How To Balance The Addiction To Social Media

This technology addiction has been something I've struggled with off and on since social media became a thing. It all started with MySpace, which then led me to blogging, then Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Periscope, and most recently, Snap Chat. These are all great platforms and have been very beneficial to me in more ways than one. 

Buuuut, we CAN have too much of a good thing. I always start out with good intentions. To share my passions, life lessons, inspirational messages, make connections and to build relationships.  Then somehow it turns into this stressful rat race that leaves me feeling overwhelmed, inadequate, doubting myself, and completely off balance. I always wonder, how did I get back in this place yet AGAIN? 

I blog because it provides a need, it's therapeutic and gives me that creative outlet. All the other social media platforms is connected to that same purpose. But somehow I get sucked into the dark hole of addiction which makes me feel trapped, like I literally don't have control. I can't leave my phone for even a minute, there is always something I need to check and messages I need to reply to. Most of us check our tech compulsively and studies show an outrageous number of our population get anxious, actual anxietyif disconnected for too long.

So last week I told Sean I was REALLY going to take an entire week off of social media. I planned to do it next week, but realized I had already made certain commitments. Then I thought the following week would work. Nope, too much going on. Ugh, and then begins the never ending cycle once again. I feel too committed to my phone. I seriously don't even know what it would be like to go that long without it. I've done phone fasts on Sunday's and that has been really good for me, but I think I need an entire week. To go a whole week? Now that would be a sacrifice, which is something we need to do periodically in life. Sacrifice is the ultimate strength and character builder.  

Sometimes I imagine what it would be like to live on a farm 100 years ago, with no technology, just living every day in the present moment. Seems so beautiful and peaceful. I need more of this in my life. I need it for me and I need it for my children.

Photo by Hosanna Joleen

So like I said, technology can be such a great thing, but I think it's something that can easily take over if we don't reign it in. Our multitasking often works against us. We think we are being so productive be responding to emails and playing with our kids at the same time. 

I want more time of stillness and less distractions. 

So am I capable of doing a full week without technology? Well now that I put it out there and I even told Sean I would do it, I kinda have to follow through. Yikes. Okay, here goes, I'm committing to this once and for all. I can't FAIL in front of all of you now can I?

We all find ourselves in some form of addiction through out our lives. Whether it be food, sugar, tv, work, alcohol, caffeine, perscription drugs, technology, cleaning, ect. Most of these things are okay in small dosages, but we all know when it's reached an unhealthy level. That's when we need to make some changes. We are here to overcome the natural desires of man. We become better and grow into the people God wants us to be, be resisting temptations and rising above the things that hold us hostage. 

Sometimes we need to do things just to prove to ourselves that we CAN. Like natural birth for example. I know lots of people that think natural birth is crazy, why would a women choose to do this? Modern medicine has come a long way, why would we CHOOSE pain when we don't have to?

Like I said, sometimes we choose hard things in order for us to grow and enhance our belief system. Every time we do something incredibly hard, we feel strong, more confident, and full of power to do good. 

P.S. This week I have some exciting things happening so therefore I can't do me 1 week phone fast just yet. I will keep you posted when I start and also will be documenting my experience throughout the week without technology so that I can come back with lots of insights to share.
So the exciting things happening this week are #1 I'M GOING TO BE ON GOOD THINGS UTAH Friday morning, will be talking about how to make Kombucha from home. And #2 I'm teaching a class on how to make Kombucha. So if you're local and would like to come to my FREE class on Tuesday night at 7:00, sign up HERE to recieve the email with all the deets.

You Were Made To Make A Difference

I've been reading this new book called Outlive Your Life: You Were Made to Make A Difference. It has really opened up my eyes and gave me a new outlook on how I'm living my life. I love the spoken truth right there in the title, "you were made to make a difference".   Each and every one of us are here for a special purpose, and we CAN make a difference.  So many people succumb to the idea that things are the way they are and there's nothing we can do about it.
Life is about becoming the best WE can be, and hopefully lifting others in the process. There was a part in this book that really stood out to me.

