My Charge To You In 2018

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You did it! You made it through the first week of the new year.

How was it?! Was it exciting, a fresh start, full, overwhelming, no different then the last week of December, what changes did you make? 

I always love seeing if people actually can feel the shift from one year to the next. It is like endless opportunities are just buzzing in the air. In one minute, from 11:59pm on December 31st to 12:00am on January 1st, everything becomes possible again. Why is that? 

As I took the last 5 weeks off social media I had a lot of time to think. I thought about the overview of my life & things in between, I sat with myself and with others, sometimes hours on end and just chose to be present in the moment. And it was honestly the best decision I could of made to close out the year. 

I am not a huge "new years resolution" fan, as you can read here.

But what I am a fan of is taking some time to close out the previous year and prepare myself with vision for the next. I love to evaluate themes, successes, and disappointments by seeing how they actually changed who I am. From there, I write out areas I want to see continued change, goals, prayers, and victories.

It's a whole process and yes it is time consuming but here's the thing, it is better to form a new lifestyle rather than short-lived, extreme resolutions. I talk all about it in that post linked above. 

But ANYWAYS, back to 2018.

So, just like that the year is over. I always wonder how it went so fast yet every year I long for things to come sooner. It is this continuous tension of being excited about these moments to come but when they pass wishing we could re-live them again. 

2017 was absolutely an amazing year for me, not because I achieved these crazy dreams or accomplished multiple goals but it was because of one simple thing. 

Being present. 

Yes y'all. This simple thing of actually being mentally present where you physically are is what changed the course of my 2017. And what is truly awesome is that the shift really happened around the final quarter of the year. The last four months of 2017 were so significant that they shaped the entire year for me and it was all because I chose to be fully present. 

There is something about being a planner, a doer, and a dreamer that can get my mind a month, a year, or a decade ahead of me while my body is over here just trying to do daily life. And that was majority of last year. I fought being where I was because I didn't fully believe I was where I needed to be. For some reason my mind believed I was supposed to be further along then I was, so that's where I always went. I didn't realize it but I complained a lot, always asking God why am I not there yet. Thinking if I worked a little bit harder I would get there faster not knowing the answer lied in me doing less and being more. 

It seems so simple, to be present. We talk about it all the time, but how many of us are always living in the excitement of the next thing rather than just enjoying what's in front of us. Or always saying, "let's get coffee," but never having time do it. Oh but wait, this one's my favorite... we can't put our phone down at a party because we need to add "all the moments" to our instagram story.

I am guilty of it all.

But as I have come to this place of fully leaning into the present all that I was looking for was right in front of me.

So after all that build up, here's my charge to you in 2018...    

With all the resolutions, preparing, vision casting, and goal setting I simply say do what's in front of you. Allow yourself to be fully set in the present, in each moment, and taking in at that God has for you, now. If you were supposed to be somewhere else, you'd be there. If you were supposed to have more, you'd have more. Until that comes, challenge yourself to find joy for what's in your hands and for the people right in front of you. This my friends will make all the things, worth while. 

rd. 

See You Soon Friends.

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Sometimes things don’t go the way we planned. 

These past few months has been absolutely amazing but how many of you know that the way we see things happening in our minds sometimes isn’t what actually plays out.

I’ve had multiple writings lined up to share with all of you beautiful friends of Living Dreamer but as September hit much of my focus went from outward productivity to inward replenishment. If you know me you know that this is not easy for me! I've got that go getter, busy bee, and doer part of who I am that is like, rest?! 

God has had me on a journey of laying things down for a time and I have had an inward conflict where I want to keep holding onto it because it seems like the perfect time but truth is it just isn’t. 

See productivity is wonderful and I have been made to get ‘ish done! But I’m learning how to be okay with laying down one part of who I am for a short time to build up the other. Learning to take in more rather than to always be giving out is actually harder than I thought. 

I love all the beautiful people that have been surrounding me and been wanting to connect with me but the curse of being too busy has kept me from developing deeper connection with them. So I’m taking some time to give more opportunities to have space. Space to rest, receive, connect, and reflect. 

I’ve found that these moments in life don’t just happen because there is always more to get done, but they must be intentionally carved out. So I am taking the remainder of the year away from blogging, social media, and business networking. On the 1st of January I will then re-think my vision for the new year for each of these things. 

I’m looking forward to going through the holidays not worrying about my next blog, instagram post, networking event, etc. But just being present with family and friends, becoming even more thankful for all the beauty around me. 

Until then, see you in the new year loves :)

Let's Just Call It Like It Is

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Okay here we go friends, talking about a very downplayed and vulnerable topic. 

One that even in Christian circles is hushed and covered up by, despite what someones going through calling out the gold in them, rather then taking the time to sit and discuss the true root issue first.

The whole reason I started this blog is to encourage people to live their full selves, to dream, love, trust, hope, and to not get stuck where they are but to journey to where they want to be. 

