04.19.17

Real Life featuring Kimberly Cooley

A Story About Comparison

I am going to weave my story in to an analogy. Mostly because I love analogies (what can I say, my right brain runs the show) but also because I hope it will make what I have to say more relatable.

I want you to picture a flower. What do you see?

I see vibrant, beautiful petals. Healthy, green leafs. I see beautiful. I see happy.

peony

But what you don’t see are the roots. The beautiful, messy chorus of roots that make that flower unique and alive.

roots

Do you ever find yourself so focused on every other flower in your metaphorical garden that you forget to take time to consider what lies just beneath the surface? So often we tend to look at the other flowers and as a tragic result, we neglect ourselves, our roots. And ultimately, your flower, your talents, begin to suffer.

wilting flower

Distorted Thinking

It started as a small habit. Then it grew into a monster. I had subconsciously programmed my brain to compare, which left me with a whole lot of self doubt and a fragile false confidence. I wasn’t happy with who I was. I tried to discover outlets to make me feel better about myself. But because I had neglected my roots, I was left with distorted thinking. I started down the path of an eating disorder, thinking maybe if I was skinnier… maybe then I’d be happier with myself.

But the truth is, looking outward, focusing on everyone else and how I wasn’t as good as them, left my roots to shrivel. And my beautiful flower (my talents, gifts, passions) was paying the price. I was wilting.

Thanks to the attentiveness of my angel husband, he immediately noticed I was on a path that was going from bad to worse at a frightening speed. He gave me the courage to dig up the dirt and take a good, long, honest look at my roots.

Breaking Free

What I found when I looked inward was that I wanted to be free from comparison so I could be free to be ME. I wanted to nourish my roots so that my flower could bloom and I could my bring my own kind of beauty to the garden.

It was a long, bumpy road but today, I do feel free! And every day I choose to be free.

happy

Do Your Best

Ultimately, what it came down to for me was that I had to learn to love myself, celebrate others, and do my best. “Do your best” has become my new motto. It has helped me break free from the demeaning power of comparison.

There is a mean little perfectionist deep inside of me that tells me if I don’t do it just right, I have failed. The motto “do your best” has helped me drown out that perfectionist and has brought laughter to situations that once would have reduced me to tears.

Doing your best does not mean doing it all or doing it perfectly. Doing your best means you are pushing through this messy life with a smile, with kindness, with love. Doing your best means you jump for joy when you see another flower blooming into something magnificent. Doing your best means you take time to nourish and love your roots. Doing your best means accepting that you are you and that is beautiful. You are beautiful.

family

Please don’t waste time trying to be just like the rose, or the sunflower, or the big beautiful peony. Find out who you are. Take a look at what lies beneath the surface. You might need to get your hands dirty and dig through the dirt to discover your beautiful chorus of roots. Then love on them, plant them in more nourishing soil, water them, give them sunlight. And then, my friend, watch how you bloom.

XOXO

Kimberly

04.17.17

Postive Affirmations

The Power of Positive Affirmations

I’ve seen Positive Affirmations achieve miracles in my life. The first time I experienced the power of thought was running my first 5K together with my 10 year old daughter. At mile one she began the “I can’t do this… my legs hurt… this is hard… let’s stop” talk that was going to make this the longest 5K ever! So I had her chant with me “I can do this! My legs feel strong!” and “I run forever!”. And then the miracle, her pace increased to the point where I was even having a hard time keeping up. That’s when the finish line came into view and she left me in the dust, sprinting to the end. She hasn’t looked back or quit since; she now runs marathons. I’ve often thought back on that experience and thought, what if we had stopped and let the “I can’t thinking” win?

  

Moving Mountains

The past 30 years our family has made the trek up the Middle Teton. It’s our pilgrimage to remind us that “we can do hard things”. It also serves as somewhat of a rite of passage; when our children become of age they get to go with us. I’ve seen the power of thought over and over again on that mountain as new climbers join the voyage. They hit the inevitable “let’s quit” wall and the chanting “my legs feel strong” or “yes I can!” begins and then the miracle happens. This is where our family motto “We Go Forever” was born. There’s nothing like standing on a mountaintop and seeing the views and feeling the accomplishment- I love it! It has become a reservoir of “Yes I Can!” that I’ve drawn from many times when facing demons and hard things.

