Challenges

It’s been a long time since I have posted here and there are many reasons for that.   I have encountered a few challenges over the past few months with my mother who is 97 years of age.

She had been in and out of hospital for several months and I was spending my days and nights looking after her when she was out of hospital and at her residence.  Things got to a point where she was admitted to hospital and could no longer return to her residence and we had to look into a nursing home.

She is now somewhat settled into the nursing home, confined to a wheelchair and dependent on others to take her to meals, get her washed and dressed, etc.  I visit her daily for 1-4 hours, but she still wants me there more.  Just last night she had a crying session and that was after I had been there 2 1/2 hours.  She didn’t want me to leave.

I am unsure how long this challenge will last.  But I will do my best to keep looking after my mom.

 

What challenges do you face in your life?

How are you coping with your challenges?

Do you need a place to release your fears and thoughts?

Let’s talk

Fran

 

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Self Love part 3

  1. Exercise regularly

This one goes hand in hand with the above follow a healthy diet recommendation. Exercise doesn’t have to be a long gym workout or 60-minute exercise class. In fact, even just 20-30 minutes of exercise a day can be beneficial. It’ll help your mood which in turn will help you feel better about yourself. After a quick search I didn’t find any Bible verses that specifically mentioned physical exercise (although I’m sure there are some somewhere) but this (exercise/being healthy) goes back to treating your body as a temple.

  1. Seek counsel from a pastor or leader

God will not be mad if you need to talk with someone else. Sometimes praying on our own isn’t enough and we need help from those around us. That’s alright! And it even says in His word that where two or three are gathered He is there with them (Matthew 18:20). Our pastors, elders, and leaders of churches are there to minister one-on-one too.

Sometimes taking care of yourself and accepting Gods love means to reach out and ask for help. Besides, gathering with someone or a few others for prayer and ministry is a wonderful way to soak up God’s love.

  1. Forgive yourself

We know the importance of forgiving those who have hurt us and not carrying resentment or anger towards them. God’s word even says that we’ll be forgiven if we forgive others who have sinned against us (Matthew 6:14).

So, doesn’t that mean we need to forgive ourselves too? Sometimes we’re going to give in to the self-hatred, not feeling satisfied with what we have and comparing ourselves to others, negative self-talk, and more. But accepting God’s love mean that we forgive ourselves when we do these things and move along. Can you do that? Don’t you deserve to do that for yourself?

  1. Join a Bible study

Again, one of the best and easiest ways to accept God’s love is to immerse yourself in His word. Joining a local Bible study is a great way to do this. Not only that, but it’s a good way for you to get involved and get to know others on a more personal level – even more important if you attend a large church and it’s hard to make connections just by attending Sunday services.

  1. Volunteer

If you can sign up to volunteer within your church – helping in the office, taking care of babies, playing with toddlers, leading kids church, ministering to the youth, being a door greeter on Sunday, etc. – that would be ideal. Because after all, how else to embrace and accept God’s love than to be of service to Him within His place of worship? But if not, any type of volunteer activity is a fantastic way to get outside yourself and stop focusing on you/your problems.

Remember, loving those around you as your neighbor is one of God’s commandments. Volunteer work is a fun, but sometimes challenging, way to not only show love but receive love too.

These nine tips are merely suggestions. You can choose one or two to focus on and start there. Maybe none of these things mentioned appeal to you. That’s ok too. Create your own list. Come up your own ideas of ways you can let God love you even when you don’t love yourself.

I promise you, you can’t immerse yourself in God’s love and not eventually start loving yourself too.

Don’t ever forget who you are or who you belong to. You are God’s handiwork just like it says in His word:

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10 NIV

He loves you unconditionally. He doesn’t expect you to be perfect. He made you for a reason and has a plan for you. He knows you’ll make mistakes and sin along the way, he knew that way back when He created you! But that didn’t stop him, did it?

Knowing how unconditionally loved you are, how he has a plan and purpose for your life, doesn’t that mean you should show yourself a little compassion, grace, and self-love too? After all, you are worth it!

If you need some more encouragement, check out these Bible Verses:

  1. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 NIV
  2. God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1 NIV
  3. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3 NIV
  4. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV
  5. Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations. Jeremiah 1:5 NIV
  6. But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9 NIV
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Self Love continued

  1. Mediate on His word

The best way (and easiest) to accept God’s love is to immerse yourself in His word. Pick a topic on what you’re struggling with, in this case self-love, and seek out the answers He gives through His word.