"If you are in Christ, God's Spirit will speak through you.
Let God unshell you.  And when he does, "make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that"(Gal. 6:4).  Don't miss the opportunity to discover your language.
With whom do you feel most fluent? Teenagers? Drug addicts? The elderly? You may be tongue-tied around children but eloquent with executives. This is how God designed you. "God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well" (Rom. 12:6).
For whom do you feel most compassion?"

This part spoke to me in such a way, I immediately felt inspired to DO something about it.  An idea just came out of nowhere, but it was loud and clear. I thought to myself, I need to share my story more with teenage girls, including my own daughters as they enter into those emotionally challenging years. 

 I've never thought to do this before, but I feel like this is something I should do more of. So many thoughts and idea's I could expand on, and boy do I have some stories to share. It would be all about self worth of course, because those were the years I felt I had none. I always think, if only I could go back as the person I am now. It would have been a much better experience. I would have studied more, worried less about boys, and focused on reaching out to those who were in need of a friend.

I'll never forget this boy in one of my classes. He kept to himself most of the time. Nobody ever even noticed him, including myself. He actually sat right in front of me and I never said a single word to him.

Later that year he committed suicide.

I can't help but think, WHAT IF...

What if I had reached out to him. What if I took interest in him, talked to him, cared about him.

Could I have made a difference? 

I love how the author in this book talks about figuring out what our language is. That's what it's all about. We need to be actively using those gifts God has given us. They are meant to be used to MAKE A DIFFERENCE, in our lives and the lives of others.

Here's one of my favorite stories, and one I frequently read while I was on my mission.

There was a young man walking down a deserted beach just before dawn in the distance he saw a frail old man. As he approached the old man, he saw him picking up stranded starfish and throwing them back into the sea. The young man gazed in wonder as the old man again and again threw the small starfish from the sand to the water. He asked "Old man, why do you spend so much energy doing what seems to be a waste of time?" The old man explained that the stranded starfish would die if left in the morning sun. But there must be thousands of beaches and millions of starfish! "How can you make a difference?" The old man looked down at the small starfish in his hand and as he threw it to the safety of the sea, he said "I MAKE A DIFFERENCE TO THIS ONE." - unknown

What is your language? And what can YOU do to make a difference?

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Not Everybody Is Going To Like You

Did you ever think back in high school that you'd still be dealing with feelings of being left out or not part of the "popular" crowd? I sure didn't. I've dealt with these experiences off and on through out my life but never forsaw my 35 year old self dealing with the same feelings I felt back in grade school. We all have a deep desire to fit in, to have friends, to be liked, and validated. 

Life brings us challenges that we must overcome otherwise they repeat themselves until the lesson is learned.

So who cares that I didn't get invited to the party, the girls night, the baby shower, the wedding, the fancy event, ect. Does that really mean I'm not a lovable person? That I don't have friends that appreciate and support me? No! 

So why do we FEEL this way when we didn't get the invite? Why do we allow ONE thing to bring us down and forget all the wonderful things in our lives?

We can't ALL be included in EVERYTHING. We need to take our turn. Everybody has experienced the feeling of being left out, but most likely we have also experienced the thrill and excitement of being a part of a great group of friends or invited to the awesome party.  So lets focus on all the good in our lives and allow others to have THEIR TURN in recieving good things.

So as I'm sitting here being consumed with these thoughts, I'm reminded of my role as a mother. Trying to shift my focus and remember the messages and lessons that I hope to pass on to my own daughter. First one being DON'T TAKE THINGS PERSONALLY.

My favorite quote by Joel Osteen is: 

"Many people let negative words or other peoples opinions ruin their lives. They live to please other people and honestly think that they can be happy by trying to keep everyone else happy. They don't want anybody to say a negative thing about them. That's simply impossible. You have to accept that not everyone is going to like you, not everybody is going to accept you, and you certainly cannot keep everyone happy. Some people will find fault no matter what you do."

