“Walk like you’re one inch taller.”
Dawn, my new physical therapist, was coaching me to walk properly last week. She’s helping me to improve my posture and alignment in order to heal from birth injuries.
As you’d imagine, I’m taking this work seriously. I’m on time for every appointment, giving each exercise my all.
But those six words nearly stopped me in my tracks.
The ears of my soul perked up, like a cat at the sound of kibble. That’s what my body feels like when it hears something true, my inner animal snaps to attention.
Walk like you’re one inch taller.
Have you ever tried this? It’s amazing, really – give it a go and you’ll see. There’s a lovely kind of lightness that comes when you pretend to take up just a little bit more space.
Only … it’s not really pretend. That’s what I realized as I walked back and forth across the room with Dawn.
I’m 5’7″, but often I walk around as though I’m an inch or two shorter. Sometimes I slouch, even though I know better. I take up less space than I’ve been given.
And over time, I forget how tall I really am.
Does this ring a bell for you, dear one?
Do you own your full height – your full strength, your full courage – or do you shrink down?
Do you walk into rooms proudly, with your head held high, or do you scuttle in like you don’t deserve to be there at all?
Do you make yourself smaller so that other people will feel more comfortable around you?
Have you forgotten how strong and capable YOU really are?
If so, you’re not the only one. I know how easy it is to forget your own power. There I was, walking around stooped when actually I am a total badass.
I’ve gone through enough to claim that word for myself. Most recently, I gave birth to an 8lb 14oz baby “naturally.” I managed my mind and leaned (literally and metaphorically) on an amazing support team.
Still, the latter part of labor was like being in a street fight with my own body. I honestly do not know how I got through it. My body did incredible work then, and it’s doing incredible work healing now.
Remember Who You Are.
I bet you’ve been through tough things in your time, too. I bet you’ve survived some scary stuff. And there’s a lot of power in simply remembering who you are.
You are the person who survived that trauma.
You are the person who walked through hell with someone you loved.
You are the person who took a risk and refused to give up.
Honey, I see you. And I’m writing you this today to remind you: You get to walk around like you’re one inch taller. You get to enjoy that feeling of lightness and expansion.
Not because it’s a lie, but because it’s the TRUTH.
You are bigger and braver than you give yourself credit for.
I can practically hear you objecting: “But Caroline! I feel scared a lot of the time!”
To which I’ll just say: Me too. There’s a part of me that’s reluctant to write this. Sharing about birth injuries feels scary to me.
But I also know better than to let fear drive the bus.
I’m writing this because I believe – no, I KNOW – that someone out there needs to hear it.
It’s my job to write what wants to come through, to get my ego out of the way in order to be of service.
And when we let ourselves do this, we become light bearers. We bring light and hope into the world. There is no greater honor.
Walk like you’re one inch taller today, friend. Do it scared. Do it anyway.
We need the light that only you can bring.
Caroline Garnet McGraw is the author of You Don’t Owe Anyone: Free Yourself from the Weight of Expectations (Broadleaf Books, 2021). Read the first chapter for free and start living your life without apology.
Image courtesy of CoWomen.
Are you looking for great inspirational family quotes?
Here are some beautiful family quotes, gathered from various sources.
You will find here quotes about family love, short family quotes, and also funny and cute family quotes.
Family is important to all people, even if sometimes there are misunderstandings, disputes and disagreements.
Sometimes, the relationships within the family are complicated. There might be hurt feelings and resentments. Yet, even if there is anger and separation, there is still love inside that can mend broken relations.
Family is like a haven, where ships go for protection from the storm. Family is where you feel protected and safe.
May these quotes about family bring love, understanding, and improvement of your relationship with your family.
Family Quotes and Sayings
“Family means no one gets left behind or forgotten.”
“Some of the most important conversations I’ve ever had occurred at my family’s dinner table.”
“Other things may change us, but we start and end with the family.”
“Being a family means you are a part of something very wonderful. It means you will love and be loved for the rest of your life.”
“My family is my life, and everything else comes second as far as what’s important to me.”
“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.”
“What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.”
“Family and friends are hidden treasures, seek them and enjoy their riches.”
“Nothing is better than going home to family and eating good food and relaxing.”
“The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life.”
“There is no doubt that it is around the family and the home that all the greatest virtues, the most dominating virtues of human, are created, strengthened and maintained.”
“A man should never neglect his family for business.”