A quick Google search using a tool like biblegateway.com will let you search for a keyword. Or most Bibles even have an index where you can find verses based on a topic. If you don’t have a specific topic in mind, I recommend just opening your Bible and reading some verses on the page you opened to. Trust that whatever you needed to hear that day was shown to you in those Words.

  1. Do something for yourself

Contrary to popular belief and what some of society says, it is not selfish to take time for yourself. In fact, God wants you to take care of you and that includes time to yourself. You decide what works for you – once a week, 15 minutes a day, whatever works, just choose it and make it happen. This time can be used for something as simple as a quick walk, reading a few chapters of a book, listening to music, writing in your journal – whatever you feel like doing!

  1. Follow a healthy diet

What does this have to do with accepting God’s love? Everything! In fact, His word even says:

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31 NIV

Wow. There you have it in black and white – even something as simple as eating is to be done to bring Glory to God. But aside from that, think about how you feel when you’re feeding your body “icky” stuff like candy, cookies, chips, fast food, pizza, soda, etc.  Does it make you feel energized, refreshed, mentally aware? Or does it make you feel tired, sluggish, crummy, and mad at yourself for eating junk once again?

I’m guessing you chose the latter because that’s usually what happens when you eat that stuff. Not to mention all the health issues that can result when you’re eating all that unhealthy, non-nourishing stuff on a regular basis. And I don’t know about you, but when I’m indulging in that stuff (occasionally it isn’t bad. It’s all about balance) it adds to the negative feelings I have towards myself!

 

Fran Watson

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Self-Love

What Is “Self-Love”?

First, let’s get clear on how we’re defining self-love. If you look it up in the dictionary, it has a negative connotation:

The instinct by which one’s actions are directed to the promotion of one’s own welfare or well-being, especially an excessive regard for one’s own advantage. Dictionary.com

That’s not what we’re talking about here. In this case we’re using the word self-love in a way that means not beating yourself up for past actions, or for looking in the mirror and loving what you see regardless of skin color, size, or number on the scale. We’re talking about self-love in terms of accepting ourselves…faults and all, just like He does.

So, how do you accept that God loves you even when you don’t love yourself? It’s not always easy, believe me I know the struggle. But, it gets “easier” as time goes on if you’re willing to put forth the effort to work on it.

Here are some tips you can follow to start accepting God’s love even when you don’t love yourself:

  1. Look up, not around you – we’ve already discussed, briefly, how society has caused us to believe if we’re not a certain height, skin color, etc. that there’s something wrong with us. When we look around and compare ourselves with how much money a friend makes, the fancy car a neighbor drives, the exotic vacations a colleague takes, it’s easy to get down on ourselves and start believing we’re not good enough.

But that’s not true! God doesn’t love us based on how much money we make, the vacations we take or the car we drive. In fact, none of these things matter in the grand scheme of things.

Stop looking around and instead look up and remember who you are in Him.

Come back tomorrow for some more tips

 

Fran Watson

 

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Things That Are Important

Over the next few weeks I will be posting about things that I find important in my life.  Perhaps they are some of the same things you may find important.  If so, I hope we can discuss them.  Simply post a comment below.

Accepting That God Loves Me Even When I Don’t Love Myself

For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself. – Galatians 5:14 NIV

That’s a powerful verse and it’s found a few more times throughout the Bible too. And I’m betting you have no problem loving others. Sure, sometimes family can be a pain or our kids can make us crazy but when it comes down to it, we still love them. It’s ‘easy’ to love others.

 

But how well do you do when it comes to loving yourself?

“That was a dumb thing to say.”

“How could I have been so stupid to do that?”

“I’m so fat.”

“My nose is too big.”

“I’m so ugly.”

“I’m so stupid.”

“I’m not smart enough.”

Those words, or similar ones, are often spoken over and over inside our heads. They aren’t words we would ever think of saying to those around us – friends or family – but we can speak them to ourselves without hesitation. Why is that?

Sadly, society has trained us to fall into the trap of believing we aren’t good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, etc. It’s taught us that if we aren’t a certain height, weight, and skin color (just to name a few) that there’s something wrong with is.

