Let the Mud Settle

June has been an interesting month. This June has certainly contained its share of ups and downs, twists and turns. Many good days, a few stressful ones. Perhaps you feel the same.

Every now and again we all might feel we could row in the same boat. We share how busy we are or stressed. We are all going through something at any given moment.

Saturday morning I did not feel like dragging myself out of bed to exercise. I wanted to sleep in. I wanted to rest and spend my morning doing nothing.

But on the other hand, I cannot talk about how I want my health to be good while I ignore opportunities to make it better.

Though I arrived a few minutes late, I made it to Yoga and then stayed for Pilates.

It was so hot out I just wanted to lay on my mat in the shade instead of sweat in the sun. I pushed past that mental block for most moves and it eventually felt good to be out there working.

The yoga teacher said something during our practice yesterday that resonated so loud I had to write it down following our final relaxation pose when we wrapped up for the day.

She said “Do you have enough patience to let the mud settle until the water runs clear?”

If you have never practiced the art of yoga, it is about slowing down and being concious in mind, body and spirit. It gives you a chance to settle and focus…hit reset. You spend a lot of time breathing and moving quietly.

You might say but I know how to breath already. I’m alive. I would challenge there is a difference between breathing to stay alive and breathing to feel alive.

When your mind is clear and you have a chance to pause all the stuff you have to think about, worry about or do, you get a better chance to actively participate in your life. You can feel more alive when you remove the extra distractions.

Her statement resonated with me because through good and bad news, on easy and tough days, I can be quick to make moves, focus too hard on the details, lose the big picture (or do just the opposite), freak out or jump to conclusions without letting the mud settle.

Sometimes things are easier to manage when you give the sediment, crap and muck time to settle to the bottom or get out of the way so you can get clean, clear water. Then you can think straight, see straight and make decisions that help you. It takes patience and work.

So what is the next thing you’re fighting to achieve? Waiting on? Praying for? Need clarity concerning? And…are you willing to let the mud settle?

What do you need to practice your patience on this week?

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Phoneless Part 2: Be Careful What You Wish For

Following my post last week, all I can say is Be Careful What You Wish For!

Though I definitely did mean everything I said about the importance of putting down the phone and being present, I had no clue I would have a real-time test on it.

Just this past Wednesday, a mere 3 days after I wrote last Sunday’s post, my phone broke. It was physically damaged and I couldn’t connect a charger to it.

My phone is a little over a year old on a 2 year contract. I have been having issues lately with the phone losing battery charge quickly. The second I wasn’t able to charge it, I just knew it would be dead in a matter of hours and I had no plan.

I hit this unexpected bump. I would not be able to make or receive calls. I was nervous I would lose all my apps, photos, and maps. I use a lot of things in my phone to help me navigate the day. I actually am still nervous much of my info was lost even though my provider claimed to backup everything.

By Thursday morning, my phone was dead. I had called customer support the night before and spoke with three people. Only two of which were helpful. I made an appointment to go in a store Thursday after work but that guy was the worst so far. He did not answer my questions or explain my options. Needless to say I was wildly frustrated at this point.

What seemed to make it more stressful was I had plans to take a cross-country roadtrip for the weekend to attend a wedding. What if I needed to reach out to someone? Or they needed me? How would I know where to go?

I really wanted to have my phone for practical and safety reasons. I cane home Thursday and my boyfriend could just tell he needed to step in and help me out. He calmed me down and agreed to walk with me to our local phone store where I could get some answers and have a plan. I love that.

It was the first employee to be kind, empathetic and truly helpful in that store. In that moment I could see the true spirit of great customer service. Oh boy, how people treat one another makes such a difference in this world.

She thoroughly explained my options. She discussed how to file a claim and request a replacement phone be shipped overnight hopefully in time for my trip. She gave me a tip to temporarily transfer service to an old phone on the account so I could at least have access for my trip. I appreciate good people.

Unfortunately the phone did not arrive before the trip so I was pretty limited on the road. My old phone also dies quickly so I used it for basic things. I didn’t spend my weekend on social media or taking photos. I was able to completely focus on being present and not just there. Though frustrating at times, it was all the things I spoke about last week.

When I returned home and got the package, I was annoyed to open the package and see no battery or charger was included. I had to call the insurance company so the can ship the missing products which won’t arrive for a few days.

