Thursday, May 31, 2012

Loving Yourself Day One

I have some pretty amazing visiting teachers who left me with a very interesting challenge. They challenged me to spend an entire week loving myself. Where my biggest focus is on loving me. I think that we so often spend time trying to think of others and being unkind to ourselves, that we forget the importance of loving yourself.

I wrote myself a little not on my mirror... and that was about it. But I'm trying again. So I'm going to blog about my results of the week of loving myself.

So first things first, Megan told me to write a list of the things that I love about myself. I tried to do it last week and I found that it was really hard. I once listened to a lesson given by an LDS therapist and she pointed out that our brains are incredible. When we tell our brain to think of all the things that are wrong with us, it can keep going and going with lists of what is wrong with us. But we can also ask it to think of all the things we love about ourselves. So, that is what I asked of my brain.

So in completely honesty of my week of loving myself, Day one:

Ability to love
Physical strength
Emotional Strength
My waist
Loyalty
Eyes
Style/clothes
Kindness
Friends
Family
Education
Testimony 
Faith
Ability to remind people of who they are
Desire to serve
Stubbornness (yep... I'm weird)
Voice of reason
Dancing like a crazy person
Who I am becoming
Ability to Forgive
Desire to continue even when I fall short
Divinity
Pixie cut
Cheek bones
My imperfection
Recognition of my faults
Love of Sports
Athleticism
Baking
Astronomy
Passion
Desire to consumer knowledge
Knowing/sharing random facts
Desire to be better
My measuring stick (occasionally I lose track of the measuring stick I like to use, that of the Lord's, and I get all sorts of confused and start using other people's but I love it when I am using the right one).

Now that you've listened to me dote on myself, what are some things that you love about yourself?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Friday, May 11, 2012

Happy Weekend

I've got an exciting weekend ahead of me. One of my best friends is getting married later today!

I can't wait.

Sunday is Mother's Day. I'm looking forward to spending time with my mom.

I wanted to share this lovely song with you. Calee is a friend from BYU's sister. Of all the things that I knew about Kristina, Calee's sister, I always knew about the wonderful family she came from. The family lost their mother a little while ago. A trial I can't imagine facing right now.

I may have cried a little bit when I first heard this song. If you want to learn a little bit more about the family or Calee's journey writing and record a CD go here.



Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Happy Birthday To Me!

Remember how my Granny and I share a love of The Pioneer Woman? Granny lives a hop, skip and a jump from the Drummond Ranch.

I'm not sure how she did it, but for my birthday she sent me a personalized new Pioneer Woman Cook Book.

I have a love for all things P Dub. This was the most exciting part of turning 26.


Monday, May 7, 2012

Forgiveness Flour

"No matter how wide you stretch your fingers, your hands will always be too small to catch all the pain you want to heal."
-- Sarah Kay, If I Should Have A Daughter

posted way back when...

I listened to Sarah Kay perform this again. My mind has been twisting around some thoughts lately... Perhaps I'm thinking a bit too hard, a bit too deep or perhaps I find myself facing a time of change within myself.

Just bear with me because it'll all make sense by the end of this post.

I had a friend in college, and for the sake of this conversation, let's just call her Helen. Helen was a little bit different. She had an abrasive personality, a series of problems that just made you want to shake her and tell her to make smart decisions and get her life in order.

People had a hard time with Helen, but all Helen wanted was to be loved.

One day I was at our neighbors house and our neighbor exclaimed, "Please just tell me something about her that makes up for her behavior. Tell me there is something to justify this."

I explained to our neighbor that Helen grew up as a ward of the state. She spent most of her teenage years living in an all girl's home/school and didn't know her mother well. She has severe health issues stemming from her mother's drinking and drug use when she was pregnant. That she joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints when she was a teenager and had been turning her life around since then.

The neighbor looked at me and said, "Oh. Well that makes sense now."

And something clicked in my 19-year-old brain. Something I probably should have understood long before that time.

The mandate given by the Savior that we love one another.

"A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another, as I have loved you, they ye also love one another. " John 13:34

The Savior know each one of us intimately. Knows the details that make it unbearable to love and feel compassion and a desire to protect and defend people. So perhaps we should take His word on it and try to feel that love toward everyone.

Last night I was having a conversation with some close friends. They talked about a mutual acquaintance we all share. I chimed in and asked if I could provide a bit of background on this person's life. Background that makes her the behavior understandable.

We ended up talking for a good 30 minutes about why it the behavior is understandable but not excusable. About how our circumstances do not determine who we become. A conclusion I think the three of us could easily agree upon. Our circumstances shape us, but we can grow and change in spite of them. We can't blame all of our problems on our parents, our siblings, our spouses, the weather, etc...

At a certain point, perhaps a certain level of maturity, we choose to grow. To change our circumstances. To rise above.

But not everyone gets there. Not everyone gets there quickly either.

I'd like to think that everyone faces this moment. Everyone has something to rise above.

So I hope that when we witness the struggles of someone else. Someone caught in a trap or cycle set by their circumstances, that we can be quick to forgive. Quick to recognize that we all face the same predicament, and it is a whole heck of a lot easier to make it through by the support of others as opposed to jeers and judgement.

We all have a story. A story that makes us loveable. I'm going to try a lot harder to remember that and to extend the hand of relief and fellowship before I am close enough to someone to figure out what that story is. And I hope that people are willing to do that for me.

Someone read this poem to me a long time ago. It took me a long time to understand it. Last week I got some wonderful advice from a church leader, "Error on the safe side of measuring."

