Planning to Swim

So I have been talking about taking out the sinking option in our lives but what does it really mean to learn how to swim figuratively in life? I am not saying that you jump into a lake without prior swimming knowledge and just expect to survive.  There are steps that one should remember.

Step 1. Research and Plan

You can’t just one day decide to be an Olympic power lifter and compete. You need proper training and good coaches and a great team. Before you attempt anything, research and plan. Know the waters you’re jumping into. Understand what you need to take, what level of proficiency you’re gonna need to swim. If you’re starting that business, have a business plan and talk to experts. The amount of preparation that goes into these things are important.

Step 2.Have a fantastic team

I have my mom and dad, Alex & my sons, friends who would encourage me and hold me accountable to my progress and make sure that I was still working towards my goals so I don’t get sidetracked. Their support is invaluable and will help you stick to your vision. When someone crosses the English channel there’s always a boat right next making the journey with them. It always helps to have a life raft of people around  you.

Step 3 Focus

Once you get in you have to focus. Focus on where you’re going. If you look around too much, you get distracted and its harder to keep yourself afloat. It takes more work pushing forward. When I teach kids in Martial Arts, I aways tell them that when you ride a bicycle and you keep looking around, most likely you’re gonna crash. You have to keep your eyes on the track or you won’t succeed.

Step 4 Have Confidence

About 15 years ago I took a Lifeguarding course with my coworker who was a six foot 2 fellow and I had to mock save him . While other kids had hundred pound partners, I was lugging across a man who was 75 pounds heavier than me. When I thought about how much he weighed he really got heavier and made it hard for me. But when I had confidence that I had the skills to save him,I was able to succeed. You see, you don’t always get to save hundred pound kids, sometimes you have to lug around a man twice your size. Just like our problems, sometimes they are more than we think we can handle but if you have the confidence to face them and you know that you have the skills then its winning half the race.

Some Diamonds Go On Rings, Some Dimonds Dominate Them. Will You Join Me in Dominating the Rings of Live? A. img_0102

TIps on how to be the best mom..like me.

Me with my sons on Mother's Day
Me with my sons on Mother’s Day

Being a Mom or Dad isn’t easy. It seems like it gets even more challenging with things like facebook, instagram, pintrest where now you get to see how amazing all the other mom’s are and all the areas you are not. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and feel down on yourself when you see how outstanding other mothers are.

Here are 4 mom’s that I just “idolize” in how amazing they are.

Sue.

Sue has 2 jobs and still finds time to do it all. She never misses a teachers birthday or special Holiday. She makes sure her kids have amazing lunches, snacks and meals planned. All healthy, I can’t walk into her house to pick up my son without something simmering on the stove. She makes a priority to be at as many of her kids games as possible. All the people who are part of her boys life she shows appreciation too and brings in special treats for special days – even St Patricks Day. It amazes me how she has time for all these thoughtful things. My son always talks about how much he loves his #2 mom and her great food and of course the pool!

Monique

Monique and I have been friends for years before children. I recall she became my hero they day she found out  she was having twins. Monique is another one who seems to do it ALL. She homeschools her 3 while owning her own business. She is an artist and always has the most creative projects. She has so much detail to everything she does. Her children do Karate, girl scouts, cheerleading, football, youth group, homeschool co op and more. Most of which Monique still finds time to volunteer and help in the success of.

Francine

Francine has 4 children. Whom she also Homeschools. She always has great detailed lesson plans. Plus her children have many allergies so she makes so many things from scratch, including her own laundry soap. I am always blown away by how much she does and how clear it is her husband and children are her # 1 priority.

Bethany

Bethany's beautiful family.
Bethany’s beautiful family.

Bethany has 3 amazing children also. One of her sweet children has a as she refers a special brain.Brogan Jack was born on August 3, 2011, it wasn’t long before we found out about his special brain!
Brogan has been diagnosed with Microcephaly, Polymicrogyria, a malformed cerebellum and a gene deletion. He had a large brain tumor removed in January.” 

