Chaos and Crumbs

For the past few weeks, I’ve watched how the feeling of things being out-of-control can suddenly switch us from able to disabled. The “out-of-control thing” can be a feeling of trying to set a routine and it keeps slipping away. A partial opinion someone has of us that we just can’t help them see our full picture. Trying to support a sick loved one. Or the clutter that has crawled into our closet, kitchen, or computer from loved ones or ourselves as we’re trying to manage life’s demands. Whatever that out-of-control thing is for you, know that you’re not the only one who gets incapacitated by it every now and then. We’re not weak for feeling that way. We’re growing.

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Photo by Jordane Mathieu on Unsplash

When chaos comes, we may feel all we have left are crumbs of ideas, energy, support, or solutions.

But at least we have crumbs.

I’ve been thinking about this when random moments of chaos have affected me or those around me lately. For some reason, the idea of crumbs brought me solace. In the midst of pain and pressure from chaos’ crumbliness, I think we can learn from our little leftover remains.

  1. Its ok to have days of hearty harvests and days of scraping from the bottom. Just like the seasons, our days will vary in abundance. Some days we’re functioning at a Spring state with bounteous energy and flowing ideas. Other days we’re more in a huddled, frigid Winter state. Both seasons, we have something to give and receive. When I have those free flowing days with buckets full to share, I find myself still needing to receive my husband’s counterbalancing thoughts to prune and hedge my decisions. During the winter freeze and crumby days when I have little to give, I can still offer warmth to huddle next to. What this looks like may be extra delegating, voicing my needs more, or drawing loving boundaries for activities or people to better care for myself.
  2. Every crumb counts. Imagine your favorite meal or desert. Every last drizzle and morsel of that deliciousness is savored and celebrated. That means that when we’re depleted, every little bit that we do have to give to ourselves, our families, or our work is enough. Even if they say otherwise, let it be a truth we can anchor in knowing that our best is enough (1). Because our seasons can change, that means our best also changes. We can give ourselves some space in productivity, in helpfulness, in nurturing, and wherever we tend to excel in or be leaned on, knowing that it’s ok for our status and abilities to fluctuate. But what we do give, if given with our best, will be for good.
  3. Be determined to move forward. Crumbs can only support us for so long. I’ve used these crumby moments to be a flag and indicator to myself that things have got to change. And the things I can change are 1) my attitude and 2) my actions. For my attitude, there’s nothing like listening to a favorite song that anchors me to remember truths or to be grateful. A few of my favorites are “Blessed” by Martina McBride, “Baba Hanuman” by Shantala, or any song by JJ Heller. As for actions, you know the list: exercise, sleep, talking/counseling, nutrition, praying, serving, exploring nature, acupuncture, or reading.
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Photo by Abele Gigante on Unsplash

This has been a topic I’ve been thinking about for a while and so writing it was actually a challenge because it’s been a learning by observing process rather than anything measured or clinical. I hope through this conversation we can each be more patient with ourselves through the chaos and crumbs. We’d love to hear what you’ve found helpful when you’ve felt out-of-control or crumbly. Who knows, if we as women link our crumbs together, maybe we’ll end up with a loaf to share.

(1) Ruiz, Miguel. The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom. San Rafael, Calif: Amber-Allen Pub, 1997. Print.

Abundance: Overcoming Burnout

Do you ever wish you could clone yourself to help you with all you have to tackle? Maybe that is just me, but I often think, “there is just not enough of me to go around.” Or maybe its even worse “I am not even enough for myself” let alone all the good and worthy things I wish I could achieve. That is where Abundance comes in for me and saves me from meltdown. You all know what I am talking about.  That “nobody appreciates me, nobody understands me, and I might as well give up” frame of mind. I affectionately call this the Try-hard give up cycle and I am not alone in suffering from it’s effect. Today we are going to talk about how to break the cycle and feel the sustained joy that comes from Abundance.

tiredThe most insidious part of the “Try-hard, give up cycle” is the belief that if I can just keep up my willpower, do a little better, be a bit more consistent then I will arrive at that place where all my problems are solved. Wrong! The bar just keeps moving farther away as there are new challenges to tackle, personal weaknesses to find, and you end up feeling defeated. The truth is we all are subject to weakness and burnout. I don’t care what magic pill or program you prescribe to, research shows that when we believe that the source of our power comes from our own efforts that well of effort will run dry overtime.

But I said this was about Abundance right, so stay with me.  When you begin to own the fact that you really can’t do things alone, and that you need others, and its OK to need others, that is a game changer. Research shows that those that believe that their Abundance comes from a source outside of themselves, such as a higher power, or relationship can sustain their efforts for change. This is the essence of most 12 step programs for Addiction Recovery and practices such as Mindfulness. These practices acknowledge the need to be aware our limitations, accept them with loving kindness, and then seek power outside ourselves. This process is not complete, however, unless we act (yes, I said act) on the wisdom that comes to us in these observant moments.