“If you are too busy to enjoy quality time with your family, then you need to re-evaluate your priorities.”
“Everyone needs a house to live in, but a supportive family is what builds a home.”
“Families are the compass that guides us. They are the inspiration to reach great heights, and our comfort when we occasionally falter.”
“To us, family means putting your arms around each other and being there.”
“When trouble comes, it’s your family that supports you.”
“In family life, love is the oil that eases friction, the cement that binds closer together.”
Family Love Quotes
“I sustain myself with the love of family.”
“Being a family means you are a part of something very wonderful. It means you will love and be loved for the rest of your life.”
“It didn’t matter how big our house was; it mattered that there was love in it.”
“So much of what is best in us is bound up in our love of family, that it remains the measure of our stability because it measures our sense of loyalty.”
“The most important thing in the world is family and love.”
“Home should be an anchor, a port in a storm, a refuge, a happy place in which to dwell, a place where we are loved and where we can love.”
Short Family Quotes
“The family is one of nature’s masterpieces.”
“A happy family is but an earlier heaven.”
“Life is beautiful. It’s about giving. It’s about family.”
“Families are like fudge–mostly sweet, with a few nuts.”
“I have a wonderful shelter, which is my family.”
Funny Family Quotes
There can be fun and humor in family life. Here are humorous and funny family quotes that bring a smile to the face.
“Being part of a family means smiling for photos.”
“Family makes a house a home.”
“I think the family is the place where the most ridiculous and least respectable things in the world go on.”
“I grew up with six brothers. That’s how I learned to dance -waiting for the bathroom.”
“Having a child makes you a parent; having two, you are a referee.”
“I realized my family was funny, because nobody ever wanted to leave our house.”
“All of us have moments in our lives that test our courage. Taking children into a house with white carpet is one of them.”
“The other night I ate at a real nice family restaurant. Every table had an argument going.”
“Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.”
Cute Family Quotes
“Rejoice with your family in the beautiful land of life.”
“To understand your parents’ love, you must raise children yourself.”
“At home you can do crazy things without being judged.”
“where there is a family, there is a home.”
“The family is one of nature’s masterpieces.”
“I have learned that to be with those I like is enough.”
Inspired New Year’s Intentions
In these challenging times, amidst the pandemic, climate disruption, calls for social and racial justice, and our own personal challenges, we too can pause, quiet ourselves and dedicate ourselves to our best intentions. Setting a long-term intention is like setting the compass of our heart. No matter how rough the storms, how difficult the terrain, even if we have to backtrack around obstacles, our direction is clear. The fruits of dedication are visible in the best of human endeavors.
At times our dedications are practical: to learn to play the piano well, to build a thriving business, to plant and grow a beautiful garden. But there are overarching dedications as well. We might dedicate our life to prayer, commit ourselves to unwavering truthfulness or to work for world peace. These overarching dedications set the compass of our life, regardless of the outer conditions. They give us direction and meaning.
I heard a story about an inner-city school principal who spent part of her evenings making sandwiches for the homeless. After she finished she would travel around the poorer parts of her neighborhood and distribute them. Even though her day was already full, this evening activity didn’t overwhelm her. It actually made her happy. She didn’t do it out of guilt, duty, or external pressure. They were hungry. She had food. She shared in a way that made a difference for her. Even when she was rebuffed by those to whom she offered food on the street, she didn’t feel rejected or angry, because she wasn’t doing it for the acceptance or appreciation. After some time the local media heard what she was doing and printed a story about her. Instantly she became a minor celebrity. Her fellow teachers and friends started sending her money to support her work. Much to their surprise, she sent back the money to everyone with a one-line note that said: “Make your own damn sandwiches!”
When we read something like this it is inspiring. It touches our own innate nobility and courage. But it can also bring up guilt and self-doubt: What about me? Am I doing enough?
It is good to question our own dedication, even if it makes us uncomfortable. To what have we dedicated our life? How deeply do we carry this dedication? Is it time to rededicate our life? We have to be true to our own way.
As you begin the New Year, take some time to sit and quietly reflect. If today you were to set or reaffirm a long-term intention, a vow, your heart’s direction, what would it be? It might be as simple as “I vow to be kind.” It might be a vow to build a healthy business, establish a truly loving family. It might be an intention to dedicate yourself to the healing or care of others, or to fearlessly express your creativity in the world. Once you have a sense of your long-term dedication, write it down. Then put it someplace where you keep special things. Now, as you go through the year, let it be your compass—your underlying direction—in spite of changing outer circumstances. Let it carry you.