At this point I am no longer frustrated to tears. I can only laugh because it all seems so ridiculous now. Mainly in retrospect I appreciated the experience. I adapted and feel silly such a simple change threw me for such a loop. God had jokes this week. That’s why sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for!

Have a great week. See you next Sunday!

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Smartphone Free is Freedom

Recently, I joined two friends for dinner and drinks. Just before we linked up, my phone died so I left it charging nowhere near me.

My two friends spent much of the night engrossed in their emails and facebooks and instagrams, incessantly scrolling.  Not the least bit interested or engaged in the live in-person conversations I was trying to have.

Thus I spent much of the evening people watching…quietly. On the one hand I was wanting to demand we pay attention to each other and oh the other hand feeling like why bother? If I have to fight for their attention, they don’t really want to give it to me.

The most surprising thing was actually feeling free without my phone. No apps to open, no texts to respond to, no calls, no emojis, no notifications. I didn’t even want my phone back.

I rarely am without my phone and charger at any given moment. It made me realize how I make others feel when I’m disengaged and solely phone concious. I need to drop my phone in my bag sometimes and forget about it.

Of course later that night upon returning to my phone with a few more percents in battery life, I was back in the addiction. I saw no faces and heard no voices.

What can I do to be more present?

I actually wrote about this when going through a personal and professional goal setting course a few years ago. I wrote SMART goals about my life. Be Present. Huge challenge still.

Our digital lifestyles sometimes neglect our need for true human interaction. We need to disconnect to connect more.

I find myself wrapped up in my phone on my daily commute while riding the train. Some days it’s nice to limit screen time and just look out the window, read a magazine or check out the newspaper.

I certainly don’t feel guilty about accessing and using the helpful tool that is my phone. It’s wonderful but there are times when I can do more by being present in the moment with people.

How many other things in life might I be missing by not putting my phone down?

These days we are less connected with our endless connections. Remember that when you find yourself so enticed by your phone screen that the world passes you by. Some days put the phone down and be free.

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Standing at Millennium Park Fountains in Chicago

Right to R.E.A.L Love: How to Make a Relationship Last, Episode 3

Here it is! The final episode of my series on the Right to R.E.A.L Love radio podcast.

In this episode, Jay and I wrap up our discussion to address the question: What can we do to ensure that our relationships last?

We leave you with these key takeaways:

1. Why our relationships can only be as healthy as we are

2. Ways to make a relationship last

In this episode and episode 2 we talk a little more about resources and books that can be helpful to couples.

Supporting your partner in the relationship you commit to is so important. You should do everything you can to learn about your significant other. You can lean on each other and learn from each other to make your relationship last. I am so happy to have the right kind of support in my relationship. Our great love and friendship for each other keeps our bond strong. It feels amazing to be so confident in what I have and who I share it with. 

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Be sure to also look up these books we mentioned during the series that can help you.

1. A Conversation Piece: 32 Bold Relationship Lessons for Discussing Marriage, Sex, and Conflict by Tiya Cunningham-Sumter

2. The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman

3. Purpose and Power of Love and Marriage by Dr. Myles Munroe

4. Understanding the Purpose and Power of Men by Dr. Myles Munroe. There is also a counterpart book for Understanding the Purpose and Power of Woman.

What other relationship books would you recommend? Please leave a comment below and share with us what has helped you.

Whether married or not, there are key relationship lessons to learn and take with us in life. This podcast was aimed at singles but does not mean married couples cannot gain knowledge or insight. I have heard many times from married people that the best time to prepare for marriage is before you’re married. I’m certain life does not become easier just because you’re married. Same as it’s not necessarily a walk in the park if you are single and dating or in a long-term committed relationship. No matter the stage or time put into a relationship, it takes work.

What are you bringing to the table and what do you need your partner to bring to the table to make your relationship last and your love grow deep and wide?

Hopefully during this series, my first radio podcast, you learned something and gained some insight on how to make your current or future relationships last.

Remember to have fun with each other, show respect, have trust and give each other the space you need to make your love grow over time. May your relationships last for several seasons and develop in its purpose.

The more you communicate with one another about where you are and where you are going, the easier it is to know if the relationship is right for you. Remember everything has its own time.

Listen to episode 3 here:

http://righttoreallove.com/make-a-relationship-last-part3/