Or what about when we keep reliving past mistakes over and over in our heads? Better yet, what about when we’re with friends or family and we can’t stop bringing up the hurtful things we did to them years ago? Often, they have forgiven and moved on and don’t enjoy talking about the past hurts but we can’t stop doing it because we haven’t forgiven ourselves yet. And, finally – what about when we feel there’s no way God can love us when we don’t love ourselves and think our past sins are unforgiveable?

Why do we fall prey to those things and think those things about ourselves? Especially as Christians. God doesn’t want us believing those lies! Just look at Psalm 139: 13-15:

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. -Psalm 139: 13-15 NIV

Did you catch that? Fearfully and wonderfully made!

But let’s face it, we’re human and it’s not always easy to fight the self-sabotage and negative self-talk which makes it difficult to show ourselves self-love and grace which is right where the devil wants us – ‘hating’ ourselves.

Stay tuned for some ways to face the challenges and come out a winner!

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Seniors Health Care

My experience with Senior Health Care has been varied.  For the past several weeks, since the end of November, I have been either at the hospital with my mother or living in her retirement residence 24/7 as she has coped with various health issues.  Most of these issues have been UTIs, which I have been told is common in the elderly.  The last bout, within one week of her being released from the hospital saw her with temperatures of 38.6 and 38.4 and a trip by ambulance back to the hospital. Thus I have had the opportunity to witness first hand senior’s health care from her living in a retirement residence, to hospital, to surgery in another hospital, back to the local hospital and more.

Our local hospital has a policy of “return home as quickly as possible”.  I think in my mom’s case the return home without checking if she had another UTI after having the catheter removed was a little premature.  They had actually wanted to release her even earlier, but I was sick and unable to take her back to her residence, so her release was delayed by about 4 days.  Unfortunately she returned in less than a week.

At her residence she had some support through Paramed, but the care left much to be desired.  There were no specific workers assigned, the times were never the same, and many PSWs wanted to put mom into her pyjamas before 7 pm – even when she was attending a special event being held at her residence.  More than once I told them that was NOT ACCEPTABLE.  There is a huge shortage for PSWs in our area – one reason I think is that they are not well paid and not treated as well as they should be with regard to appointments and travel costs.

I am lucky that I am semi-retired and able to work from home with my job as an online Career Counsellor.  My sister is not so lucky as she still works full time and lives 5 hours away, so she is not able to be with my mom as much.  She took time off work when mom came into the hospital as we thought we were losing her, however mom’s body overcame the infections and she is still here.  Her mind, however, did not survive the infections and the repeated hospital stays as well.  She has begun the dementia downslide and many days begin with “why am I here?”

There are many things that I see, being here at the hospital 12-14 hours a day.  I see that the hospitals are understaffed to take care of so many patients and the waiting time from asking to be taken to the toilet to actually getting there can be up to half an hour and sometimes more as the nurses deal with other patients who also need two person transfers.  Many times patients are left to wonder what is going on.  My mother has many times burst into tears while waiting, thinking that no one cares about her and that the nurses and hospital staff just want her gone so someone else can have her bed.  Yes, this is a part of her dementia/delirium, but it is difficult to deal with.

I don’t have statistics to quote and, although I now have my computer here at the hospital so I can work while she sleeps, I haven’t looked them up yet. That may be a project for another day.

If you have a loved one in the hospital, I send you love and peace.

I hope that you will have a blessed day.

 

Fran Watson

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Measure Your Comfort Zone

Measuring Your Comfort Zone

Peter Drucker famously said “What gets measured, gets managed”. What if you could measure your comfort zone? Would this encourage more people to face their challenges and live more exciting lives?

Just imagine if you could actually measure your comfort zone.  How big would yours be?  Would it be the size of your comfy chair?  Or perhaps your living room?  Or maybe your basement where you watch a little tv, shoot a little pool and play games on your computer?  Or maybe you have already begun expanding your comfort zone and now it is as big as your neighbourhood.  Perhaps you have begun doing some travelling and have expanded your comfort zone to include flying and going to many different countries around the world.

Well, you can measure your comfort zone.  Check this out.

“In 2012, after a conversation about comfort zones with Derek Sivers, I decided to build this tool as an experiment to see whether measuring comfort zones was possible, and whether it would be useful to people.

Since then, over 24,000 people have measured their comfort zone.The algorithm has also been approved as scientifically valid by registered psychologists at Deakin University.  This tool remains free for everyone. My only request is that you take action and do something outside of your comfort zone.”

