First things first: let's get the awkwardness out of the way - they lost (see, the change in pronoun here?). They lost, we lost, however you want to phrase it, it sucks. BIG TIME! I am bummed out and after having changed my Facebook profile pic this morning from an actual photo into the Dutch flag, I found myself changing it back to my 'old' profile picture this afternoon. In addition, I now have to re-do my toe nails and turn them back into a 'generic' color. Forget about what the loss means to the Dutch soccer team, their coach and everyone else who worked their rear ends off for the Dutch team! I have to re-do my toes!!!! Priorities people, priorities!!
So now that I have addressed that and it's out of the way, let's return to our daily lives and business. Oh God, I am so far behind with my writing. I have 25 Day Challenge stuff to write, recipes to share, and an awesome recommendation to share with those who live in the LA area.
I don't know if I can get all this done in one evening, but here goes nothing. Imah-gonna-try:
25 Day Challenge - Day 24 - Yes /No - Be Assertive
As a mother I want to please. I think as mothers we receive that blessing at the same time we find out we are pregnant. During our pregnancies, we want the baby to be comfortable, well-nourished, happy, etc. and we pursue this goal through a seeing our health care professionals, a well-balanced diet (okay, so maybe not all the time), some exercise (well, maybe not all the time either), making sure we get enough sleep (oops...), talking to the baby, etc. Once the baby is born we do everything in our power to keep our lil' one content: we feed, change, rock, nurse, cuddle, hug, kiss, burp, and stroke, and this is just the beginning of a long list of things we do to pursue our child's content-ness.
Personally I have found that it is so incredibly easy to get completely wrapped up in trying to please everyone around me. (I'm talking about mainly family members at this point, though that includes our pets.) Now that I am a mother to two, I have come to the realization that this is an almost impossible goal to pursue. I mean, for everyone to be content, 100% of the time. I am on purpose not using the word 'happy' as I strongly believe that happiness is not something that is dependent on one of two events that happen on any given day. Happiness is something bigger that is made up by much bigger elements than "can I have a piece of chocolate?".
I have found that there is tremendous power in the word 'no'. I am not talking about the "No" that we give our toddlers so many times during the day to tell them that they are not allowed to do something, such as pulling the cat's tail, sitting on the dog, throwing rocks over the wall into the neighbor's yard, hiding the dog toy under the shed where nobody can reach it, etc. I am referring to the 'no' that we should give a bit more often to keep ourselves from getting overwhelmed. In our pursuit of meeting everyone's needs, we often say "yes, I'll take care of that" even though we have not the slightest idea how or when we are going to do this thing we just committed ourselves to. Saying 'no' once in a while will allow you to actually get things done and it will allow you to look back at the end of the day and say "that was a productive day". The other scenario is the one where you said "yes" to too many things and at the end of the day you 'only' got half of them done. In which case (given that you are most likely exhausted) you will perceive your glass to be half empty instead of half full.
It is difficult to say "no", but it is so powerful if we can use it with honesty and respect. I am not saying to not help your kids, to not feed them, to not care for them. I am referring to the 'small' things that come up over the course of the day that aren't that small at all and can consume more time than you have available. Just because your toddler gets muddy outside, doesn't mean you have to do laundry right that moment. There are other clothes (s)he can wear. Just because you ran out of apple juice, doesn't mean you have to rush to the grocery store right that moment. They can drink something else (like water). Just because a friend asks you to look something up for them, doesn't mean it cannot wait until the following morning. I hope you see what I mean.
I have realized that being able to say "no" (or "not now") once in a while and knowing when to say it, is wonderful. If you say it with honesty and respect, you will not offend anyone. If you feel the need to explain, do so, but most likely you won't need to as the other person will get it (unless it's a 2-year old) and be fine with it.
You don't need to search for peace; you are a being of peace. Any time, and place, you can step back from your thoughts and emotions. Just withdraw into your inner being, a place of total peace and just be.
Click here for the 'pause - think - act' elements of the challenge.