Thomas Merton once advised a frustrated young activist, “Do not depend on the hope of results. . . . you may have to face the fact that your work will be apparently worthless and even achieve no result at all, if not perhaps results opposite to what you expect. As you get used to this idea, you start more and more to concentrate not on the results but on the value, the rightness, the truth of the work itself.” By aligning our dedication with our highest intention, we chart the course of our whole being. Then no matter how hard the voyage and how big the setbacks, we know where we are headed.
Every year around the holiday season, there’s a mood in the air. Can you feel it?
For some it’s the mood of peace and cheer.
But not for everyone. For others, there’s a dread and anxiousness. What is it that you feel?
A Ba-Humbug mentality that pervades your thoughts
We all have our own reasons for what we feel about the holidays. We might decorate our houses with lights and trees and candy canes. Or we might get festive in different ways.
I actually don’t do a lot of decorating for the holidays, so maybe you’re like me in that way.
At the heart of all the holiday/Christmas season is a spirit of warmth and peace. But not everyone experiences or feels this sentiment.
For some people, the holidays just suck. Family interactions can be strained and difficult.
Demanding relatives, passive aggressive personalities, guilt trips, chaotic exchanges. All these factors contribute to a high level of anxiety that can grip you in its claws from Thanksgiving until the new year.
Other people feel loss during the holidays, because they don’t have people in their lives who used to be close. Either through death, separation, or loss (i.e. divorce), the loneliness that comes with the holidays can be debilitating and stressful.
If you feel anxiety before the holiday season, you’re not alone. If you’re dreading the travel and interactions in front of you, let’s look at an alternative to fostering all this tension.
Are you going to just completely change your holiday plans and NOT see your family this year? Probably not. So you can either dread the month of December or you can do something different.
What would it feel like to not let the holiday season overwhelm you? It’d feel like something out of a movie. Maybe even a little like peace.
Laughter, happiness, enjoyment, fun, calmness, tranquility, rest, comfort.
The stuff in those movies that we’re all so fond of. White Christmas, It’s A Wonderful Life, Elf, and even Love Actually all have elements of people experiencing peace and joy during a somewhat stressful time. Is that real? Or is that Hollywood?
You may have strife in your family dynamic or with the people you spend the holidays with. No family is perfect.
There may even be a few toxic personalities you wish you could avoid. Or folks who you don’t agree with, and you’re not looking forward to them popping off with their deep opinions on all the things you’re not doing right.
Your feelings and your thoughts are up to you to control and change.
You can’t control the actions, attitudes, and behaviors of other people. And while you may have plenty of examples from the past about why Uncle Jack is an asshole every year, you don’t have to let his antics control your thoughts or beliefs about the holidays.
And you certainly don’t have to let anyone’s attitude negatively control your personal peace.
The only person who gets to be inside your head and control your thoughts is you. No one else. If you choose to be anxious, that’s your choice. No one else can make you feel that way.
If that makes you upset, it’s still your choice my friend.
What you think about is what you focus on. What you focus on grows.
By focusing on the stuff that you don’t like, even the attitudes and behaviors of people that don’t make you feel good, only makes those thoughts intensify. Which increases the anxiety and dread.
All that built up tension you bring with you to your holiday destination gets to get amped up even more because you’re so focused on the worst possible outcome.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Try this: adopt a different perspective.
The difference between shifting perspective and thinking positively
I’m not talking about “just think positive thoughts and everything will be ok.” That’s not real nor is it healthy. It’s rose colored frames on blurry glasses.
You can try on a different pair of glasses altogether and shift the perspective. See something different than the tension you’re focused on?
Start with yourself. That’s the only person you’re in control of.
Shift your mindset out of focusing on what frustrates and stresses you out, about anyone or even about yourself. Shift into focusing on what you love about the people in your life.
You will find what you search for. Whatever it is that you seek and look for, you’re going to find it.
That’s why when you focus so intently on the tension, drama, pain, and stress you feel around certain people, you experience more and more of it. What you focus on will appear all over the place.
Experiencing the holidays after heartbreak and the end of a relationship
The first Christmas I had after the end of my marriage was particularly challenging. I have a loving and generous family. They welcomed me and my silent state.