When I went to the door, at the whisper of knocking,
I saw Simeon Gantner’s daughter, Kathleen, standing
There, in her shawl and her shame, sent to ask
“Forgiveness Flour” for her bread. “Forgiveness Flour,”
We call it in our corner. If one has erred, one
Is sent to ask for flour of his neighbors. If they loan it
To him, that means he can stay, but if they refuse, he had
Best take himself off. I looked at Kathleen . . .
What a jewel of a daughter, though not much like her
Father, more’s the pity. “I’ll give you flour,” I
Said, and went to measure it. Measuring was the rub.
If I gave too much, neighbors would think I made sin
Easy, but if I gave too little, they would label me
“Close.” While I stood measuring, Joel, my husband
Came in from the mill, a great bag of flour on his
Shoulder, and seeing her there, shrinking in the
Doorway, he tossed the bag at her feet. “Here, take
All of it.” And so she had flour enough for many loaves,
While I stood measuring.
--Marguerite Stewart

Friday, May 4, 2012

Dear 16-year-old Me

I know this has been around for a while, but I think it's a great message, one that we should probably hear more often.


Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Downside of a Pixie

I frequently get quite a bit of blog traffic due to google searches about growing out a pixie. So, for those people I've got a bit of advice for you.

Growing out a pixie is really freaking hard. There's a whole lot of awkwardness that can happen. My current goal is to avoid awkwardness. I had a super short pixie. I've been growing it out since January and I'm about the longest it has been since chopping it off. And it is still looking pretty short.

Here are my tips for you ladies.

1. Headbands - it'll keep you hair back out of your face and makes a great accessory.

2. Braids - I've recently started putting a small braid in my hair where my bangs are. Its just a little different and an alternative to pinning it back.

3. Weight - Have you stylist cut out your excess weight. I'm lucky enough to have a hair stylist for a roommate. We do this every couple of weeks.

4. Trim - Every so often my roommate trims my hair. This keeps me from sprouting s lovely duck tail at the nape of my neck. Our goal has been to keep the length on the top and trim the edges. I have this awkward length on the sides right now that is easily hidden by tucking my hair back behind my ears.

5. Patience. This is the hardest part. I began this process last year and got fed up and chopped it off. Now when the urge to chop off my hair returns, I tell myself I'll wait two weeks and if I still want to I'll cut it. The urge usually passes within a few days.

I'll include some photos here of good options for growing out your pixie.


 My favorite example to look to is Carey Mulligan. Here are a couple of looks of her hair at the growing out process.





No-No

This is just part of the reason of why I love baseball.

Last night Jered Weaver threw a no hitter. Spectacular.

Sometimes baseball is just magical.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Definition

How do we define ourselves.

I went through this list with a friend of mine.  In answering No. 29 I laughed, "What do you think people misunderstand most about you?" First impression, that I am way less put together than I let people see. To my close friends and family, that I am way more vulnerable than I let them see.

I think it's very interesting to listen to ways that people define us. The persona that we present to the world isn't always the truest form of ourselves, and in many ways people choose to define us in ways that they can relate to you.

I have many friends who simply see me as the girl who really likes sports. The girl who is intimidating at 5-foot-11 with a serious look on her face. The girl who is compassionate and service oriented. The one that lacks mercy and is too serious.

But I'd like to think that they only thing that really matters is how we choose to define ourselves. And once we determine what that definition is, to live our lives accordingly. At my incredibly knowledgeable 25, almost 26, years (please note a sense of sarcasm) my personal definition has been evolving, growing, being pruned back in places, and I am willing to say that I am perfectly content with who I am and where I'm going.

After listening to Jane Fonda on this show, I got a little sad for my generation.

As young women, or really as all women, we are being asked to define ourselves according to the world's standards. A standard based on unattainable excellence. We must be the most beautiful, sexiest yet wholesome, smartest and most composed women. The standard of beauty is set by truly unrealistic ideals, where even the most beautiful women of the world don't measure up to. We have to be sexual, without being overly sexual. We are asked to be incredibly smart, but still stand second to men in almost every industry. We aren't supposed to be smarter than men. It's a bit of an unfair paradox.

Now, this is not a problem I blame on men or women. It's just a societal issue that I do not feel is fair. It is not fair to women and it is not fair that men are raised to believe these ideals.

I have a fair amount of friends who define themselves based on their relationships to men. Their self-worth, their value and their happiness is defined by the relationships they are in. I've never thought that a relationship should complete you, but should compliment you.

My personal thought on this matter is that if you are in a relationship because you need it to validate you, most likely the relationship will end. 

I have a tendency to see everything as black and white, right and wrong. To me this kind of thinking is wrong. A woman is of worth and value by the divinity within her. By who she is intended to be by her creator. And for that matter, men are exactly the same.

My high school therapist once told me that I describe my life like I'm watching a TV show. I can take myself out of situations and make observations about other people and their interactions (Yes, this leads me to be emotionally disconnected at times something I am aware of and working on). I think this has given me an opportunity to define myself separate from my relationships and interactions with others.

So how do I define myself? As an almost 25-year-old I'm still working on it. I assume through the years my definition will adapt but I hope the core elements stay the same.

I am a daughter of God, a loving and supportive member of a family, I am an imperfect being, saved by grace and mercy, I am a friend, I am a smart, beautiful, inquisitive young woman, I am fiercely loyal.

I'm still working on everything, but I just hope that people will wait a little while to get to know me before they define me.



Tuesday, May 1, 2012

On Top of the World

Just feel like throwing a little shout out to the people in my life that have taught me to meet adversity with hard work and a smile.