The Pain We Carry With US

I was recently talking with someone and he was telling me about a part of his life he felt was a failure. It seemed to me that the perceived failure in this part of the person’s life caused him to view himself as a failure. Failure is a very harsh word. We all carry these pains and self judgments about ourselves with us. How can we learn from them and move forward and realize these perceived failures do not define us.
Let us start by examining the word failure. Are we ever really a failure or do we just make choices that are not in our best interests? Some of the things I have done in my life, that may have seemed like failures at the time, have led me down different paths that I would not have taken if the other path had been a success. For example, there was a time, when a job did not work out the way I had planned. My position was replaced by someone else and I was given a different role at the time. I felt horrible and like a failure. As it turned out it led me to another job that was even better. Life has a way of leading us to exactly where we are meant to be.
We all have had experiences in life where things we have said and done have caused us to feel like we failed in that situation. We carry this pain with us. For a time I even felt like I had failed as a mother because of the pains that my children carry with them. I now see that all three of my daughters have grown to be beautiful, smart, dynamic women. I wish I could have spared them the pain they experienced, but I also see how this pain has formed and helped them to become the women they are today. The pain they have experienced has shaped each of them in different ways. It has given them talents and the ambition to move their lives in amazing ways. One of my daughters always fights for the underdog. She speaks out and shares her views even when it is not popular. Another one of my daughters is all about family. She loves big family gatherings and wants everyone to feel welcome and accepted. The last of my daughters leads people. She has a drive to build and lead teams. I am extremely proud of them.
Just because something does not turn out the way I had hoped, it is not a failure. We all have these times in our life. It is important that we take them out and look at them with new eyes. By allowing our view to shift we can see how, what we once thought was a failure, is in fact a blessing in disguise.
What has happened in your life, that you once thought was a failure, but now can see how it benefitted you in the long run?


Maintaining effective communication during the holidays

Today’s blog is written by Emy Minzel, Adventure Sister.

The stress of the holidays has a way of bringing us closer or tearing us apart. I hear stories that make me laugh, cry, and groan, sometimes all at the same time. I would like to focus on how we convey or communicate love in our closest family relationships. I am guilty of getting defensive when I hear something I may not agree with from people I love. Yet through my years I’ve learned it’s not the best way to communicate effectively.

We know that when our parents, family, and friends are meddling in our lives it’s usually because they love you and see things from a different perspective. They may have advice we don’t want to hear, but it is important for us to listen with love. They speak up because they had been there and done that, and don’t want to do it again. They warn us or tell us ‘how it is’ because they love you, even if it upsets us and pisses us off.

What if we decided to give our dearest family and friends, the benefit of the doubt? Choose to think only the best of them. If we tried to recognize that whatever they do or say, they do it out of love or fear. Then we could also assume that the people we love, do the best they can, in the time and space they’ve been given. I have realized that all our actions, the good, the bad, and the ugly, come from fear or love. At the root, we all want to be loved. As we grow in different ways and different directions, the way we communicate changes as well.

What matters is that we continue to communicate. Even if we are scared, it’s important to tell our loved ones if you are fearful, or hurt, without assuming their actions or words were purposely harmful. Most likely they were not. Keeping lines of communication open, by not overreacting or shutting down is difficult for some, yet it’s imperative for effective communication. When we overreact and blow up, our emotions take over and our ears stop listening, stopping any connection in its tracks. This can affect even our closest most cherished relationships.

What if we met miscommunication and perceived hurt with love? Understanding that loved ones are either fearful of something or trying to show love in a way you may not understand. How would the conversation change if we chose to calm fears, by focusing on love? It may take courage to ask our loved ones to explain until we understand. It takes disciplined focus to speak our truth the best we are able, in the kindest way possible. It’s well worth the work we put in to communicating well, we should talk and know it’s ok to agree to disagree, respectfully.

It can be hard to remember that how we communicate our thoughts and feelings will define our character. How we act/react, handle hard times/good times/holidays, how you make someone feel, the words you choose and how you say them become how you communicate. How you communicate portrays how your closest family and friends will remember you.

My hopes this holiday season are that you too choose love and communication. Remembering that most of your family will act out of fear or love. When we focus on love, we open understanding and healing, this is how we make the world a better place, one family at a time.

~ Emy Minzel, Adventure Sister

10 tricks to stop negative energy and refocus it to the positive.

Today’s blog is written by my beautiful, smart, daughter, Liz Lamoureux. She makes me so proud!

Sometimes life likes to challenge us by giving us what we think is more than we can handle. Unfortunately, when we feel this way there is nothing we can do but carry on anyways. So here are some techniques to help you when you find yourself feeling overwhelmed.

Count your blessings. A very important thing to remember when you’re feeling sorry for yourself is that someone always has it worse than you. One reason we may have to encounter difficult times in our lives is to remind us of all the things we should be grateful for. For every negative comment, find three positive blessings to replace it.

Reach out to your support system. Having a support system is not only something to be grateful for but very helpful when you think you’ve been dealt more than you can handle. Reaching out to someone to vent to or a group that has been in similar situations, can be very beneficial. Just keep in mind that someone may not always be available to you so you might need to find another form of release.

Count to 10. When you are at your prime “freak-out” moment, STOP! These are the times to just breathe and count to 10. Giving yourself 10 seconds to cool down can be the difference of giving yourself over to further destructions or just accepting your current fate.

Go for a walk, Going for a walk or exercising is a great way to release the negative energy or tension built up. Many people even find it helpful to just pace around.

Laugh about it. Sometimes life is just so ridiculously unbelievable all you can do is laugh about. Ever heard the expression “laugh to keep from crying?” That is exactly it. While crying is a healthy way to express emotion; laughing can be just as, if not more, beneficial. So next time just try laughing about that spilt milk.

