Livn’ Life

100 Days left in 2019!

100 Days left in 2019!  Can you believe it?  Where has the year gone?

2019 has been a year of firsts for me and it isn’t over yet!  I’m contemplating adding streaking to my firsts!  Today seems like the perfect day to start a streak – a 100 day streak.  What to commit to for 100 days is the question…running, journaling, meditation, practicing gratitude, eating cake…these are all good options.  I’d love to hear your suggestions!

The point is the year isn’t over.  100 days is enough time to learn a new language, skill, hobby, sport.  100 days is enough time to start a habit or walk away from a habit.  What will you do for the remaining 100 days of 2019. 

National Working Parents Day

I’m pretty sure National Working Parents Day covers all parents! If you are a parent showing up for your kids, your working!

So Happy Day!

When I was growing up one of my dads favorite sayings was “between midnight and bedtime”. For example “Hey dad, can you take me to a friends house?”, “Sure, I’ll have time for that between midnight and bedtime”. At the time I didn’t get it and responded with impressive eye-rolls. I excel at eye-rolls! When I became a mom I quickly learned the meaning and irony of this statement.

Parenting is a 24 hour shift job. Parenting is the most rewarding job you will ever have, and the most exhausting. As parents we face different situations and challenges. Also, we all face the same situations and challenges. When you peel back the layers we are all raising people we love dearly and want what’s best for them. We also want them to be responsible, resilient, self sufficient happy humans. This is work!

Today I am going to celebrate with an 8 hour shift at my second job, head home to complete the 24 hour shift at my first job of parenting, wifing (not to be confused with WIFIing), and running a household. This is what National Working Parents Day looks like at my house…because we celebrate it everyday! This schedule may look different for you but I bet our priorities are similar: keep everyone alive, pay the bills, stay sane.

The great news here is my schedule has recently opened up and now I have time for fun! This happened because I made small mindset shifts and these small mindset shifts led to big changes one baby step at a time. I shifted how I am working my 24 hour job, how I view my 8 hour job, and I made an addition to my priorities: ME! I started looking at what was important to me and made me happy rather than focusing on outside influences telling me how I should look, how clean my house should be, what my family should be consuming in all areas, what’s appropriate, what’s expected, how everyone else is doing. Hearing these messages for years and not being able to live up to external expectations set by society led me to a place where I was using food for comfort and entertainment. Food was my security blanket and I wrapped myself in 300+ pounds of it.The most impactful change I made was to lower my expectations. It sounds counter productive right? But what I mean is I’m not perfect and I’m happy with that. Perfect isn’t real and to strive for it is an endless quest never to be fulfilled…if I’m going to do that I’m going unicorn or mermaid hunting…at least that sounds fun! If you would like to make some of your own shifts I can help. Schedule a call with me to chat.

I LOVE MONDAY! Today…

2 steps forward…what, were you expecting “1 step back”? Nope, not today!

I’m stepping off the struggle bus and only moving forward…today. And I’m scheduled to do the same tomorrow, and the next day. And if I happen to land back on the struggle bus I’ll ride around town and hop off as soon as I’m able. That usually requires some awareness that I have taken a seat on the struggle bus! I’m better off on the structure bus! I thrive in structure! I don’t want to. I want to be free a spirited nymph like creature that goes with the flow and faces change with grace and a spirit of adventure. This just isn’t me. I am a structured soul that has next years holidays and events planned. This gives me peace. Knowing what to expect would bore the hell out of some. Knowing my personality type helps me accept myself and those around me for who they are and how they navigate this world. Accepting myself is definitely a work in progress. But, I am leaning when I resist my tendencies I resist my true nature and set myself up for anxiety, low self confidence, and unhappiness!

What is your personality type? Are you a free spirit? Or a structured planner? Or have you been living incongruently because you are doing all the things for all the people and you have lost touch with you? I can help you!

