LIFE CLEANSE: OUTLINE

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“Motivation is a fire from within. If someone else tries to light that fire under you, chances are it will burn very briefly.” Stephen R. Covey

So do you remember a while back, well it would have been at the beginning of the year when I posted we were going on a beach trip and then I was coming back to start my 2014 LIFE CLEANSE?

Did you see my post right after about our crazy stressful trip that, although full of mercy and learning, left me a bit frazzled?

Here’s the deal, I was originally planning a 90-DAY LIFE CLEANSE. Yep, whole thing start to finish from January through March.

Well, here it is April and I’m just now getting to the next Phase!

At first I was kind of getting down on myself, which was definitely not helping the process, and then I thought to myself, “Come on Meg! Who put a time limit on this thing anyway?! You did! Nobody else is imposing these time restrictions! You silly thing, just keep working on improving, stop with the crazy/impossible expectations!”

So, here I am. I went back to the original 2014 LIFE CLEANSE title to relieve my personal anxiety on the subject. Plans are more motivating to me when they have a title;) Also, I’ve taken a more “Move on when you’re ready” approach to reaching the next phase.

Each Phase of my plan has a Section that I can work on exclusively or in connection with the other two sections. Also, each section tries to focus on a different aspect of my being (ie: spiritual, mental, emotional, physical, etc.)

Here’s my ORIGINAL plan:

Phase 1: Renew, Revitalize, Reflect

Renew: This is meant to be a more Spiritual and Emotional Section of Improvement. Spiritually I want to Repent and Forgive (mostly myself), moving forward, as if I was starting life anew. Emotionally I want to leave Discouragement and Self-doubt behind and move forward with Hope and Courage.

Revitalize: This is a more Physical Section of Improvement. For myself, I know I need to focus more on self-care, especially rest. Sleep, breaks, and focusing more on where I’m “letting myself go” physically. It’s impossible to fill everyone’s bucket from my empty one. Also, in my surroundings, to make myself more efficient and productive I’m organizing, downsizing, and deep cleaning my home. This “spring-cleaning” is always very refreshing for me.

Reflect: This is a Mental, although touching on the Emotional and Spiritual Improvement Sections as well. This will of course require Heavenly help, my knees will get a workout With this Section I want to focus on three main questions: What do I really need to change in my life ? What is/are the root(s) of what is holding me back from this change? What changes can I make that will make change in my family?

Phase 2: Study, Strengthen, Synthesize

Study: A mostly Spiritual Section, a need to focus more on the quality of my study rather than quantity. I’ve been going through the motions lately and don’t feel the invigoration of learning and inspiration as strongly as I once did. I mostly want to focus on my study of Scripture, being “IN” my prayers and not just habitual monologues, and the topics that I have pondered on during my time of Reflection in Phase 1.

Strengthen: In this Physical focused Section I was to hone my routines/habits. Making sure I “Put first things first” (Stephen Covey), namely my study and self-care. Also, taking a literal interpretation of the section, I want to focus more on changing my exercise routine to include more strength training. I’m finding I can do my daily Mommy tasks when my body is in better condition.

Synthesize: This will be mostly a Mental Section. I want to focus on how I can use the emotional, spiritual, mental, and physical aspects of my being to work together more efficiently and productively. I believe this will mean paying more attention to timing, and highs and lows of the day/week/etc. For this section I will focus more on receiving guidance through prayer, and daily planning, using a long-term vision. Also I plan to write the things I’m discovering about myself so that I can forecast what, when, and how to do tasks/activities.

Phase 3: Clarify, Cleanse, Create

Clarify: This will be a Mental and probably Emotional Section. At this point in the process I am hoping I can define what really are the roots of my personal vices. The idea being, to kill the problem from the source.

Cleanse: A Physical Section that will focus mostly on food cleansing. Omitting some foods and adding others to cleanse my body of toxins and hopefully find a good food balance that will lessen the “build-up” in the future.

Create: Another Mental, Spiritual and Emotional Section mix. Now that I have found the roots, I want to create a “game-plan” of how I can use my virtues to eliminate the vices. This will probably be an ongoing process but I’m thinking that the earlier Phases will help me get rid of distraction and focus on the things that will empower me to make real change.

Another thing I noticed after I started working was that the Phases kind of overlap. Right now I’m still working on Revitalize from Phase 1, and I’m learning that Renew is something that needs to happen more regularly…. but I’ve moved on to all three Phases in Phase 2, albeit slowly;).