Distraction. Finding ways to distract yourself can really help ease the negative emotions you are feelings. It is a little escape to bake your favorite dish, mold your favorite project or play that great game. It’s a nice little break for yourself.

Deal with it. Sometimes what is going on may not be able to be pushed off. This is the time to put your “big kid pants” on and deal with it. Procrastinating these types of situations may only further your struggles and facing your situation head-on will feel like a weight lifted off your shoulders in the end.

Be Creative. Reaching out to our creative side at these times is a good way to out that energy into something great. It could be listening to music and dancing it off, writing about it or maybe you’re a painter and the times with true emotion is the times great art is born.

Essential oils/calming tea. If you’re feeling overly energized with whatever is going on in your life maybe you need to have a drink! A drink of herbal tea, that is. Great relaxing teas are those that contain chamomile or lavender. Herbal teas have very calming effects as do essential oils. Chamomile and lavender oils are on the list,of course, but some other ones to try are ylang ylang, cinnamon, rose and sandalwood. Rub a couple drops on your wrists or neck, and behold a calming effect.

Take a nap, A wise man once told me tomorrow is a new day. Sometimes you just have to take a rest, let your body and mind process everything and re energize. More times than not you find yourself feeling 100x better when you wake up and maybe some new ideas on how to cope with whatever you are being challenged with.

~Liz Lamoureux

What do I Have To Learn From This?

Four days before Thanksgiving I fell and crushed my wrist. Friends and family from everywhere were about to descend upon my home in anticipation of the traditional Thanksgiving meal. It was my dominant wrist that I broke in the fall. What do I have to learn from this situation, other than watching where I step? How am I going to get through this? Should I just cancel the holiday? All of these questions and more were going through my head. Here’s how I managed to get through it.

  1. Go with the flow. The first thing I had to do was realize I had no control of the situation. All I could do was take a deep breath and realize that it was all going be OK and go with the flow. It may not be what I had originally envisioned but it would be OK.
  2. Ask for help. I had to call in the troops. I called my daughters who agreed to spend the night on Wednesday in order to help make the homemade buns. They also aided in getting all the side dishes and turkey properly prepared. A friend had to drive me to my doctors appointment. I also got help to go shopping for groceries.
  3. Examine my expectations. I have always been a person with very high expectations for myself and of others. I had to examine my expectations and realize that it was unrealistic for me to try and do this all alone. I had to allow for other ways to do things. My way might not be the only way.
  4. Slow down. Not only was my wrist broken, but also my hemoglobin (Iron) was 9.6. 12.5 is a normal result. I was feeling extremely fatigued. The pain and the effort to complete tasks with only my left hand was taking a toll on me. Which further increased my fatigue. I had to learn to take it slow and allow myself  time to rest. Anyone who knows me, knows that rest does not come easily to me. I am the type of person who will push through to get things completed.
  5. It’s not about me. Thanksgiving is about what there is to be thankful for. It is also about the coming together with friends and family. This misfortune did not change any of that. In fact it gave me more to be thankful for. I have gratitude for all of those who helped and offered to help. I am grateful because the kitchen was cleaned up without my interference. All of this help and other help that was offered made this gathering possible. My life is truly full of blessings.

So what are the lessons that a fractured radius and ulna have to bring me? It’s taught me a lot. I have learned to be grateful for all that I have, including the friends and family who rallied to support me. It’s taught me that there are other ways for things to be accomplished. It’s taught me that it’s OK to be weak sometimes. It’s taught me that perfection can be found in situations that are not ideal. Have you had situations like this? Have you had to learn things the hard way? Do you have any stories to share with us?

Sending Love in Response to Pain

I believe in Love. I believe in the energy of Love and the intentions in conveys. I believe that Love is not just for our family and friends but for the whole world. I also know it is not always easy to share love. When someone has hurt us, how do we send Love their way instead of a lower vibrational emotion like hate, jealousy, fear, anger, or disgust. I want to share a story with you about sending Love.

One day my house was broken into. I was on the other side of the country for work and my roommate called me to let me know that he came home to the door open, things ransacked, and many of the electronics gone. I had to let my boss know and book a flight home the next morning. I entered my home alone in the middle of the day. It was a mess. My bedroom was the worst. Things had been tipped over, pulled from the closet, and strewn about the floor. Drawers were pulled open and dumped out. My laptop with all of my photos on it (many that were not backed up) was gone. I sat on the floor near the closet and cried at the feeling of violation. My bedroom was obvious that it belonged to a woman. I wondered how someone who had a mother, maybe sisters, or even a daughter, could violate me in this way.
As I sat there on the floor in front of my closet, I knew what I had to do. I had to send him Love. I sent prayers and intentions that his life would improve in such a way that this would no longer be an option for him. I put a post on Facebook and asked all my Facebook friends to do the same. It has been several years since this happened, but I also request that those of you reading this do the same. Please send Love to this person and intentions for improvement in his life so that he no longer feels the need to break into homes to support himself.
It was not an easy thing to do. I had people comment on how messed up it was to pray for the person who hurt me. I stand by the fact that it was the right thing to do.

I find that when people who we have been very close to hurt us, this can be much harder to do. The pain we feel causes us to want to lash out and protect ourselves. Only Love can begin to shift this. Sending other lower emotions does not benefit us. I know it does not seem easy or even possible. Please try it. It may never repair the relationship and you may be better off to be out of that relationship anyway. When someone hurts you or a person you Love, send Love to the offender. They are likely hurting in someway too. Love will only bring more Love to you.

Have you ever done this? What was the result? Please share any experiences you have with this.