Happy Labor Day

Happy Labor Day! Labor Day celebrates the laborer of America. I would like to take a moment to recognize the less celebrated, seen, appreciated hard working women! Whether you are commuting to the office, working from your home office, staying home with your babies, or maybe you are doing D – all of the above! Ladies, I toast you this Labor Day. I see you always on, from sun up to sun down. I see you being the first one up in your house and the last one down. I see you managing the household, multiple schedules, grocery lists, budgets, paperwork…so much paperwork for a paperless world. I see you slaying ALL the details! I see you. I acknowledge you. I appreciate you. I recognize you. I am you.

I feel compelled to switch gears and cut my original post short. As a resident of Florida and Hurricane Dorian currently off the coast I want to encourage everyone to take precaution. I will be hunkering down with my family at the house. We have stocked up the essentials. We have gassed up the vehicles and have all of our pets records handy in case we need to evacuate. If you are in the path please stay alert and safe!

Affirmations for the WIN!

Affirmations are a tool we can use to redirect our thoughts and take control of our mindset.  Affirmations  are statements that can be used to literally retrain your brain.  It’s science.  When used regularly affirmations can reduce stress and anxiety while increasing resiliency and resistance to outer negativity.  I have a weekly affirmation practice. I write 15 affirmations at the beginning of the week as a way to get focus and clarity on the direction I want the week to go. I write affirmations as a reminder of who I am and what I want. I write affirmations to ground myself when the world would unbalance me.

During the week when I face challenges I look to those affirmations. They define my values and guide me to resolution. Sometimes I will use one affirmation as a mantra in my head. Commonly it sounds like this in my head “I am mindful. I am not reactive.”

At my recent workshop retreat I did a guided affirmation exercise I created. I thought I would share it with you all. I created a guided affirmation template for you to use to help you manage a challenging moment and get refocused, or to jump start your affirmation practice.  Use this guide to bring purpose, joy, and ease into your day.

Click here to access the guided affirmations. I would love to know how this helped you and what your affirmations are!

This is just an example of the greatness that was the Rhoads to Purposeful Livn’ Women’s Day Retreat! If your interested in attending the next one tickets just went on sale! Hop on over to my events page for the details.

Women’s Day Retreat

retreat group

Two months and 10 days ago, when I launched my business and booked a venue to host an event, I knew I was taking a giant leap into the unknown.  I knew I was taking a big risk and putting myself in a very vulnerable place.  What I didn’t know was when I finally made it to the day of the event, after all of the planning, excitement, second-guessing, and sleepless nights I would meet and connect with woman that would blow my mind with their willingness to show up wholeheartedly.  These ladies humbled me by letting down their guard and being open and vulnerable.  The day was a huge success!  The day was full of insightful work paths to define, goals and create successful action plans to achieve those goals.  Everyone left with one action they could take THAT DAY to start working toward their goals!  Thank you to the amazing ladies who joined me!

If this sounds like something you would benefit from mark your calendar for 2020!  I will be having a 2020 Year of YOU Workshop to kick off the year on the right track.

LADIES! Join me for a day of celebrating YOU!

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I had the opportunity to spend the last two Saturdays at the Riverside Arts Market.  I set up a booth to sell my wares…which happens to be myself.  This was a fun and intimidating experience!  To stand behind a table that you hope you have presented well enough to catch the eye and then talk to complete strangers about what you do is scary stuff, and also exhilarating!  I was lucky enough to meet some lovely ladies who shared with me snip-its of their story.  Shout out to all you amazing women!  We all have a story and the more I listen to the more I realize how strong and wonderful we are.  I also realize we don’t have enough people telling us this and we definitely don’t tell ourselves this enough!  I also realize this is my WHY!  You are my WHY!  I want to help woman appreciate themselves.  I want women to look in the mirror and see the strength, power, and superhuman strength they embody!  I want women to see themselves as I see them!
I see you ladies.  I see you making, raising, shaping our next generation.  I see you holding up the structure of our current generation while trying to pave a way for our future so they can live a better life.  I see you grinding out the work to make it all work.  This looks different for us all.  And also so very similar.  Not one person that I spoke to was surprised or disagreed when I said “I feel like women do all the things for all the people and forget to put themselves on their own priority list”.  Not one person said “Nope, your wrong.”  I had a woman proclaim “Actually, I’m a selfish jerk” and I cheered loudly!  I had a husband drag his wife off with a look of disdain and fear in their eyes.  And I had a gentleman sign his wife up on the spot.  I hope that you all have the support, whatever form that support comes in, where you are being seen and appreciated.  I hope that you have a moment in everyday that is for you, and I hope you actually use that moment for yourself without guilt or justification.  Do you? Do you need more support?
If so join me at my Women’s Day Retreat this Saturday, 8/3/2019!  We will be building connections and community.  We will be working on defining goals, refining time management, and building you back into your priority list!
LADIES!  You need this!  Hop over to my event tab and get your ticket!