Bethany has spent weeks at a time in a hospital with her sweet boy. But has always had the most positive posts. She makes sure to prioritize her time so she spends time with all of her children. She is one of those people no matter what always looks amazing in pictures. Her sweet children always look like they stepped out of a catalog their clothing is always so perfect! Her courage and determination inspire and humble me.

 

So my point is – as a parent – I have often compared myself to these amazing mom’s and gotten down for not being as amazing as they are. I am sure many mothers and fathers have felt the same way at times.

Letter written by my son for Mother's Day
Letter written by my son for Mother’s Day

But the point is being the best parent YOU can be for your children. Using your skill sets to help your children. I am not going to be making amazing crafts with my boys – it’s not what I am gifted in.. but I will take my boys out 4 wheeling or create workouts with them to prepare them for their said sports. I will teach them how to run a business and make the healthiest meal choices.

I can though be inspired by these amazing mom’s every day. Seeing the focus they have the determination and applying it myself. Asking myself everyday – what have I done today to invest into my children.

That’s really how to be the “perfect” parent. Invest. Time, resources, love. Be their biggest fan. Every day – ask yourself – how have I invested into them today – how have I let them know I am their biggest fan.

So who is to decide what a perfect mom or dad is? All I know is I can be the most perfect mother for my children possible.

Family Day walking tour in Providence
Family Day walking tour in Providence

*To be on “Team Brogan”  and find out more about Bethany and her family visit www.TeamBrogan.us Find out more about Brogan and ways you can donate to help the family afford items that will improve Brogan’s therapy and quality of life.

You can Also follow them here on Facebook

When a friend breaks your heart.

Me with one of my lifetime friends after getting my fourth degree
Me with one of my lifetime friends after getting my fourth degree.

So, I was just scrolling through my Facebook. I happened to see a post from someone I used to be incredibly close to. Then another from someone else who I had once considered a very close friend.

Right away the pain, the feeling of rejection, insecurity, like I must be broken or not good enough hit. Why don’t they like me – why don’t they want to be my friend?

I was once what I thought very close to both these woman. Then one day it just stopped. Communications ended, they were always “busy” or they “didn’t” get the text. They had moved on, had new friends, a new life.

I recall they pain. Crying, hurt, broken, confused. Wondering – was I to needy? Pushy? Overbearing? Maybe I just wasn’t cool.

Have you ever felt that way?

Those of you who know me would be shocked to hear I am incredibly insecure and awkward in social situations – well social situations that are not martial arts/business orientated or something I am personally hosting. I have a hard time connecting with new people, I fear opening up and yet again finding myself “rejected”.

But here’s the thing about other people’s rejection – it usually is more in my mind the in theirs. It is usually a fabrication of our own insecurities.

An example, I was bullied horribly all through my school years. I recall a girl in 5th grade I thought was super cool but I KNEW hated me. I remember her making fun of me after a science fair and being heart broken because of it. As an adult I reconnected with her and was joking about our school years and how she didn’t like me. She had NO IDEA what I was talking about. She recalled us being good friends and spending most of our time together.

See my insecurities created a false reality. My fears created a paradigm in which I assumed her reactions.

The woman who “rejected” me as an adult…Could it be that their lives have just taken a different direction? Their schedules be opposite of mine making it difficult to follow up? Maybe our interest are just not the same any more, maybe we just have changed and that’s ok.

How many times have I sat feeling left out? Wondering why I wasn’t “invited” or “thought of”. What about you? have you ever felt left out, unloved, forgotten? If someone didn’t acknowledge your birthday or special event have you felt betrayed?

It also makes me wonder if I have ever inadvertently made someone else feel that way? I have an incredibly busy schedule between my husband, children,business, schools, homeschooling, working out, training, etc. before I know it days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months, months turn into years. Maybe as my life has changed I have also lost contact?

Its important to realize…it’s not all about you. When you lose contact with someone or it seems like they never have time or always “already had plans”. It probably is just that, they are pursuing their goals, dreams, hobbies and families just like you pursue yours. Heck, even the popular show Friends had to end as they went different directions.

Don’t allow yourself to decide your worth, value and relationships based on a false paradigm. Live your life with focus and passion. Make new friends more friends with similar interest and goals.

#alifeworthliving

#liveitloveit #blackbeltlifestyle

I Knew They Were Christians..

