Lay Down Worry & Become More Clearly Yourself

worryHey mamas, can we chat this morning?

That little boy of yours who fills notebook after notebook of drawings of Garfield and Sonic the Hedgehog and Batman? He’s not wasting time; he is becoming the man he was knit together to be. The little girl breaking your budget as she devours math booklet after booklet from 4 years old on? The one who is messy and stubborn and mispronounces words and is a poor speller? Yup – she is going to study in mathematics and bring all her love of graphs and charts and equations with her as she becomes the woman she is created to be. The little one always distracted in math class because she is dreaming of fairies and storylines? Mama, she is a writer and storyteller. One day she will find her captive audience.

That boy who is all wiggles – you know the one. Don’t worry, he will go on to obtain multiple degrees but you know where he will really shine? As a coach and referee to the teenagers that scare off other people. He will help build community in his own way. And that daughter, so dramatic, who feels deeply and worries that she is never enough – the one who likes order and struggles with anxiety and depression – she might just grow up and use all that struggle and emotion to love and encourage other women one day.

Why do we worry so much? Let your kids tell you who they are. Maybe we could spend less time trying to change them and trying to shore up their deficiencies and instead find them places to shine. Maybe we can tell them they are amazingly knit together and support them as they become who they were meant to be rather than worrying about “success” or what other people will think of them. Maybe our job is less to build our kids and more to provide safe, nurturing environments to come alongside and support them, challenge them, teach them to question and think for themselves, so they can ultimately have the courage to offer to the world the gifts that are already embroidered into the tapestry of their DNA.

I’m no parenting expert but I see that we all have a lot less control than we like to think anyways. So why not take more joy in this whole parenting journey and lay down worry for a while?

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This was a post I wrote on Facebook this past week. Maybe you read it. But what you may not know is that it was about my family – my three kids, my husband and myself. Standing where I am now I have the gift of (partial) perspective: I can see how so many of the things we worry about, the behaviors or character traits that we perceive to be horrendous weaknesses, even, end up transforming into strength. Can you see this at work in your own life?

We did not change as we grew older, we just became more clearly ourselves.    ~lynn Hall

Maybe where you stand today all you see is your own weakness, failure or struggle. Maybe you are in the thick of parenting and wonder if your child will ever succeed or mature or grow out of that habit that causes you so much concern.

Well let me assure you, kids grow out of nose picking. Even the really resistant ones actually do learn how to read. They learn to do their own laundry and eventually to cook and pay bills and somehow survive without their mamas.

We outgrow our struggles too, don’t we? We learn to lay down worry, little by little. We learn to let the little things go, to laugh a little easier, to offer grace more readily.

And as we learn to see weakness turn to strength in our little-ish people we can learn to see this in ourselves. It isn’t just our kids or our friends who need grace and space to become who they were knit together to be. We need it too. We are amazing artwork but we have not yet fully become – we are still in the process. Still lives in progress.

So mama, don’t despair. Look back and notice how far you have progressed. See how much you have learned and grown and healed. And then remind yourself that there is more yet to come.

You are becoming more clearly yourself.

And if you feel like you’ve lost your way a bit, remember back to when you were a child. Who were you then? How did you spend your time? What did you pretend at or dream about? Spend some time reflecting and journaling. Let your old, smaller self remind you who you are.

Ask a trusted friend or family member to write you a note outlining the strengths they see in you. The ways that you shine. There are times we need help remembering. I asked this of my dad before he died and will guard the letter he sent me like treasure. He saw in me what I was having a hard time seeing during that dark season.

Perhaps you already think you know where you shine but have been held back by fear of looking prideful, fear of failing or just plain old fear. But you were actually made to shine, you know. I’m not talking about doing something huge or drawing attention to yourself in a grand scale way. Unless that is, of course, what you are called to. Some of us are called to smaller lives but we are nonetheless called to shine.

There are gifts that have been embroidered into your soul – you are meant to use them. Stop worrying about deficiencies, real or imagined. Just offer the world your gift, big or small.

I invite you this week to lay down worry and become more clearly yourself.

Krista xo

5 Simple Health Shifts I Made in 2016 That Will Serve You Too

simple health shifts

I am regularly amazed by this simple truth: baby steps with consistency can lead to powerful results. We do not have to undertake a complete life overhaul to reap sustainable, life-changing benefits. No need to get overwhelmed. Release the all or nothing attitude. If you want to continually move towards greater mind-body health, as I do, consider just slowly adding in small shifts over time. Here are 5 Simple Health Shifts I made in 2016 that I think will serve you too.