Happy National Hammock Day!

If you can’t tell I am always up for an excuse to celebrate.  I’m a sucker for a holiday.  No matter how small or large.  I love the idea of celebrating a laid-back hammock kind of day, but I’m not sure if I would actually enjoy it.  I think I have only been in a hammock once ever and I don’t remember how relaxing it was.  I do remember almost falling out.  But I do like the idea of celebrating a day of relaxing.  I wonder how often we allow ourselves to truly relax and then truly enjoy the moment of it.  I hope you are able to take a moment for yourself to be yourself.  I would love to know what you do to relax!

Protect your mindset!

Have I introduced our family cat?  Meet Precious.  A fitting name chosen by my son 10 years ago when we rescued her from a shelter.  She is a quiet, fluffy, boss in our house.  She is an introvert that doesn’t prefer the company of others.  The only time I ever hear her make a sound is when she needs something or is on her way to the vet for her annual checkup.  Yesterday I heard her protesting loudly.  I looked everywhere for her making sure she wasn’t trapped in a bathroom or closet behind a closed door.  Imagine my surprise when I found her in the living room seemingly fine.  I checked her food and water, which was full as she prefers.  And yet she was complaining.  At a loss I called in back up…my son.  He is the pet guru in our house.  Whatever he did worked.  Later I wondered if the cat even knew how to meow without sounding distressed because that is the only time she does.  Perhaps this is her only “tone”.

Do you have someone in your life like this?  Maybe a family member?  Maybe someone at work or church?  Maybe a parent of your child’s teammate, or someone on a committee with you?  It’s always too hot, too cold, too loud, too quiet, too fast, too slow…you get the idea.  Raise your hand if someone immediately popped into your mind!  It can be exhausting to interact with this person.  It can be hard to keep a positive attitude while being bombarded with complaints.  I find it especially hard if I am tired or struggling with something.

How do you handle this person?  How you do protect your mindset?  Nothing is foolproof, but I have a couple of go to practices as a guardrail for my mindset.

When I encounter someone who has a perpetual negative outlook I follow these rules:

  • I do not discuss my struggles with this person. This can be hard if this is someone you see daily, or a family member.  If you are struggling this person will dramatize the situation and make it seem worse than it is and likely they will not stop talking about it.  These are not helpful practices to overcome a struggle. (I will be doing a follow up post on this.)
  • I limit my interaction with this person, don’t engage. I always have earbuds handy.  I find these a very helpful tool when I am trying to limit my interaction with someone and can be used in most settings (other than church).  I do not engage in the conversation.  If I must add a comment, I make it brief and non-committal such as “I see.”  I walk away as soon as possible.  Boundaries are so important, and it is imperative to set and keep them. (I will be doing a follow up post on this.)
  • I remind myself I am responsible for my mindset, no one else has authority here. What someone else thinks or says isn’t really my business and is a reflection of them, not me.  This takes some repeating for me and isn’t always convincing, but I keep the mantra in my head until I do not feel the threat of negative thoughts seeping into my head space. (I will be doing a follow up post on this.)

This is not to say that I don’t have struggle, conflict, or obstacles in my daily life, who doesn’t.  I want to face these with an action mindset to overcome or work through these situations.  I cannot do this if I am carrying the negative emotional baggage of someone else.  I must protect my head space and mindset if I want to live my life with purpose, joy, and ease.  It’s a work in progress that takes daily practice!

If you need help with this visit my event page for the Women’s Day Retreat event I am hosting where we will be working on resetting our mindset so we can define goals and action plans to achieve those goals.