I wanted to let people in on my life, the process. All of it. 

I don’t want to be the person who is ghost when life gets challenging due to the shame of not having it all together. Because what is life without the challenge, the struggle, the growth. That is the reason we get to celebrate when we finally begin to see change. We all go through different kinds of deep process in life, and guess what…they don’t stop. We don’t just come to this place…welp I’ve processed it all, no more stretching, growing, and learning. I’m perfect. (Ooo, let me break it to you that this doesn’t ever happen) 

The only difference about my process is that I’m letting the world in. I’m choosing to show up, speak up, and grow up, because I know that my process isn’t something for me to only learn from. So, I asked myself what does that look like today. 

Well…it looks like me telling people how I've been battling self-hatred (ooo, just saying it seems harsh and I want to use another word to tone it down so people don't think I'm suicidal or something, HA!). Stings a little huh. Don’t know why it’s so uncomfortable to talk or read about but this whole self-hatred thing is one of the most common struggles people deal with. 

I always used to completely disassociate myself with the word self-hatred. (Oh no, I LOVE MYSELF AND MY LIFE!) It’s what I claimed and, to be honest, firmly believed. But it was slowly over time that I realized the dislike I had for things about myself were so familiar and set in my thinking that they masked themselves as being a part of me. The moments of sitting with myself minus all the distractions is when I began to realize, why do I give myself more criticism than praise? Why do I spend so much time unpacking the mistake I just made and how I could of did it better? Why is it sometimes hard to celebrate the victories of other people? Why do I sometimes not even try because of the fear of failing? Why do I apologize for being me? 

All of these questions and more began to rise up in me as I processed that there is a lack of love I had for myself and for the life I am living. 

Many people don't want to say their dealing with self-hated because honestly we're a little too self-righteous to admit we're struggling. But let's just call it like it is. 

Self-hatred is simply disliking certain characteristics or traits about ourselves to the point that we believe it lowers our worth. 

It is the negative self-talk, the criticism you give yourself so other people don’t have to, the “I’m my own worst enemy,” setting your hopes low to minimize the chances of failing, all the high-stake what-if’s, dwelling on the moments you made a mistake, and so on and so forth. And it doesn’t always come from negative actions. Many times it is covered up by constantly saying we’re okay, things are great, I love my life, because we think that if we say it enough maybe that will change how we really feel. 

I don’t believe everyone deals with this but I do believe it is more common then we truly want to address. At some point every single human being has gone through these things of self-doubting, body image (oh, that’s a whole separate post, just wait), self-sabotage, you name it. But what are we doing to help other people get out of it. Other than casting them off to the side or just “keeping them in prayer.” 

The problem with self-hatred and the reason people don’t want to talk about it is because many feel guilty for even feeling hatred towards themselves. But here’s the thing, for most people it starts as a child. Not because you were a depressed kid growing up but because as children we believe EVERYTHING. We are like sponges, we suck up information. And any adult who comes along and begins to tell us something opposite to who we really are, what do we do…believe them. I wish I knew why the few negative comments we hear stick with us more then the 1,000 comments of praise we receive as children but they do and many times they form into our way of thinking and become the lens in which we see ourselves and others through.

It is completely okay to want change in your life, to challenge yourself, and to call yourself to a higher standard. But many times these goals we put on ourselves are actually not for ourselves but for other people. If we don’t come at change in our lives from a place of loving ourselves, no matter what progress we make it won’t mean much in our eyes. (I swear we’re coming to a close) 

So here’s the thing, self-hatred is not something to be ashamed about. It is actually something to acknowledge and counteract by telling yourself the truth, the real truth. Not as a cover up, but just as you would praise a child for trying and tell them their scribbles are beautiful art, because you never know who that child will become. You never know who you will be in 5 years, there is amazing potential in you but if you don’t begin to believe it you will never see it happen. We must change our belief system about ourselves. 

And so this brings me to the end (if you stuck with me this long, you are the REAL MVP!) Below I given 5 simple steps that I’ve discovered help set me on the road of fully loving myself. I will most likely do another in depth blog about this but for now, here is something to get you started. 

  1. Write down the areas where you experience the most negative thoughts/comments about yourself
  2. What lie are you believing about those areas? And what is the opposite of that lie? (that is your truth)
  3. Write down a list of things you want to believe about those areas? (These are your goals)
  4. Give yourself 3 tangible and reachable goals that you can do this week to begin the process of change
  5. Print out the below graphic, hang it up where you will see it everyday, and let it be a reminder that it gets easier. 

Your not alone in this, and that is the best thing to know during this process. I am still one who continually reinforces the truth of who I am because let me tell you, some days it gets hard, but you got this. Until next time. 

rd.

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Happy 1 Year Bloggiversary!