 Marcus Taylor

To continuing to stretch your comfort zone

Fran Watson

www.franwatson.ca

 

 

 

P.S.  What were your results from the Comfort Zone Quiz?

Here are my results:

Your Score Breakdown

Professional Comfort Zone Score : 91.9/100

Adrenaline Comfort Zone Score : 39.6/100

Lifestyle Comfort Zone Score : 88.6/100

Your overall score is 73.3/100, this is calculated by taking a mean average of your adrenaline, professional, and lifestyle comfort zone scores. Your score has been segmented into these three areas to help you focus on what’s most important to you right now. We’ve offered several suggestions below to hopefully inspire you with some things you can do right now to grow your comfort zone. You can also view a list of average scores here if you’d like to compare your score with statistical trends.

 

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Fill Yourself With Confidence

Picture Yourself Filling With Light And Confidence 

glow

Take three deep breaths.

Think of something that brings you great joy.

Picture your whole body filling up with a bright glow, like a light bulb, as you think of your great joy.

Repeat an empowering phrase to yourself: “I’m safe,” “I’m cool wherever I go” or “I can do this.”

This reduces your body’s stress response and gives you the confidence to step out of your comfort zone.

You got this! – Nancy MarmolejoTalentAndGenius.com 

Continue reading

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Age Better by Embracing New Challenges

Did you realize that embracing new challenges can help you age better?

Our comfort zones tend to shrink as we get older — but if we can .  It’s easier to sit in the rocking chair, reading a book, or watching some television than to get up and physically do something new.  However, if we keep expanding our comfort zones, we’ll open ourselves up to greater fulfillment and improved well-being as we age.

A 2013 study found that learning new and demanding life skills, while also maintaining a strong social network, can help us stay mentally sharp as we get older.  This is important to keep us out of the hands of Alzheimer’s and Dementia.  We remain more able to look after ourselves and require much less health care.  We are fitter and stronger.  We have more friends, more motivation, and more happiness when we reach out of our comfort zones.

People often thought that the brain couldn’t keep growing after a certain age, but this has been disproved.  People can continue to learn new things all the time, but it is important to learn the things that will keep your brain stimulated.

Lead researcher Denise Park, a psychologist at the University of Texas, told the American Psychological Association. “The three learning groups were pushed very hard to keep learning more and mastering more tasks and skills. Only the groups that were confronted with continuous and prolonged mental challenge improved.”

Continue reading

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Expand Your Comfort Zone

Here are some ways to break out (and by proxy, expand) your comfort zone without going too far:  (from https://lifehacker.com/the-science-of-breaking-out-of-your-comfort-zone-and-w-656426705)

  • Do everyday things differently. Take a different route to work. Try a new restaurant without checking Yelp first. Go vegetarian for a week, or a month. Try a new operating system. Recalibrate your reality. Whether the change you make is large or small, make a change in the way you do things on a day-to-day basis. Look for the perspective that comes from any change, even if it’s negative. Don’t be put off if things don’t work out the way you planned.
  • Take your time making decisions. Sometimes slowing down is all it takes to make you uncomfortable—especially if speed and quick thinking are prized in your work or personal life. Slow down, observe what’s going on, take your time to interpret what you see, and then intervene. Sometimes just defending your right to make an educated decision can push you out of your comfort zone. Think, don’t just react.
  • Trust yourself and make snap decisions. We’re contradicting ourselves, but there’s a good reason. Just as there are people who thrive on snap decisions, others are more comfortable weighing all of the possible options several times, over and over again. Sometimes making a snap call is in order, just to get things moving. Doing so can help you kickstart your personal projects and teach you to trust your judgement. It’ll also show you there’s fallout to quick decisions as well as slow ones.
  • Do it in small steps. It takes a lot of courage to break out of your comfort zone. You get the same benefits whether you go in with both feet as you do if you start slow, so don’t be afraid to start slow. If you’re socially anxious, don’t assume you have to muster the courage to ask your crush on a date right away, just say hello to them and see where you can go from there. Identify your fears, and then face them step by step.

To your success

Fran Watson

www.franwatson.ca

 

 

 

P.S.  Keep up your journal.  Print out a new one for next month.

Confidence Outside Your Comfort Zone Journal

P.P.S.  Try Brian Tracy’s 4 steps to become a motivational speaker:  https://www.briantracy.com/blog/business-success/how-to-become-a-public-speaker-4-steps/

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