I’m hoping this makes sense. Sometimes my ideas only make sense to me;)
I’ll be posting and hopefully vlogging some of what I’ve been learning in this process of Cleansing my life. My main goal is to find the main roots of change in my life that need to be made. I realize that some may take a life-time to change but I think that the identifying and concentrating on specifics will help me progress more successfully.

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What to do when you don’t want to….

We all have those days…..maybe you’re sick, maybe not enough sleep, maybe stress, maybe family issues….whatever it is there are days when you wake up and think, “Do I really have to do that today?”

Now, there are usually two options for this question. Either yes or no. Sometimes we really do need to say no. When we are sick to the point of being contagious, or stressed or low on sleep to the point of a volcanic eruption, that is the time to say no. There is no point in making other people miserable along with ourselves.

On the other hand, there are times when we are just a bit under the weather for one reason or another and we still need to face the music. We really can’t justify missing work, not caring for our children and/or not schooling them simply because we don’t really feel like it. Here are a few ways that help me push through those “I don’t wanna!” days.

1. Body

On days that I’m not feeling at my optimum I try to up my intake of health related activities. I take an extra multivitamin, limit my sugar and refined carbs, up the veggies and fruits, pick my favorite workout and give it all I’ve got, and drink more water with a bit of lime to help flush out extra toxins. That way if I am fighting a bug I usually can side step it and if it’s just an emotional down day then I have all the physical help I need to fight that too. If you are having more than the occasional “down” day then it’s time to look at how you are taking care of yourself. Are you getting enough rest, are you hydrating, are you eating health-filled foods, are you exercising? If your body is not taken care of, it will simply not perform, it’s that simple.

2. Mind

If it’s not a physical issue that’s getting you down, maybe you need to clear your head. Maybe you just need an attitude adjustment and simple affirmation/gratitude exercise will do the trick. If you aren’t sure what’s bothering you give yourself some time to think, even better if you can couple it with mindless (meaning not needing to much concentration, like walking, biking, running) physical activity. That way even if you don’t figure it out you have those extra endorphins from your workout to help you feel a little better. If you’re still not sure what’s up or you need to talk it out find a trusted friend, pray or write in your journal. This will help you find the source and solution of the issue. Sometimes your mind just needs to relax too. Soothing music, maybe some stretching or dancing, and allowing yourself to just think pleasant, un-pressured thoughts can help your mind relax and regain balance.

3. Spirit

The spirit is so interconnected with your body and mind that sometimes it’s almost impossible to separate it from them. If the above activities for your body and mind do not help eliminate the down feeling, try feeding your spirit. I usually feed my spirit first because I have found that it feeds my body and mind better than the other way around. If you are a religious person this can be done with worship activities, scripture reading, prayer and pondering. Even if you aren’t religious, allowing your spirit to find comfort in nature or art can help you cope with down days.

4. Have a Plan

I’ve found that if I know what I need to do in a day it helps me take away some of the worry, but also limits the room for procrastination. It especially helps when I have a plan written down (ENORMOUS help with homeschooling) because then I can prioritize and at least do the things that “have” to get done. The days when I’m not as organized can feel like downer days simply because I’m not putting first things first and not being efficient or effective.

5. Give yourself an Incentive

Go ahead. Bribe yourself. Sometimes you just have to get some things done and when you don’t have an excuse, other than you don’t want to, then give yourself another reason to DO IT. I do this a lot with little activities that I really don’t like, such as ironing, by saying the only way I will let myself watch a movie is if I do some ironing at the same time. On days that I really don’t want to do homeschool I say, “Ok, I will do homeschool until such and such an hour and then I will let myself have a nap.” This way not only do I avoid more bad feelings because of the guilt associated with not fulfilling my responsibilities but I also get something I like out of it.

6. Get some Help

Take turns with your spouse or a friend with jobs you really loathe or on days that you just aren’t feeling up to it. Of course scheduling may impede this at times but sometimes you can just call up a “lean on me” person and say, “Can you do this for me today?” Then make sure you have a way to pay them back later, like a special treat or being on call for them. If you are having many down days though it’s time to look to a professional and make sure there is not an underlying illness or psychological issue that needs to be treated.

The important thing is to remember that everybody has days that they just don’t feel like going and doing.  Also, remember that these feelings are generally easily remedied and it won’t last forever, you just have to find a motivation for you to get up and going today. So, whether you need to get more rest, have a chat, or bribe yourself, find what works for you and get up and seize the day!