“Mirror, Mirror on the Wall”

What about the days you’re not running 5Ks and climbing mountains and the “I can’t do this” thinking becomes over bearing? I know what it is like to look in the mirror and be flooded with negative self-talk or wake up and not want to face the day. Distorted negative thoughts can be as over whelming as a mountain that we just can’t seem to get over. This is where we need to learn the super power skill of Positive Affirmations: phrasing our words and thoughts in the present positive perspective.

I want you to imagine a large hourglass, and in the middle of this hourglass a filter. In any given day all the positive and negatives are piled into the top of this hourglass, and they start funneling down. This filter catches all of the positives, and releases the negatives. If you focus only on the negative things in life because they are all piled together at the bottom of the hourglass, you are going to feel overwhelmed, defeated. You see, if you focus on the negative thoughts piled at the bottom, you miss all the positive. This is distorted thinking because there are positives and negatives in every given situation. You can’t just stop on the bad when there is most likely just as much good at the same time. It’s all in our PERSPECTIVE.

The Law of the Harvest

You sow a THOUGHT- You reap an ACTION

You sow an ACTION- You reap a HABIT

You sow a HABIT – You reap a CHARACTER

You sow a CHARACTER – You reap a DESTINY

“I AM”

Why do positive affirmations work? Our subconscious brains are like this brilliant database taking in information all the time and it believes whatever we tell it- negative or positive, lies or truth, real or distorted. If we are willing to change our thinking we can change our lives. Listen to your self-talk and thoughts today, are you focusing on the negative or the positive and what seeds are you sowing?

quote

And the beautiful truth is you are the master artist of your thoughts and your perspective that will create the masterpiece of your life.

When I talk about doing affirmations- it is to consciously choose sentences or words that will either help to eliminate something from your life or help to create something new in your life, and you do this in a positive way. If you say, “I don’t want to be sick anymore” the subconscious mind hears sick more. You have to tell it clearly what you want and put it in the present positive perspective. Say and think, ‘I am feeling wonderfully well. I radiate good health!’

You see, our subconscious brain is very straightforward – what it hears is what it does. “My legs are tired” doesn’t help in a 5k, “I can’t do this, I hate hiking” doesn’t reach mountaintops.

You deserve good!

Think for a moment. What is it you really want right now? What is it you want today in your life? Think about it, and then say, I accept for myself_________ (whatever it is you want) and then write them in ‘I am…‘ statements. Write a list of positive affirmations and make copies so you can hang several lists where you can see them. Daily mediate on this list, or look yourself in the eyes in the mirror and say it. At first this is going to seem weird and your ego might even be embarrassed or think this is a lie. Stay the course when your thoughts want to slip back into old habits of sowing and reaping the negative- this might be your comfort zone. Get out! That is also the death zone for your creativity, happiness and health.

Some good thoughts to begin with would be:

  • I am a child of God who loves me
  • I am worthwhile
  • I am deserving
  • I love and accept myself
  • I am healing and healthy
  • I am calm and at peace
  • I am happy and love life
  • I am……

Possibilities are endless; our prospects are grand and glorious!

When I first began positive affirmations I found it helpful to keep it simple- 5 a day were easy to remember and count off on my hand. And like any newly developing skill this takes practice and persistence. Be mindful of the wording of your affirmations- negative words like ‘no, stop, hurt, can’t and losing etc.’ are counteracting and just solidifying more of the distorted negative perspective. State and Claim boldly the positive you want, this is your vision! Keep it in the “I can” zone.

I also find it helpful to put my affirmations on visual objects. Have fun with this- be creative! Make an Affirmation Board. My daughter wrote hers on a willow tree figurine, I have sticky notes everywhere, I’ve written some on rocks that sit on my desk. What speaks to you? When you do Positive Affirmations it can raise you up to standing on a mountaintop soaking in the beauty and the confidence that you can do hard things. I’m recommitting today to begin again. After the Easter weekend one of my affirmations is; “I am blessing cadbury eggs with love and I release it from my life.”

