Mindful Living Challenge – Listening To Understand {Week Eleven}

Mindful Living Challenge – Listening To Understand {Week Eleven}

“Listen. People start to heal the moment they feel heard.” – Cheryl Richardson

While browsing online for potential topics to include in this challenge, I have ended up coming across some important life lessons that I’m excited to write about and share.

One thing I’ve never thought much about being mindful of are the conversations we have with others.

When we interact with other people, what is usually our ultimate goal in the conversation? Is it to hear the other party’s view on things? Or is it to successfully get our point across?

I think that for most of our conversations, our goal would have to be the latter.

The majority of the time I’m talking to people, I have certain things and ideas that I want to share with them. That isn’t a bad thing in itself, but it becomes negative very quickly when we interject and slight the other party(ies) in our impatience for our turn to talk again.

To have an effective and constructive conversation, both sides need to be heard.

Whether you’re having an argument, debate, or a friendly discussion, everyone should be allowed to talk and, in turn, everyone deserves an attentive response. Sometimes, we’ll be so busy coming up with what we want to say next that we tune out the other person. Think about it – when you’ve shared something with someone that you’d appreciate feedback on, how discouraging is it when they absently “agree” with what you said, then proceed to talk about what they were thinking while you were talking?

I know that not all attention spans are the same, and I know different people in real life who struggle to balance listening and speaking, so it isn’t always an impatience issue. But I would like to challenge all of us to be more mindful (that’s the point of the challenge, right? haha) of our conversations with others – that we’d defend the quieter people who usually get talked over. In fact, that’s another point I want to make in this post:

One of our main goals in our conversations should always be to care about what other people say.

When I am excitedly discussing something with someone I love, I deeply appreciate it when they take in every word I say and then proceed to respond to my thoughts on the topic. I also enjoy hearing about their thoughts, but to really maintain a connection with someone, we have to be willing to give of our time, because listening to understand is the backbone of a good conversation.

So, I’d like to challenge you to make listening to understand your goal in all conversations this week. It can be tough to wait for our turn to talk when we have things we’re wanting to say, but I can assure you that it will be extremely rewarding to give the people in your life your listening ears. ❤

Why I Want To Listen To Understand:

  • I want every conversation I have to be based upon effective communication.
  • I want to put more effort into understanding others’ opinions and respecting them.
  • I want to do for others as I would have them do for me.

Why do you want to listen to understand?
Will you join me on this challenge?

“Be as passionate about listening as you are about wanting to be heard.” – Brené Brown

Mindful Living Challenge – Avoiding Procrastination {Week Ten}

Mindful Living Challenge – Avoiding Procrastination {Week Ten}

“Waiting is just delaying your desired result.” – Kylie Francis

Any time I have a project that I’ve been putting off working on for a long time, my automatic response to being reminded of it is, I’ll do that another time.

My closet is a prime example of this. It will take a lot of work to empty it, decide on what I want to keep and what I want to throw out, then organize it back into a closet again. I look at big projects as one huge step instead of many little steps, which is what they actually are!

We tend to see various life changes, projects, etc. as huge things, instead of a sequence of many tiny things.

It’s easy for us to put off starting something (or finishing something) because our focus is the end result, which will always seems insurmountable.

When I decided two summers ago that I wanted to start drinking the right amount of water for my body, I knew that I wouldn’t get to that point in one day. I broke it down into steps, and I ended up learning so much along the way. It was discouraging sometimes, because for weeks, I had to force myself to drink water when I wasn’t even thirsty. However, I stayed focus on the end result while working toward it in a progressive, attainable manner. Instead of being discouraged by the fact that my body couldn’t handle sufficient hydration at first (i.e. I started retaining water), I knew that through work and determination, I would be able to comfortably drink eight glasses of water one day.

Recommended Post: Staying Hydrated: My 5 Tips

I think it’s crazy that so many people act like they’re proud procrastinators. I suppose they’re being sarcastic, but are they really owning the fact that they don’t get things done??

Making light of the fact that we don’t complete things we start is a dangerous way to live.

What if we were to instead rejoice over the fact that we’re always checking things off our to do list? I don’t think we should become self-conceited, or anything (haha), but it would be awesome if we all knew we were spending our days wisely. It feels lazy and wasteful to put things off, while in contrast, it feels so good to get things done!

This week, I’m encouraging you to avoid procrastination in this week of the Mindful Living Challenge. It can be a struggle to finally commit to a task or challenge you’ve been skirting for the longest time, but I can assure you, you will be so happy that you finally decided to do it today!

Here are some prompts for you to consider. You can answer them in the comments below if you’d like, but I also encourage you to simply answer them for yourself:

Is there anything in my life I’ve been putting off starting or completing?

Do I have everything I need to begin work on this thing?

What is stopping me from completing it?

Why do I want to do this thing in the first place?

What are my dream end results?