Wow, it's been one full year! I cannot believe it, yikes, time does go by so fast. In the past year of starting this blog there have definitely been bumps in the road. Sometimes having no inspiration to write but needing to dig so deep down in my gut knowing there is something there if I search hard enough. I truly started this for me, as a way to push myself to grow, learn, explore, and be seen. I have so many more ideas for where this could go but 1 year in and it is still the beginning. I still am growing, learning, exploring and allowing myself to be seen and it's not easy sometimes. I know there's more, I know that I can dig deeper, I know that there are greater stories worth telling that I am finding the courage to do so. Who knows what another year will hold, but all I know is that I just hoped to touch one life with my stories and in the last year it's gone further than I imagined. Thank you. Yea you, the one who tuned in, subscribed, commented, and encouraged me along the way, it means more than you know. I hope you'll continue on this journey with me and let's see together where another year will take us. 

So here it is, my first ever blog. I read through this and still feel as though it is as relevant now as it was then. In celebration of this year, here's where it all started. Enjoy :)

"It's a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you're ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now."

- Unknown

As I think about this anonymous quote, I think of every decision I have ever made in my life. Majority of the time there was not some huge sign in front of me that said "the time is now, go Bekah go," if only it was that easy! But it was more like this opportune moment where I was faced with a crossroad and a decision was necessary to move forward. I know that everyday I am faced with crossroads but for some reason the daily crossroads seem so much easier to tackle. Despite the size of the crossroad, me and decisions have been on this journey for the last two years where we have had to become more acquainted with each other. Since I turned 25 it just seems like decisions automatically went to a whole other level. Everyone talks about how much they just "can't adult today" but as much as I may not want to it doesn't stop all the decisions I have to make as an adult from sitting right there beside my bed with a devilish little smile on its face waiting for me to finally wake up.

I used to be one of those people that when it came time to make a decision, one that I deemed beyond my own capability to make, I would just let it marinate for weeks. I would pray, fast, intercede whatever it took to get my final answer from the Lord on what was going to be "right." I mean this happened even on the smallest decisions of "hey, want to get some coffee tomorrow?" "Let me pray about it, I will let you know." I mean I kind of chuckle now that I think about it. Two years ago God had a very honest conversation with me, it was similar to that moment when a parent has to sit their child down, who is over the age of 21 and still living in the house with no job, and kindly ask them to leave and go find themselves. But with as much grace and love as possible I felt the Father kindly say, "Bekah, it is now time for me to no longer make decisions for you. I am no longer going to give you the final say. I have raised you up well and you have been given the tools needed, such as wisdom and discernment, to make powerful and confident decisions." Just as I was about to say, "get behind me satan!," the Lord spoke again, "this does not mean I will not guide you, reveal truth about different paths, give you peace, or share my thoughts, but in the end you have free will to make the final decision. In order for you to grow more in your faith then it is time for you to leave the house." Talk about a reality check!

As I started to think and process this more, I realized that it all comes down to a choice. Many times the reason we blame God for things is because we say, but God you told me! When in reality God does not force us to make any decision, we have a choice. As much as it is easier to not own my decisions, and well blame the bad ones on "the Lord told me to," I realized as a mature follower of Christ it was time to recognize my identity as a powerful decision maker.

As I have gotten older I realize more and more how much I used to linger around making huge life decisions because I was ultimately afraid of failing and getting myself so far off the path God had for me that it would take so much work to get back. But another realization is that we can never get "too far off" to the point that God cannot use the path we chose and help us move forward and continue on to where He is guiding us. This relationship between me and decision making has definitely developed and gotten stronger over the last two years. It is still not the easiest and some days I wish God could just make decisions for me, but what would I look like as an adult asking my parents to make all my decisions...I don't they would happily consider. This decision thing has help me to see that as much as I have the power to choose a path, I also have the power to change that path. It is such a simple concept but once I started to understand it, it helped me from thinking one choice will ruin my life. If I chose a path and after a bit realized I no longer liked where it was taking me, all I would have to do is choose another. It takes away the pressure of having to perform or be perfect so that no one knows you messed up. Just as a baby is encouraged to get right back up and try again when learning to walk, the things we think are failures the Father just says, "child get up, you can do this, just try again." So, are we ever ready when life throws at us all these adult decisions, no, but that's okay. The only things we must do is choose and try our best. 

rd.

Sunday Brunch

This is the power of gathering: it inspires us to be more hopeful, more joyful, more thoughtful. In a word, more alive. - Alice Walker

I love gatherings, especially the ones filled with good company, great convo, and food! We don't always take the time to intentionally gathering and talk about life but I know that my life doesn't function without it. I need community. Seeing as my love language is quality time this filled my love tank to be surrounded by wonderful women and discuss our passions, history, and dreams. If possible this would happen weekly, but for now I will just enjoy and bask in the opportunities to gather. Enjoy!

rd.