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I knew they where christians shortly after I first saw them. The family of 4, 2 young boys..father and mother. What gave it away, where they carrying their bibles? Was their joy overflowing? Did they have their I love Jesus tshirts on? Maybe bible verse bumper stickers? Did the Holy Spirit jump when i saw them?

None of the above, I knew they where christians by their scowl….
We had taken the family to Lake George and the Shcroon lake area. We where excited from the break of the hustle and bustle to spend time with our boys. We decided it would be fun to visit the caves near Schroon lake. Clearly we where not the only ones, the caves where very busy that day. I had first noticed this family in the gift shop prior to starting our hike… I noticed them because it appeared the father was scowling at me.. the wife glaring. I looked around and noticed nothing amiss…assumed it was my imagination and went back to my family to enjoy our hike.two adults
This family started before us and we ended up running into them again at the first look out point…. this time they again glared, but at my whole family. It was then I recognized that look and was transported back to my teenage years…………
I grew up in church. I loved being a christian, I was homeschooled, as where most of the people my age in that church. I recognized that look, because I had been on the receiving end of it all of my teenage years. I thought that was how christians greeted each other, with a look of disgust as if you where not worthy of their time…. you had to climb the christianity ladder to be noticed.judgemental1
During those years I cried myself to sleep in pain and  heartache almost every night because I wasn’t good enough. I recall an announcements that a leader was needed for children’s church, when I volunteered I was told someone else had asked to do it.. I found out this person didn’t want to but was told they where the only one who was available. I was no longer allowed to sing solos in church after singing Petra & Dc Talk ( not even the raps etc.. ballads!!) I received letters from “concerned woman” about my tight clothing ( I was a size 4 wearing size 12 hand me downs…not sure how that could be considered tight…skater/baggy was the style) My pain at that point was overwhelming, the hurt overbearing.
cranky
I didn’t see at that time that it wasn’t me that was broken, but the lens in which those people where using was.
Then at 16 I was at the breaking point, the starts of an eating disorder, suicidal, severely depressed……. I started martial arts. There from the first moment I was accepted by all the cool kids and all the not cool kids lol. Kids-adults instantly welcomed me into their “family” loved me for exactly who I was, even though our style was different, liked different music, had different interest. I was loved, for me. No need to prove myself, or “earn” a place…ironically the place where rank matters on the floor, it did not matter in real life. But this was “the world” I had been warned to stay away from. The “heathens” who did not attend my church and homeschool like me. The wicked ones who wore the wrong clothes. Why then could they love unconditionally?
I knew they where christians by the way they judged us. Then, I noticed the cross he wore.
The rest of our hike we passed them countless times, each time being treated as if we had leporasy or something. I did a “check up from the neck up” –we where not being rude, we where patient, quiet, respectful, no inappropriate joking, everyone was dressed appropriately. I am not sure what we had done to offend them. My son finally asked me, “Mom, why do they keep looking at us like that?”
cranky-calvinists
I am blessed to say after my teenage years I have been part of 2 amazing church families who have loved on us like Christ commands. This small experience brought me back, made me think- If that is how my faith is represented, no wonder people would not want to be a christian. As I thought of it at this park, I was almost ashamed to have the same faith as this family who would, without knowing anything about us (even if they did know anything about us) treat us in such a cold fashion. I confess that at a point I was guilty of   the “scowl” to those who had not yet “ranked” as a christian.
“My son finally asked me, Mom why do they keep looking at us like that?”
I  believe it breaks our saviors heart that our churches do not love as he commands. That a teenage girl can find unconditional acceptance in a sport, but not in her church family. I strive to love, even when it isn’t easy. even when I don’t understand. When I find myself starting to cast assumptions or judgement – I recall that girl and her pain.
Whether you are a christian or not, I think the importance here is to remember, what we say and how we treat people can have an even deeper impact then what we see. Instead of pouring coals of judgement onto those you interact with, pour into them instead and help them to develop into the person they can be.
If you are searching for a church home that doesn’t judge and rank, I would love to have you join us at mine! http://www.fellowshipne.com is warm and welcoming and ready to get to know you….and not talk about you.