Today I CHOOSE to be happy. I FEEL HAPPY AND HEALTHY. I AM HAPPY AND HEALTHY!

You will find the strength to sprint to your finish lines and experience small miracles to move you over the next mountain.

I am excited for you to begin this journey.

XOXO

Judy

 

 

04.15.17

Postpartum Depression: Three Ways to Help and Heal

When you think of a precious new baby what do you think? Bingo! The smell, the sweetness, the tiny fingers and toes, the fuzzy shoulders and back, all the good stuff. Stuff good enough to make you crazy for one and crazier for more. Man, aren’t newborns just delicious?!

newborn

newborn, detail

You know what isn’t delicious? Becoming a human burp cloth. Not sleeping for longer than a couple hours at a time (if you’re lucky!). Postpartum bodies (you rock those granny panties, girlfriend!). And as beautiful as nursing is, you can’t tell me you never once thought, “moo”.

newborn, motherhood

All the good stuff is so indescribably good about newborns we want to talk about every single tiny perfect little ounce of detail. So we do. And all the bad stuff can be so miserably hard, naturally, we don’t want to talk about it. Especially not in detail. So what do we do? We bundle all that yucky into a cute, easier to swallow phrase. You guessed it, the baby blues.

Before I had my baby girl I wanted to do everything I could to avoid postpartum depression. I thought long and hard and read one too many (frightening) articles on Pinterest. Words like inevitable, out of no where, and not being who you once were terrified me. I was convinced there had to be something I could do to avoid the ‘inevitable’, or in the very least, ease the blow.

pregnancy, motherhood

I came up with three things that I think made a huge difference for me post baby. But first! Quick disclaimer. I hope these words are gentle and kind to those mothers who have dealt with postpartum depression. Hormones, and a whole slew of changes make PPD something that can’t necessarily be controlled and you might need to seek help. Totally okay! You grew and gave birth to a human life. That my friend, is no walk in the park.

Number One: PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

I knew getting up and getting moving and more importantly, getting OUT could be a huge life saver for me. Exercise is a release and endorphin booster, that does not change when baby arrives. Don’t set unattainable goals. This isn’t about getting into your pre baby jeans. It’s about being healthy and healing. For me, my goal was to go for a walk every single day. I expressed this to my spouse so I felt some accountability but also, so he could help motivate me when I didn’t feel like. It’s way easier to make exercise happen if you have someone willing to join you or keep the baby while you get away for a bit.

postpartum, exercise

This was our first walk home from the hospital. It was disastrously windy, I felt like there wasn’t an elastic waistband in the world that had enough elastic in it, and I was waddling and shuffling like a crazy lady. We did one measly loop around the park by our house but we laughed the whole time and I did it! That filled me right up.

Number Two: SPIRITUAL ACTIVITY

For me, this was time in the scriptures. My goal was to keep my habit of reading from them every single day. If you aren’t religious, think of a similar spiritual release that works for you. I believe when the body is struggling, your spirit will gently take a back seat if you let it, but if you the take time to nourish it, it will carry your struggling, unmotivated body through hard times.

quote, inspiration

Number Three: SUPPORT GROUP

This can be your spouse, friend, mother, sister. The choice is yours but find someone you can be open and honest with. I told my husband before our baby girl arrived that it was important to me that he knew I needed him to talk to. And that if he felt there were ways I was diminishing that he could feel comfortable bringing them to my attention. Talking is everything. The irrational thoughts in your head can be so real and voicing them out loud can be the difference between believing them, or recognizing them for what they are; lies.

marriage, friend

Here’s the catch. You gotta commit to these BEFORE baby comes. Because after the tenth poopy diaper and fifth wardrobe change for both you and baby, resolve is low. And I mean really, really low. If you commit before and share these commitments with someone close, you will be more likely to succeed.

If there is just one thing you take away from this post it would be this: Please, don’t stress it and don’t overthink it. Do your best, ask for help (I cannot stress this enough), and guess what? If you find yourself lost in the beautiful but messy call of motherhood, help is there! It’s okay to deal with postpartum depression, it isn’t okay to not talk about it. PPD is absolutely treatable.