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My favorite analogy comes from the late Dr. Wayne Dyer.  I once heard it on a podcast and it was life changing. He was comparing Abundance to a sea of water that we walk up to with a tiny cup and only dip in and take what we feel we have “earned.” Sound familiar. But the really is that the sea of Abundance is right there for you to jump in swim around and drink deeply.  I often ponder that analogy in my dry, give up moments. I hope you choose to tune into the Abundance that is waiting for you to receive with gratitude and power up your sagging personal efforts. The beginning of true change is acceptance that we can’t do it alone, receiving that outside help, and then sharing our Abundance with others.

Favorite Abundance Practices of Mine:

  1. Write down all the things that you feel are pressing on your mind and time. Divide these items into two lists. One column for items you feel you can effectively tackle and the other column with items beyond your current capacity. Mindfully surrender the items beyond your capacity to your higher power, delegate to someone else in your life, or offer yourself patience that they won’t be attended to yet. (Watch some of the delegated items show up done in your life)
  2. Visualize success completing a task, navigating a difficult relationship, or receiving something you need. Keep visualizing this and revisiting it when fear and doubt threaten to distract you from it. Notice steps you discover in this process leading to your end goal and take one of those steps today.

Abundance: Mindset & Heart-set

Abundance: Mindset and Heart-set

The definition, according to official dictionaries, of abundance is a very large quantity of something. Before you start checking your bank account, I am talking about more than just having a LOT MORE time, money, or power. In this world of Instagram influencers and popular mommy bloggers – it is so easy get trapped in comparisons and locked in a ‘lack of’ mindset. I know it appears that everyone else on Facebook seems to be in Hawaii right now and all your friends seem to be winning the diet battle and training for marathons. You look around and see evidence that the world has it all going on and you are just stumbling through life. You are feeling anything but abundance because you are just getting by. So, let’s talk.

GRATITUDE LIST

Truth. What you focus on increases. So, if all you are seeing is a lack — you will have an abundance of less-than. If you want to see the large quantity (aka abundance) of blessings and goodness in your life, focus on it. I have made it a practice of writing at least five things a day I am grateful for. We have had extended periods of un/under-employment and chronic illness struggles, when money was missing and energy was low. During those stressful seasons my little list of five often included the basics: toothpaste, heat, bed, and hugging my son. There is always something to be grateful for. I came to see when it mattered most that my heart felt lighter when my list got longer. A thankful mindset is an abundant one. We could all learn a little from Pollyanna. Play the glad game and see how your mood changes.

COMPARISON: THE THEIF OF JOY

Have you noticed something? Hang out and scroll through social media. How do you feel? I mean after you watch a few funny cat videos — how are you really feeling? Check in. As you scroll through all the fashion posts and weight loss before-and-after photos, do you feel light? Do you feel more confident, grateful and hopeful? Or has something started to creep in? It is subtle. It looks like a little thought about how your kitchen counters aren’t as clean as…., your clothes not as current as… and your thighs not as tight as. It creeps in just enough to plant a seed. The seed of comparison. I have a friend once tell me that she was trying to be more confident with her body. She shared, “There is always a woman that is heavier than me that feels beautiful and thin. And there is also a woman skinnier then me that feels fat and unattractive.” It is all how you see it. Your mindset and thoughts determine a lot of what you feel. So watch what you are thinking! Stop looking around and believing that someone’s life, marriage, kids, and home look different than yours and better. Different doesn’t mean better. When you sense something shift in your emotions – something doesn’t feel good enough – retrace your steps. Did you swallow a comparison seed somewhere back on Instagram? Stop and pull it out.

Ganel-Lyn
“Zimbabweans… are joyful because they have an abundance mindset”

My son is serving a two-year mission in Zimbabwe for our church. That is Africa (and possibly the furthest place on the planet from me that he could be). There is an epidemic level of poverty and unemployment in the country. No matter how hard the living conditions and economy is – the people are happy. My son is living on the other side of the world among some of the most joyful people on the planet. Zimbabweans aren’t happy because of all of their possessions, followers on Twitter or money they have. They are joyful because they have an abundance mindset. Their hearts are focused on faith and family. Focusing on what matters most creates an abundance mind set. Maybe you and I can take a page from their book. Spend less time scrolling and comparing and more time expressing gratitude and rejoicing in all you do have. You may feel a bit richer for it.

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BIO: Ganel-Lyn is a popular motivational speaker and best-selling author – known for inspiring others with her unique honesty, authenticity and spirit. She is dedicated to her family, faith, and inspiring others. Ganel-Lyn loves teaching others with speaking and writing. She has healed from a major chronic illness and is the mother to two miracle children. Ganel-Lyn lives with an open heart and feels passionate about sharing principles that will empower others to live life with more joy and conviction.

www.ganellyn.com