1. I added in liquid minerals. Refined and processed foods, nutrient-poor soils, low stomach acid, heavy metal toxicity and stress are some of the reasons that many of us are lacking in the diversity and healthy balance of minerals meant to support optimal health. When we are lacking in minerals, or if we have an imbalanced ratio of minerals, we may experience symptoms like cravings, fatigue, anxiety or muscle cramping. A hair element test can help determine which specific minerals in your body are imbalanced and should be supplemented and you can get extra minerals through kelp flakes or quality sea salt and bone broth. In addition to these, I opted to begin a liquid mineral supplement this past year.

Just some of the purported health benefits of taking my easily absorbable liquid fulvic acid minerals* include: a boost in physical energy and muscular endurance; a noticeable reduction in “bad” cholesterol and triglycerides; enhanced virility in men and healthier sperm; an increase in antioxidants; and a decrease in signs of painful inflammation. Certainly one of the noticeable changes I’ve experienced is that my nails have become smoother and considerably stronger. Whether you get your minerals tested for appropriate supplementation, boost them through the food sources suggested above, or take liquid minerals, do you suspect you would benefit from boosting your mineral intake?

2. I added in a daily 45 second plank. This fall a client (and now friend) of mine invited people to join her in a 28 day plank challenge. I would not usually join this type of challenge but felt comfortable with Pamella and am delighted that I joined. I was unable to get even close to the suggested 4 minute final plank time suggested in the challenge but persisted with what I could do and not only completed the challenge but have since continued on with a daily 45 second plank. I will slowly increase my time as my strength increases.

My arms, core and thighs have all become noticeably stronger. Lower body strength in particular feels important to me because I already struggle with pain and limitations on movement due to my left leg and hip and will most likely require another hip replacement (or two) later in life. I cannot control the fact that I had a disease in my hip as a child, but I can take small steps to work with what I have and love the body I am in! How could you take one small step to love the body you are in?

3.I broke up with wine. As much as possible I aim to maintain a measure of flexibility in my health habits – you know, that old 90/10 rule. I cannot always control my environment or I just want to flex and eat something I would not normally eat (even if I pay for it later). But if I am honest with myself I realize that there are certain habits that I need to get rid of all together. No playing around. I broke up with wine 5 months ago and I am feeling freer and happy. I still crave it but there is no going back for me.

You may not struggle with addiction to wine but is there one habit in your life that you know in your gut is harming you or holding you back from living an unshackled life of purpose, health and joy? Usually we know what this is and do our best to ignore the signs because we are afraid of letting go. Maybe it provides us comfort or we genuinely don’t think we will be able to live without it. Moving into freedom can feel hard but it is also worth it. What is that thing in your life that you need to break up with?

4. I became more diligent about purposeful rest. I have never been great at rest – I mean emotional rest mostly. Permission to just be. To honor the way I am knit together. I set the intention that this year would be a “gap year” for me – a time to get curious and rest and slowly let life unfold. I am still leading a very full life but am becoming more diligent about shading in days or time blocks on my agenda for non-negotiable rest. I am learning to establish healthier work-life boundaries. Learning the value in “whatever I am doing be all there”. Learning to trust a little more, to hold my future loosely and remain open to unexpected possibilities.

Our culture does not honor our need for rest and we are a fairly stressed out, unhealthy population. You will be going against the grain if you purpose to practice rest more in 2017. But listen in now to what you mind, body, and spirit are telling you. Maybe the one simple health shift you most need is to make space for more purposeful rest; What would that look like for you?

5. I adopted a healthier stress mindset. For years I have been working on managing anxiety and stress, setting boundaries and simplifying life to reduce stress, reading and taking courses on mindfulness. But this book helped me really comprehend that not all stress is bad. That stress is, in fact, a natural part of a joyful, full, beautiful life. It was the right book at the right time and my focus is shifting from getting rid of stress to embracing it more often when it is attached to a purposeful goal I have set for myself or at least to recognizing its potential benefits.

My new stress mindset has been a significant factor in permitting me to step out into the work I want to do, into new experiences without trying to control the outcome, into a little more risk taking even. If you don’t want to read the book, listen to this TED Talk for a little taste test of what I am talking about. Do I even have to ask – is stress an issue in your life? Would you benefit from a healthier stress mindset?

Keep in mind that I did not make all five of these simple health shifts at once. They slowly, almost organically presented themselves to me one by one. Often this is the way we move into sustainable, beautiful growth – little by little. Baby step by baby step. Though the shifts feel small and subtle, when we look back over our year we realize that those small but determined steps have added up into something unexpectedly satisfying. We have matured, grown, healed.

Is there one among these five simple health shifts that you could add to your life today to move you closer to the mind-body health you desire?

Krista xo

*I have been assured by the company I use that my minerals are 3rd party tested for heavy metals (still waiting on a document that provides proof of this)