Being a mom is easily one of the hardest things ever. The baby phase is this no mans land of feeling like you haven’t done anything all day and yet you haven’t even had time to shower or eat.

motherhood, newborn

Why do we as a culture feel like we just have to jump back into our skinny jeans and look put together and then when no one is looking, bawl our eyes out? I’ve come to realize that there isn’t anyone but ourselves that create that kind of pressure. We get it, motherhood is hard. So why do we feel so determined to pretend like it isn’t?

Remember, you got this! And when you feel like you don’t, there is an army of mothers, husbands, family, and friends, waiting to swoop in and pick you back up. Take the time to love yourself so you can love your precious little babies more. And never ever forget, you were absolutely made to be your babies perfect mother. And that is exactly what you are.

baby, motherhood

XOXO

Kimberly

 

04.14.17

Fire Ants & Joy!

Her name was Audrey Mortlock, and she was our neighbor in Colorado. She called to tell me she was bringing over a dinner. I’ll never forget it; a beautiful pot-roast with roasted vegetables, homemade rolls and her famous shortbread cookies. So much better than the ramen I had planned on eating that night.

At the time, our third child, Megan had just been born. She told me not worry about dinner but to take the time to hold and rock my baby and play with the older children. She told me ‘they will grow up so fast and you will miss these days’. I didn’t believe her, she was crazy because there was NO way I’d miss this circus! I felt stuck in an endless loop of feeding, diapers, and crying (not just the baby). On top of that, I was also torn between balancing the needs of Jesse and Sarah with Erik out of town most of the time.

Turns out she was right! Looking back to that day 24+ years ago it seems like time has played a trick on me. Like a great magicians disappearing act, I’m standing here wondering “where did it go?”.

Recently, my son was telling me about his sleepless night holding and comforting his sick baby daughter. He said,  “As tired as I am, holding her all night while she slept was such a sweet memory I’ll always cherish.” Funny, I remembered a sleepless night just like that with him when he was a baby that I too cherish.

Thinking back, there are many things I miss most about those crazy days: the bedtime rituals, camping, bath time, make believe stories and believe it or not, the crying baby.

I’m now what society calls an “Empty Nester” for my little birds have all flown from the nest. And now I feel stuck in this loop of grief missing my babies, redefining my purpose, hot flashes and still more crying. But Audrey’s advice “you will miss these days,” is true for whatever season of our life, either old or young, we are in. I tell my children, “If you think it is so – it is so.” That is true for focusing on either the positive or the negative happenings of your day. There is something about today that you are going to miss someday – what is it?

For me some things I’ll miss about today: mountain walks, ski days, holding grand babies, Sunday family dinners, art lessons with my granddaughter and possibly hot flashes? Nah, not that.

So mine and Audrey’s advice: focus on the joys of the “now” before the magic trick of time makes it disappear.

There is another lesson we can learn from sweet Audrey. There is a time we do the reaching out and serving and a time when we need to allow others to serve and carry us. Consider this:

Fire Ants instinctively understand this concept; when floods threaten their home they gather together and by holding onto each other’s legs and mouths they create a live floating raft to support each other through the storm until they can find safe land again.

Many times I have been the recipient of loving people reaching out to help me stay afloat, and at times I have done the supporting. We all will face adversities that threaten us, and we all need each other. It’s a brilliant and simple plan- you lift me and I’ll lift you and together we will ascend.

…All pain is temporary

All sorrow is fleeting

But LOVE is Eternal

XOXO

Judy

PS – Just in case you could use ninja superwomen powers, I’m sharing a secret formula:

 Fire Water a Remedy for Women

(I have discovered drinking this daily helps with women issues, hot flashes, and energy)

Mix ingredients in your water bottle:

Flavored Water

(I have used sparkling waters, kombuchas, and electrolyte mixes such as Sustain by Melaleuca)

1 T. Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar (Braggs)

¼ to ½ tsp. Cayenne (start small) Be aware there are different BPU (Burn Power Units)

Optional add-ins for different needs:

Raw Honey (energy), Ginger (digestion), turmeric (inflammation), cinnamon (circulation) and kefir (probiotics)

04.12.17

Real Life Featuring Ali Linthorst

My Fear Antidote is thrilled to introduce Ali. She is a gem. We know you will love her by the end of this post as much as we do.