It's human nature to want love and acceptance, but we can't win them all.

Social media can do crazy things to ones self-esteem. We are constantly comparing ourselves with others. We get a peak inside someone else's life and we can't help but think that their life is a little better than our own. We think,  if only I had this, if only I lived there, if only they were MY friends. We somehow think that if our lives were a little more like someone else's THEN we would be happier. What we fail to remember is that nobody's life is perfect. Maybe they have a nice house but their marriage is failing. Maybe they have a huge social media following but feel lonely inside. Perhaps they have amazing friends but struggle with their weight. They may have been blessed with physical beauty but struggle with self doubt. There is opposition in all things.

We all have struggles. Things that we've dealt with in the past, things that we are dealing with now and things we will have to endure in the future. We don't typically share the things we struggle with, not necessarily because we are trying to portray a perfect life. Let's be honest, nobody wants to get on social media and hear people complaining all day. We like HAPPY, it's what draws us in. 

I hope that I can get a little better at loving myself and having gratitude in my heart. Instead of focusing on the negative, I want to focus on all the good in my life. There is always good to seen, we just often times forget to recognize it because all our energy is going towards trying to fit in or getting people to notice us, love us and appreciate us. It's such a selfish way of living right? What a narcasistic way of thinking. Why not take the focus off ourselves just a little and GIVE what we desire to receive. It will have the same affect as if it were happening to us.

Another one of my favorite quotes by Joel Osteen in his sermon about not wasting your pain and using it to lift others.

"God will allow you to take your mess, and turn it into your message. The reason God allowed it , is because he trusts you. Your pain could be for a different purpose. Don't take on a victim mentality. You will come out better, and will help others in the area."

One of the best parts about having a blog is that it's extremely theraputic and also gives me great purpose while using my pain to help others. It's always nice to know that we are not alone and that others experience the same kinds of emotions. Maybe not exactly, but we all struggle every now and then.

You might also like to read 12 Steps to a Better Day & The Wrong Road.

Feeling Beautiful At Any Age

I’m reading this awesome book right now called Change It Up and I just read something so profound. I immediately grabbed my laptop because I felt you all should hear it too. Aging is not something we get too excited about, right?  I know in the past I’ve spent way too much time worrying about my saggy butt, stretched out tummy, age spots and fine lines. I’m slowly but surely learning what true beauty really means.

   “The way to feel beautiful at any age, with any body, is to shift the focus. We no longer need people to look at us to feel beautiful–we need to look AT PEOPLE. We become the mirror for them. Beauty, real beauty, truly is in the eyes of the beholder and not the “beheld”. The beholder feels beautiful herself because she loves what she beholds.

When our toddlers throw their arms up into the air for us to scoop them up, we feel beautiful. When our husbands run to greet us when he returns home from a long trip, we feel beautiful. When our children get married and tell us they’re expecting their first child, we feel beautiful. None of those feelings requires that we look any certain way for other people to admire. We can be thin or heavy, wrinkled or smooth, tan or pale, weak or strong. We can “let ourselves go” or stay in perfect shape. We can be exactly the way we are right now at this moment… and we can be the way we’ll be in five years and twenty years and beyond. We can age without any concern for stretching our face until it feels smooth. The feeling of beauty requires only that we look at the objects of our love and devotion.
This is finally it–the end of needing to be seen, and the beginning of seeing.”

-Amanda Dickson

Don’t you love that! She just said it so perfectly! I’m beginning to understand this more as time goes on. It’s simply switching our focus and being grateful for each moment we have with the ones we love. I truly feel beautiful when I hold my babies, care for them and love them. It’s really amazing how this works. No more worrying about our aging bodies, and lets focus more on SEEING the beauty in others and loving our skin and bodies just they way they are.

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