Why I Want To Avoid Procrastination:

  • Accomplishing things feels so much better than putting things off.
  • I want to learn the art of dedication and determination, even when I don’t exactly “feel” like it.
  • I want to spend my time as wisely as I can.
  • I want to look back at how I’ve prioritized and be proud of myself.
  • I want to enjoy my room without always feeling like there are huge projects that need doing.

Why do you want to avoid procrastination?
Will you join me on this challenge?

“A year from now, you’ll wish you’d started today.” – Unknown

Come visit my Christian living blog, Living For His Delightfor more inspiration and encouragement!

Mindful Living Challenge – Learning From Mistakes {Week Nine}

Mindful Living Challenge – Learning From Mistakes {Week Nine}

“Remember that life’s greatest lessons are usually learned at the worst times and from the worst mistakes.” – Unknown

Having perfectionistic tendencies have held me back from learning a great many lessons in life.

When I make a mistake, whether that’s in cooking, driving, gaming, blogging, crafting, etc., I feel very poorly about myself. Instead of being able to say, I’ll know what to do next time (or what not to do next time), I say to myself, Why didn’t you do the right thing THIS time?

I don’t really know what it means to take a situation and learn from it. Usually, I allow my mistakes to haunt me instead of teach me. If I say something stupid, or I make a simple mistake, I keep replaying it in my head, as if that will help me to work through it. I’m tired of doing this to myself.

Recently, the Lord has been helping me to see just how much my perfectionist nature is severely impacting my life in negative ways. It is because of what He’s teaching me that I’m writing this

I want to try new things, and I want to be fine if I fail. I want to see that even when something doesn’t come naturally to me, new skills and strengthened understanding are worth working for.

I want to play games, try out new recipes, attempt DIY projects, and expand my knowledge on various subjects and allow myself the room I need to grow. I don’t want to only participate in activities that come naturally to me; I want to move out of my comfort zone.

I want to enjoy trying new things without the need to always succeed.

I’m making learning from mistakes part of the Mindful Living Challenge because it’s something huge in my life that needs working on. I’m praying about it, thinking things through, and changing my views toward it, because I’m tired of living in the past and only doing what is easy.

I’m going to start accepting the fact that I’m human, that mistakes are inevitable and are actually necessary and beneficial, because that is how I will truly learn.

In the next few weeks, you will start seeing more creative / educational posts on my blog. One of my current focuses is trying new things, and any time those things don’t work out the way I think they will, I’ll stay positive and try again. I can’t wait to see where these optimistic changes will take me! ❤

Why I Want To Learn From Mistakes:

  • I want to start baking and crafting again (I stopped both because I was afraid of failing).
  • It is very important that I learn from the past instead of being burdened by it.
  • It will improve my overall quality of life.
  • I’ll be able to make progress and enjoy the process of learning.
  • I’ll become the person the Lord desires for me to be.

Why do you want to learn from mistakes?
Will you join me on this challenge?

“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” – Henry Ford

Come visit my Christian living blog, Living For His Delightfor more inspiration and encouragement!

Mindful Living Challenge – Ending Comparison {Week Eight}

Mindful Living Challenge – Ending Comparison {Week Eight}

“Admire others’ beauty without questioning your own.” – Unknown

Have you ever looked at someone else’s blog and instantly thought it looked better than yours?

I do that all the time.

We are so quick to compare ourselves to others. In nearly every situation we find ourselves in, there’s comparing going on. We either think that we’re better than others, or we’re worse off than they are, and usually it’s the latter that we feel.

It is so easy for us to look around and feel like what we have isn’t enough. I know this because I do it, too.

It makes me so sad when I grow discontent with my blog, fashion sense, facial features, body shape, relationship status, everything I have because at least one person has “more” than I do!

I wouldn’t go so far as to say that comparison is a bad habit, because comparison is our automatic response to interacting with the world. However, it’s what we do with that input that will make or break us.

Just because you don’t look like one beautiful person doesn’t mean you’re not beautiful yourself.

Just because you don’t own the same phone, or car, or clothes that someone else has doesn’t mean you aren’t extremely blessed.

Just because your blog has less followers than other blogs you follow doesn’t mean you don’t have a valuable audience.

It’s hard to be happy with what we have when we’re jealous of the world. I’ve been comparing myself to others for years, and that time spent worrying and fretting has yet to add worth to my life in any way.

There are healthy ways we can strive to be like others.

Let’s allow the people we admire to inspire us instead of bringing us down! Reach high for your goals instead of sitting in one place, stuck in the belief that you’ll never get to where others are. So much is possible if we put our minds to it and refuse to give up. Awesome things take time.

My prayer for you today is that you would not allow what you don’t have in life to bring you down. There is beauty to be found in what our futures hold. ❤

Why I Want To End Comparison:

  • I want to truly enjoy and appreciate my life.
  • I want to be happy for others without being jealous.
  • I want to be motivated by others’ success and passions.
  • I want to be content with what I have.
  • I want to embrace my own style and interests without invalidating them.

Why do you want to end comparison?
Will you join me on this challenge?