ALI LINTHORST

Ali Linthorst

My name is Ali Linthorst, I am 29 years old and I struggle with an eating disorder, anxiety and depression. I am also a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend, an athlete, a college graduate, a perfectionist and a small business owner.

Ali Linthorst

I developed a severe eating disorder my freshman year of college. It started as a simple laxative here and there, but slowly turned into an obsession that included compulsive exercise, counting calories, skipping meals and more laxatives. I thought I could get better on my own and that I wasn’t sick, but that wasn’t the case.

On April 21, 2008 my best friend was hit by a car while serving an LDS mission in Brazil. He passed away from internal bleeding of the liver. My eating disorder spiraled out of control and so did my anxiety and depression, but to me it was the only thing I could control in my life at the time. I was very, very sick. It started affecting my friendships and my relationships. I was always hiding something, hiding from myself and what I had become. I wasn’t healthy mentally, spiritually or physically. At my very sickest, my weight was extremely low, I couldn’t control my bowels and I was always sick. I finally admitted to myself that I needed help and I turned to my family. It wasn’t easy and it didn’t happen overnight, but seeking and asking for help saved my life.

Ali Linthorst

I started taking medication for anxiety and depression which ultimately drove my eating disorder. I saw my family doctor once a month to check in and he was very aware and involved in my recovery. I also started seeing a therapist through the Center of Change and I honestly can say that he saved my life. I saw him once, sometimes twice a week for two years.

I found ways to find peace and ways to cope with the daily battle I fought. I wrote a lot! I wrote letters to my friend who passed on, to my eating disorder and to my healthy self. It was the perfect way to release every good and bad thought and feeling. I set small goals and found things that helped me feel joy. Some of the things that gave me peace included healthy exercise, the temple, my family, service and travel. I know these sound cliché, but they worked for me.

Ali Linthorst, Eating Disorder

I can’t say that I am ‘better’, but I can say that each day is a gift. I will always battle this disease, but I choose to be happy and healthy.

Women and men all around the world struggle with eating disorders and mental illness. There is so much shame and embarrassment, but remember people are good and want to help. Please if you are struggling or know someone who is, please ask for help. I promise you will not be judged or abandoned, but buoyed up.

Ali Linthorst, Eating Disorder

As a mother I hope that I never see my children go through what I did, I hope to always be mindful of what I say about myself and to portray a positive body image. I know sometimes I will get it wrong, but I will love them no matter what. Remember to love yourself or strive to love yourself each and every day.

Your journey will look different than someone else’s, but it is still yours and you can make it great.

04.10.17

The Dark Abyss of Postpartum Depression

How Life’s Defining Moments Saved Me

I believe there are moments in our lives that shape us and mold us into who we become. Whether they are positive or negative, these moments leave an impression on us. I like to call these “defining moments.” We all have these defining moments in our lives, we can use these moments to fall back on in hard times or propel us forward in good times.

My Defining Moments

Growing up I always wanted to be a mom. I have very tangible, distinct memories of playing house and holding my baby dolls in my arms. I would day dream about the day I would be a mom. I believed clear down to my core that I would be a great mom, and from a very young age I couldn’t wait to have children of my own. These moments were defining moments.

Postpartum

I am the oldest of 4 kids so I always felt a maternal instinct over my younger siblings. I have always worried about my siblings well being and how I can help them (minus a year or two in my teens.) I loved being a big sister, and still to this day love being around my siblings. I worry about my them and their well being. My siblings have blessed me with many defining moments.

Postpartum

Fast forward into my teenage years. On the day before graduation my 3 best friends and I headed to the park by our high school. I remember the day like it was yesterday. It was the first of June and it was warm and finally sunny. We all sat on the green grass and talked for hours about our futures. We took turns predicting how everyones lives would turn out. When it was my friends turn to predict my future I remember thinking, “please just predict that I get married and have a family.” I am pleased to report they predicted I would get married and start a family shortly there after, and their predictions were spot on! That day in the park with my best friends was another defining moment.

