, I took my family on an adventure. 

Even though I spent my whole life growing up in Utah, I did not know that the Great Salt Lake was so big that it went all the way up to northern Utah. I also did not know, until recently, that there is an art installation IN the Great Salt Lake called the "spiral jetty." It is an earthwork sculpture constructed in April 1970 that is considered to be the central work of American sculptor Robert Smithson. It's been there for 47 years! Apparently, it was under water for about 20 years and just resurfaced in the past few years. So of course, I've been wanting to see it.

Art + Nature + Water + Middle of Nowhere =FREAKING AWESOME.

So... after the wedding, we decided to go. It was pouring. We decided to go anyways. I've told you that rain doesn't stop me from doing things I want to do. Plus - my car can survive anything. Anything. So we drove. and we drove. and we drove. we lost phone service. My mom was freaking out a little bit (the only one out of any of us that has lived during a time when they didn't have cell phones, go figure). We drove past cows and more cows, baby cows, and bulls. 

Spiral Jetty, Great Salt Lake, Utah

Spiral Jetty, Great Salt Lake, Utah

After what seemed like forever, we got there! The Spiral Jetty. It had stopped raining, which was great, but it was still pretty muddy. Didn't stop us. So hiked down to it, took a bunch of pictures, basked in the awesomeness of this Robert Smithson, who must be the most rad human ever to think to build this. The amazingness that it has lasted this long, and the fact that we can go and see it.

It was freezing, so we didn't stay too long, but the effects of this adventure were the same. I got to check something off my Utah bucket list. I got to spend time with my family. I got to drive on a bumpy road, leading who knows where, the rush of no cell phone service, following dinky little signs, and trusting that it was leading me to my destination. And at the end of it, I felt refreshed, rejuvenated, and alive. That's what it does.

It makes you feel alive.

So, in this endeavor of feeling lighter and brighter. In this endeavor to discover more fully your purpose. And on this endeavor to show yourself a little more love, get outside and explore. Even if it's just your own backyard. There are SO many things to see, learn, and do. Just get outside. 

Oh... and while solo adventures can be the best medicine sometimes, taking people you love with you while you explore, makes the self-love degree even greater.  

McKay Findlay, one of my favorite exploring buddies

McKay Findlay, one of my favorite exploring buddies

Utah Weekend = Success

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