“Comparisons make you feel superior or inferior, neither serve a useful purpose.” – Unknown

Come visit my Christian living blog, Living For His Delightfor more inspiration and encouragement!

Mindful Living Challenge – Utilizing The Present {Week Seven}

Mindful Living Challenge – Utilizing The Present {Week Seven}

“We waste so many days waiting for the weekend. So many nights wanting morning. Our lust for future comfort is the biggest thief of life.” – Joshua Glenn Clark

Recently, I decided that I want to begin living in the present moment.

I cannot fix the past. I cannot predict the future. And it hurts so much when I attempt to do either of these things.

However, my mind wonders, what is the alternative?

For a very long time, I have looked toward the future for my happiness. I greatly desired to have things to anticipate and plan for, because if I didn’t, then what would I do with the present?

Learning from the past and planning for the future is something we hardly ever do in balance. I tend to be burdened by the wrong I’ve done, and just as equally troubled by the uncertainty of what’s to come.

However, what if I were to actually learn from my mistakes and set out to be a better person now? What if I were to live in such a way that every day of my life from this point forward would be filled with lasting purpose and contentment?

Both of these things are not too much to ask for; we simply have to change the way we look at our lives.

Where the Lord has me right now is not a mistake. Sure, I’d love to check some things off my bucket list (or even my daily to do list), and there are certainly things I wish I could erase from my past. But all of this is part of my story, and the Lord has called me to embrace it, one day and decision at a time. ❤

I’m going to live in such a way that the present is the best place for me to be. This is where we’re supposed to live, after all! There’s nothing wrong with considering what direction we want our lives to go, but there’s a healthy way to do so, and we all have to find that balance.

I’m making this topic part of the mindful living challenge because this is something I’m really focusing on and praying over at the moment. I hope that it will encourage you to do the same!

Why I Want To Utilize The Present:

  • Living in the past + stressing about the future takes away my present joy.
  • Making decisions now that will positively impact my future is the right way to live.
  • I want to be happy with whatever’s happening on any given day.
  • I want to accept change.
  • I want to learn from mistakes and circumstances and no longer be burdened by them.

Why do you want to utilize the present?
Will you join me on this challenge?

“I am learning every day to let the space between where I am and where I want to be inspire me and not terrify me.” – Unknown

Come visit my Christian living blog, Living For His Delightfor more inspiration and encouragement!

Mindful Living Challenge – Being A Patient Driver {Week Six}

Mindful Living Challenge – Being A Patient Driver {Week Six}

“Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?” – George Carlin

I am one out of the millions of drivers in the metro Atlanta area.

That fact alone has exposed me to a LOT of different situations on the road in my nearly four years of experience with driving. Much of that experience includes distraction, aggravation, uncertainty, and who knows what else, but one thing’s for sure: driving brings out the worst in people.

It is so easy to get frustrated at the person in front of you when they’re taking their time (either willfully or not) to keep moving. It’s also easy to spout off at the person who just broke a ton of traffic laws right in front of your eyes, cheating dozens of other drivers by recklessly maneuvering their way to the front of the line.

Busy roadways are a battlefield, both physically and mentally.

I’ve always had this thing for long drives. I love it when there aren’t many other people around, you can go the speed limit without a problem, and you get to have enjoyable conversations with whoever’s in the car with you. However, dealing with road rage and slow drivers on a regular basis has slowly but surely impacted the way I look at other drivers.

Most of the time, I’m just trying to stay alive, but when I let my emotions get in the way, I negatively respond to drivers who make unwise decisions on the road that we share.

It is so easy for me to fall into the habit of lashing out, simply because something (or someone) frustrates me. It’s the response my mind gravitates toward – it’s easier to say, “What the heck was that?!” than: “I’m just glad no one got hurt.

Our roads would be an infinitely safer place if everyone’s main goal was to make sure everyone stayed alive.

When I get upset at other drivers, that instantly puts me at risk. Emotional turmoil is one of the biggest dangers in driving, because if you’re upset about something, how much are you really thinking about the road in front of you?? That’s why staying focused on being a patient driver should be the #1 goal for all of us drivers.

This blog challenge is all about reminding myself (and anyone else who would like to follow along!) of the simple things we should continually be mindful of. These topics are, for the most part, present in our everyday lives, yet we don’t end up thinking much about them. They are little things we could work on that don’t seem like much by themselves – until we add all of them up. That’s when they become a big, combined issue!

If you have any ideas of what topics I could incorporate into this challenge, I’d love to hear them! Comment below or send me a message – I have to come up with 52 posts for this challenge, so I’d appreciate the help haha

Click here if you’d like to check out the last five posts in this series.

Why I Want To Be A Patient Driver:

  • I want to set a good example for my younger siblings.
  • I want to make my experience driving as safe as possible.
  • I want to be understanding of people instead of immediately judging.
  • I want to be more mindful of everything I say.
  • I want to be a safe driver.

Why do you want to be a patient driver?
Will you join me on this challenge?

“Patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting.” – Anonymous