In 2009, I got what I had spent my whole life dreaming of and preparing for, I became a mom. When I held my little boy for the first time I was so overcome with emotion of love and joy. Once again, I knew I was supposed to be a mom and that I was going to be great at it. I promised my son that I would always be there for him. I was going to protect him, help him and teach him. I was going to be his best friend and the best mom. He would always know I had his back. A HUGE defining moment.

So, why do I tell you about some of my motherhood defining moments? Well, after the birth of my 3rd child I started questioning my abilities to be a mom. To be honest, I didn’t even like being a mom. I dreaded getting out of bed. Everyday I struggled to be kind. I struggled to be happy. I would put on a happy face out in public, but once I was home the mask came off and the monster came out! I was either crying or yelling. I was dealing with some major postpartum depression.

 

Postpartum mom

 

Dealing with Postpartum Depression

Deep down I knew this wasn’t “normal Sarah” behavior. The old Sarah love being a mom. The old Sarah was a good mom. I knew these things but the postpartum depression told me otherwise. It told me I would never be like the old Sarah again. Postpartum depression told me I was a terrible mom, and a bunch of other lies. The sad thing is, I believed those lies for months.

There are lots of resources out there to tell you all the symptoms of postpartum depression, and there are other resources that offer suggestions or ideas on  how to get through it. Trust me, I read everything. They say things like connecting with others, caring for yourself, and exercise etc. etc. etc. can help you beat postpartum depression. Those suggestions really helped to pull me from what seemed like the darkest abyss possible, and seeing a counselor helped as well. Do your research, there really are so many wonderful ideas to help those struggling.

But here is the thing, those websites or self help books or even counselors are missing one thing. They don’t know what your defining moments are. They don’t know those moments that have shaped you. They can’t instill those defining moments in you. They can remind you of them, but just like the old saying goes, you can bring a horse to water but you can’t make them drink.

All the websites I turned to, the self help books I read and even the amazing counselor I saw didn’t have the memory bank that I had. I am the only one with access to those precious moments. You are the only one that has access to your defining moments.

It was my defining moments that saved me. I leaned on those defining moments daily as I started the healing process and truly recovering. I used those moments to propel me forward. I used those moments for strength. I used those moments to remind myself that I am a good mom. I have always wanted to be a mom.

So I challenge you to take a BREIF walk down memory lane and figure out what your defining moments are. The past is in the past for a reason, so don’t stay there long, but we can learn and grow from experiences in our past.

Challenge those thoughts that tell you that you aren’t good enough. Push past the desire to stay in bed all day. Change the yelling and crying into kindness and laughter. Hold on tight to those defining moments! Being a mom is hard enough so don’t be too hard on yourself! and if anything else know that I believe in you!

XOXO

Sarah

I am not a trained counselor or medical professional, If you are thinking of harming yourself or anyone else please seek immediate medical attention or call the suicide hotline. 1-800-273-8255

 

04.08.17

Finding Your Creative Spirit Again

How did this happen, the death of my creative spirit?

I was at the top of my game creating art, showing in galleries, writing and illustrating children’s books, and speaking at conferences. Then life and its clutter choked in around me. Somewhere along the way I picked up the distorted thought that I couldn’t be a good mom and an artist at the same time. That was partly true because my children needed my attention and extra TLC because of the trials they were going through. And as all children do – mine grew up and left the nest.

I had always dreamt of this time of my life when I’d have all the time in the world to paint. Throughout the years my art studio became so cluttered that it was worthy to be featured on a hoarders show. I didn’t want to paint or write. My desire to create was dying and I was discouraged and numb. When I was asked to speak I felt like an imposter living a lie. I distracted myself with Netflix and other time wasters and comfort food – chocolate. I felt like I had no purpose anymore.

It was during my morning ritual of scriptures, writing and mediation that I came to realize I had an addiction and I needed help. Around the same time I met Karen Broadhead with Mothers Who Know who commissioned me to do a painting, “Stay by the Tree”. I was also working on another painting, “Help Thou My Unbelief” for the Church History Museum Competition.

Stay by the Tree
Help Thou My Unbelief

Somehow I mustered up enough creative juices to paint and reawaken the dwindling artistic spirit inside of me, igniting my creative spark again. Shortly after, I read the book “The Life Changing Magic of Tiding Up”. I made a choice and did the work, and with the help of family and friends – I did just that – I changed my life. I have an Erma Bombeck quote that hangs in my studio that reads,

When I stand before God at the end of my life I would hope that I would have not a single bit of talent left and could say ‘I used everything you gave me’.

