Perfection Unseen

When I was younger, I was a perfectionist. I thought that if my house was spotless and my child was never dirty, that in essence, I was being the perfect wife and mother. I soon learned that it was all an illusion and the reality of it was revealed to me through the eyes of a three-year-old little boy.

I cannot remember the exact date, but I remember the moment. My son, who was three at the time, and I were hunting for sea shells at the beach. My son would eagerly run and pick one up and return it to me. I would tell him, “No, not that one, it is cracked or broken.” I watched as my son walked away, dejected, to try to look through my eyes for the perfect shell. It was that moment that I realized who I had become.

You see, I was looking for perfection on the outside. I was so obsessed with the thought of perfection, that I could not see that it was right in front of me.

On that day, perfection was seen through the eyes of a little boy that just wanted to please his mom. He did not see the cracked and broken outside of the shell. He only saw the beauty of what was left and he wanted with all his heart for me to have it and to make me happy.

I was crushed by the look on his face. I remember running up to him and telling him how beautiful the shells were that he had found. And he forgave me. After that we both ran excitedly up and down the beach for hours hunting for anything that he thought was beautiful.

I realized recently that moment was a huge stepping stone for me. It reflects my relationship with Christ. You see He does not see the outside of our shells either. He sees the beauty on the inside, much like through the eyes of a three-year-old little boy.

God accepts us for who we are, no matter how tattered, broken or cracked our shells are.

Perfection is something that is unseen. It is gained each day of our life as we walk closer and closer to God.

I still keep those shells that we gathered that day to remind me of that moment and what I learned from it. They sit as a treasure. It does not matter what they look like on the outside, I know what they taught me on the inside.

“…the best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen nor even touched, but just felt in the heart.” – Helen Keller

Sissy Slater resides in New Bern, NC with her husband, 3 dogs, 2 cats, chickens and horses.

Image courtesy of Max Goncharov.

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The Boxing Ring

Some days it’s like your life is inside a boxing ring.

You are being thrown around.

You can’t get out, or look like you are in pain.

Nobody knows what this really feels like.

They think you can handle it.

But deep down you are hurting.

Fantasizing that you are crawling out of the ring.

Hiding somewhere so life can’t find you, and throw you around.

How long can you stay?

Taking the punches.

Can they see you breaking?

Can you keep going long enough, until the match is over?

Until they are done with you.

You don’t even want to win anymore.

You just want to make it through.

Make it until you are allowed to let go.

Find solace in something.

Offered the band aid.

The fixing of the bruises.

The time to recover.

But where do you go?

How long do you have to search the world?

To find a resting place.

In a tiny corner.

Hidden enough to hold you for a while.

So you can find your way back to believing in a life without a boxing ring.

Where you don’t need to crawl and find the band aid.

Where you have days just breathing the air.

Looking at the sun.

Surrounded by hope for a better life.

With many matches in the ring,

Christina

Christina Rasmussen is the creator and founder of The Life Reentry Institute, Second Firsts, The Life Starters and Star Letters. Christina is on a crusade to help millions of people rebuild, reclaim, and relaunch their lives using the power of their own minds. Christina’s work has been featured on ABC News, NPR, The White House Blog, and MariaShriver.com. She is the bestselling author of Second Firsts: Live, Laugh, and Love Again, which has also been translated in Chinese and German and just released her second book Where Did You Go on expanding the mind in ways that allows co-creation with the forces of the universe. She is also writing her first work of fiction: a science fiction story about a woman on a quest to start over and begin a new life. You can find more information on her website and follow her on FB or Twitter.

Image courtesy of Timothy Eberly.

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Got the Urge to Do Some Spring-Cleaning? Avoid These 5 Classic Mistakes.

It’s spring! (In my part of the world, at least.) And with spring comes the urge to do some spring-cleaning. The warmer weather and the fresh breezes make me want my home to feel orderly, spacious, and clean.

One of the things about happiness that continually surprises me is the degree to which, for most people, outer order contributes to inner calm, and inner self-command. I write about this connection in Better Than Before, in The Happiness Project, and in Happier at Home. In my newest book, Outer Order, Inner Calm, I write about how to de-clutter and organize to make more room for happiness.

This connection fascinates me; in the context of a happy life, a crowded coat closet or an overflowing in-box is trivial, and yet such things weigh us down more than they should. And clearing clutter is so energizing and cheering!

I’ve learned the hard way, however, to avoid these classic mistakes during spring-cleaning, or clutter-clearing generally:

1. Don’t get organized.

When you’re facing a desk swamped in papers, or a closet bursting with clothes, or counter-tops littered with piles of random objects, don’t say to yourself, “I need to get organized.” No!

Your first instinct should be to get rid of stuff. If you don’t keep it, you don’t have to organize it. My sister wanted me to help her organize her papers, and after we threw away the papers she didn’t need to keep, there was nothing left to organize. Excellent.

2. Don’t buy fancy storage gizmos.

Ironically, it’s often the people with the worst clutter problems who have the instinct to run to a store and buy complicated hangers, drawer compartments, etc. Don’t let yourself buy an item until it’s absolutely clear that it will help you organize objects that are truly necessary—rather than act as a crutch to move clutter around or to jam more clutter into place.