I truly believe that each and every one of us comes here with a purpose and talents that involve creating beauty and joy to brighten life for others. Creativity doesn’t have to come from a paintbrush or an instrument; it can come from kind words, a smile, cooking, gardening, writing or being a grandma.

I know my creative death happened slowly over time. But I can also testify of a creative rebirth that can begin to grow day by day, choice by choice. Although children will call, life gets busy, and your “art studio” (whatever that might be for you) will get cluttered and lost along the way, remember who you are – a creative spirit of The Great Creator. Creativity and beauty is in your spiritual DNA! Frequently take time to clean up the clutter both physically and spiritually so you can receive inspiration and fulfill the ‘measure of your creation.’ And never forget to choose JOY! We were created to have joy and enjoy this adventure called life. Sure things can be rough but creating and choosing joy are always a choice. Don’t be afraid to rekindle your creative spark again! It might not be easy at first, especially if you find yourself in a similar situation as I did, but I can promise it will be worth it.

XOXO

Judy

04.07.17

The Child Inside: Dusting off your Inner Genius

Anyone love Chip and Joanna Gaines as much as I do? I just tore through their book, The Magnolia Story (go read it!). There is a section in the book where Joanna talks about connecting with your inner child. Totally amazing concept. It really got me thinking, which eventually led me to browse old photos. Me and my husband literally had the same haircut for most  of our childhood. Except he wasn’t the lucky one who got to sport burrito bangs. Thanks mom!

Aren’t kids just amazing? They just do what they want to do and nothing can stop them. They are confident, creative, and wild. Leave it to life to beat us down and fill us with self-doubt, fear, and insecurities.  Next thing you know, you’re an adult, hiding that creative, wonderful, inner genius. For those of you who haven’t lost touch with that side of yourself and have let it grow, you rock. Please share your wisdom!!

For the rest of us… when I mentioned your inner child did thoughts not immediately come into your head about those things you just loved? Were you an artist? An athlete? A comedian? An entrepreneur?

I challenge you to do one thing this weekend to reconnect with your inner child. The creative, free spirited, brave, inner child. Remind yourself that you are an artist. An athlete. A comedian. An entrepreneur.

I loved to write and draw as a child. And if it wasn’t made clear by my weekend plans, I had a serious love affair with dogs.

It’s been a long, bumpy road but recently I had an epiphany. Which ultimately led me to this post. I’m so sick of not being me. And why shouldn’t I? As complicated as my head wants to make it, wow. Is it simple.  Fear is the greatest deterrent of dreams. Comparison makes you want to hide your gifts. Self-doubt cripples all the good you have to offer.

Join me. Roll down the windows in your car (thank you spring!) Belt James Bay’s Let it Go, or if you’re a Frozen fan, you know the drill. Let go of those things that hold you back. Be courageous and most of all LAUGH. You won’t get it perfect, but isn’t that beautiful? You have so much to offer. The world needs your gifts, your talent, your smile, your creativity. Smile big, laugh hard. You don’t have to wear your favorite childhood dress up to the grocery store but tell the little girl you see in the aisle in the dirty tattered princess dress that she is beautiful. Because truly, aren’t we all?

xoxo Kimberly

04.05.17

Let’s Talk About Real Life – Featuring Jenna Webb

-My Fear Antidote is thrilled to kick off our guest post Wednesdays, especially with such a wonderful friend and example as our first poster. We are so grateful for our dear friend Jenna for sharing her story with us.-

Real Life with Jenna Webb

I have found in my life there are turning points which mark significant life changing moments. This is different than standing at a crossroads…it is a pivotal moment where the course of my life has been changed in a positive way.

A few Sunday’s ago I sat on a church bench gazing up at the podium in front of me. I took in the beautiful mountainous view framed by a collection of windows pointing upward. It was a familiar sight, in a familiar place, in a familiar feeling moment. I remembered back 22 years earlier when my parents had just moved to Layton. It was my senior year in high school and I was not very happy about the situation. They took me from my friends, from everything familiar, and all of it felt completely out of my control.  I was very vocal in my disapproval and made it clear to my parents this was the worst thing they could have done to their teenage daughter.