3. Don’t save things for the hazy future.

Some things are worth keeping — but not most things. I was once helping a friend clear her clutter, and when I gently suggested that she might give away that pantsuit that she wore to work eight years earlier, she said, “Oh, but my daughter might want to wear those one day.” Really? I don’t think so. If you get a new dog, you’ll probably want a fresh dog bed, and if you lose a bunch of weight, you’ll probably decide to buy a new pair of jeans.

4. Don’t “store” things.

It makes sense to store holiday decorations, seasonal clothes, baby things you intend to use again, and anything else that’s useful for a particular time. But often, when we “store” something, it’s because we know we don’t really need it, or use it, or care about it much, but we just want to get it out of the way. Usually, it’s easier to throw something in the basement, attic, or garage than it is to figure out what to do with it. But in the long run, it’s better not to “store” that stuff but to give it away, recycle it, or toss it right away — without an intervening period in storage.

5. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.

Things often get messier before they get tidier. If you dump out every drawer in that big chest, you may run out of energy and time before you’re finished sorting through all of it. Take one drawer at a time. Of course, sometimes it’s necessary — and even fun — to spend a whole day or weekend clearing clutter, but often, it’s more realistic to tackle smaller aims.

Remember, we often over-estimate what we can do in a short time (one afternoon) and under-estimate what we can do over a long period, a little at a time (spending thirty minutes a day clearing clutter, for a month). Keep the process manageable.

What are your tips for clearing clutter? What mistakes have you made, in the past?

Gretchen Rubin is the author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller The Happiness Project—an account of the year she spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific studies, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier—and the recently released Happier at Home and Better Than Before. On her popular blog, The Happiness Project, she reports on her daily adventures in the pursuit of happiness. For more doses of happiness and other happenings, follow Gretchen on Facebook and Twitter.

Image courtesy of Bench Accounting.

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The Gift of Girlfriends

There have been times this year when my girlfriends have called me, sobbing…

…The baby won’t stop crying

…There’s no juice left in the marriage

…The launch didn’t go as planned

…Finances too tight to be comfortable


There have been times this year when I’ve called them, sobbing…

…Heartbroken and afraid of my next step

At the edge of sanity with my business

…Tech snafus that felt impossible to untangle

…Mysterious body stuff

And there have been times when we’ve called each other, elated…

…The book proposal snagged a huge offer!

…I’m pregnant!

…I went on an amazing date!

…I had a life-changing realization!

We’re there for one another, through thick and thin.

This is the gift of sisterhood.

It’s knowing that you can be your shiniest and most radiant self, or your most devastated and contracted self, and still be loved.

You’re seen as human at your sparkliest, and divine at your shittiest.

You grow because of your friendship, because you’re both committed to living close to the truth.

You see greatness in her eyes when she’s at her lowest moments, and you make her desires your prayer.

You honor yourselves and forgive each other, because empathy is the foundation of everything.

And even when you’re not connecting, you know that when it really matters, you’ll both show up.

Sisterhood is the love that shares your project on social media and sends you flowers on your birthday. It’s the love that holds your hand in divorce court and holds the baby so she can take a shower.

If you allow it, it’s the love that gets in all the cracks where your mother’s love couldn’t quite reach, and the love that reveals your wholeness, regardless of what you’ve imagined to be true.

This is my greatest wish for you this year: That you have a nurturing, enthusiastic, courageous and supportive community of women who have your back, whom you feel proud to cheerlead in return.

My wish is that you bring them anything and everything, and welcome theirs, while mutually maintaining your sovereignty.

My wish is that you keep remembering what a gift it is to have this love and cherish it as you cherish all of the closest relationships in your life.

Life isn’t predictable. The wiser we are and the wilder our pursuits, the more we embrace this essential truth. Sisterhood is what helps us weather it all, with grace, with courage, with love. @AskNisha (Click to Tweet!)

March 30th, 2019 marks the fifth annual Global Sisterhood Day, and Sister Circles will be happening all over the globe.

A Sister Circle is a 90-minute gathering of up to 10 women, to engage in meaningful conversation about our hearts, lives, and vision for the planet.

This annual global event is an opportunity for us to collectively take a stand for a future that is only possible when we rise in connection, support and celebration of one another.

Participation in Global Sisterhood Day is 100% free. Sign up and we’ll send you an outline to host a free circle in your community!

Get all the details at https://sisterhoodday.com/.

Nisha Moodley is a Women’s Leadership Coach and the creator of Fierce Fabulous Free, The Freedom Mastermind & The Virtual Sisterhood. Inspired by the belief that the world will be set free by women who are free & sisterhood is key to a woman’s freedom, Nisha creates communities of ambitious women to support them in redesigning their lives & businesses. Find her online at NishaMoodley.com and download her free Take Flight Action Guide to explore the next expansion of your freedom at TakeFlightActionGuide.com. You can follow Nisha on Twitter or FB.

Image courtesy of Julie Johnson.

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