Finally one day my dad said ‘Jen…you can either have a good experience or a bad experience with this change…it’s up to you’. His words struck my soul, and my life changed from that pivotal moment. Now here I found myself all of these years later facing even bigger life challenges and changes which also seemed out of my control. Sitting in that chapel now as a divorced mom of four kids these same words echoed through my soul… ‘you can either have a good experience or a bad experience…it’s up to you’.
I remembered back to the turning point I experienced as a teenager after taking my dad’s advice to heart.  I looked at everything within my control and I changed it for the better starting with my ambition and attitude. This pattern would also be how I learned to successfully manage an eating disorder I developed in my youth. It would also become a pattern for facing seemingly impossible challenges in my life.
Developing an eating disorder did not come over night for me. It started with unhealthy habits and unnecessary dieting. I was trying to fit into the idea of what I thought perfect was. The eating disorder gained momentum by my feelings of wanting to feel in control of my life where I felt completely out of control. Yet interestingly, eventually my mind manipulated my reality to the point where I felt I no longer held any control. This is when I realized I needed help.
I had a counselor, saw a nutritionist, and participated in a study using medication to treat eating disorders.  This was a part of figuring out what exactly was in my control to make positive changes. I had support from a new roommate; a spouse who helped me to be accountable for how I spent my time at home. He supported me positively by not attacking me but rather checking in on me and letting me know he was there if I needed him.
I learned what things were triggers with my eating disorder and most of all I learned how to have a healthy and respectful relationship with my mind and body. I learned how to love and appreciate myself,  while also accepting my weaknesses. However, I knew I was also blessed with strengths which counteracted those weaknesses.
I love the opportunity I have to help mentor other people through similar struggles. Luckily, I have watched them find their pivotal moment and make changes only they could make. I cannot explain the genuine love that develops for a person when watching this kind of growth take place. Most importantly, I have loved experiencing this with my children as well. I look forward to, and welcome these moments in my life. Personally it pushes me to the next level of myself and I get to become a better me.
XOXO
Jenna W.
04.03.17

Finding Your Creative Outlet – My Music

Ever since I can remember, I have been in love with music. As a young 4 year old I asked to do solos at church, and spent my days on the trampoline singing ‘The Little Mermaid’ songs at the top of my lungs.

When I first started voice lessons, I was obsessed with singing Broadway songs and being in musicals. However, in high school, there were competitions that students could compete in. I started singing classical and opera so I could compete, and to my surprise, found so much love for that music and a vocal strength I never imagined. During my senior year, I chose a challenging french song to compete with. I went all the way to the state level and won. I was then invited to join state wide choirs and other local performances. My dreams were coming true.

Despite the awful eating disorder I was struggling with in high school and college, I could find peace and hope for recovery when I lost myself in my music. I felt like I had a purpose in this life when I shared that music with others.

When I felt most alone, music was there for me. When I felt most lost, music helped me find myself and my true abilities.

Music, for me, is an escape. When I am singing, whether it is by myself at the piano, or in front of an audience of thousands, I feel safe, and most comfortable in my own skin. When I am immersed in music, fear leaves my mind.

Everyone needs an outlet. Everyone needs a way to escape or quiet for stress, depression, anxieties, and anger. What is your outlet? What do you feel most happy doing? Yours may not be music; yours may be acting, drawing, sewing, meditating, sculpting, decorating, baking, writing, blogging, serving, reading, etc. etc.

No matter what you do for your outlet, it is essential in recovery and healing. Our depression or anxiety tell us to isolate ourselves and dissuades us from doing anything that makes us happy. The outlet does the opposite. It reminds us that we can be happy even though we struggle. It reminds us that we are so much more that the sadness or fear we may feel

This week’s postings are all about finding and enjoying your own creative outlet. If you haven’t picked up that guitar or that drawing pad for a long time, I encourage you to set aside at least 5 minutes today to do so. You may even find that you are able to help others who struggle.

I hope you have a fabulous day.

XOXO

 

Megan