It was hard to talk about much, because I’d spent so much of the year feeling like a failure and unloveable. Having a safe place to just be is so essential to your healing and your mental health.
This is true during the holiday season especially, when some interactions with family can create tension and stress. You don’t want to add to the hurt you’re feeling already, so you try to hide away. Which can create a different kind of tension.
The more you allow yourself to plant love inside your mind and your heart and choose to love yourself, the easier it gets to be around people again. No matter what, it’s important to practice healthy boundaries in your interactions with people, family or otherwise.
If you don’t want to talk or share something, you don’t have to. Respect yourself and your own levels of comfort talking about your pain and your road to healing.
How to shift your focus to bring about peace instead of anxiety
Shifting from focusing on what you don’t like and into what you admire and value creates a different dynamic. It changes the energy in whatever place you’re in.
It creates an atmosphere of peace, where there might have been something else.
How do you create this shift?
Here are a few simple steps to take to shift your perspective, and create a more peaceful energy experience for yourself and others:
- Decide you want to feel good, be at peace, and live in harmony with everyone in your life (including your family/relatives)
- Make a declaration to yourself: “I choose to feel good. I want to live in peace. I value my family and my relationships.”
- Take a deep breath and tell yourself that you’re responsible for you and no one else.
- Let yourself be at peace and feel it.
You do you. You control you. If you don’t want anxiety and stress during the holiday season, take your mind off of what’s gripping you in tension and focus on love, peace, and beauty.
Simple right? It’s simple. But it’s not easy.
* This blog article was originally published at dgrantsmith.com.
D Grant Smith is known as the Growth Farmer, which means he has an old-fashioned approach to living a whole & healthy life. Get his free ebook called Love Is The Seed To Success, that gives help in healing relationships and growing healthy ones. His new book Be Solid: How To Go Through Hell & Come Out Whole is about the journey into self-love and self-care after heartbreak and personal loss. He’s an empowerment superhero who would love to give you encouragement so feel free to reach out!
Explore these quick reflections as ways to bring more awareness of gratitude to any moment.
The post 4 Ways Noticing What’s Present Can Boost Gratitude appeared first on Mindful.
Original broadcast date: June 11, 2021. Oceans cover nearly 75% of the Earth. While they seem vast and frightening, they’re also enchanting and whimsical. This hour, TED speakers dive into stories of connection — and even love — in the sea. Guests include adventurer Catherine Mohr, marine biologists Marah Hardt and Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and venom scientist Mandë Holford.
Nearly two years ago, on a chilly winter’s evening in December, as I was sitting in the dark of my living room, staring in wonder at the comforting luminescence of my Christmas tree while indulging in a glass of Mom Juice (trust me, after this particular day, I had earned several), I found myself contemplating the question my (at the time) nine-(going on 17)-year old had asked earlier in the day.
“Mom. Is Santa real?”
More specifically, “Are parents Santa?”.
Knowing this day would eventually come, but not at all prepared when it arrived with no warning, while driving to our third Christmas event of the day, it was all I could do to keep my eyes from tearing up and quickly plunging into Full-On-Momma-Melt-Down-Mach-IV.
Gathering my wits as gracefully as possible, when feeling as sliced open as a freshly baked Thanksgiving turkey, I responded the only way I knew how. The way my Mother responded when I asked the same question many years ago, with no clue the significance of import this one single question (rather answer) has on one’s own rapidly developing belief system.
Yes, I believe in Santa.
I believe in what he represents. Not necessarily a jolly old elf with cherry red lips and a belly like a bowl full of jelly.
Rather, I believe in:
- the kindness of strangers
- the hope for a miracle
- the emerging faith that grows through life’s inevitable storms
- the illuminating magic of childhood
- the innocence of youth
- the giving and receiving of specially selected and well-thought-out gifts to represent love, adoration, and well-wishes to those we hold near and dear in our hearts
I believe that, like the gift of the Magi, Santa Clause represents so much more than meets the eye in the commercialized version we all know so well. One of my favorite pictures is an old-fashioned Santa kneeling at the manger. Sacrilege, some might say. But really, don’t they stand for the same thing? Infinite love, giving, receiving, caring, sharing, sacrifice, and thanksgiving. After all, Jesus was and always will be, the greatest gift ever given from the most loving, generous, selfless Father the world will ever know.
So ‘Yes’, I told my son. Even at the rife old age of 40 (now nearly 42), I still believe. I hope I always will. And more than anything, I hope your belief outlives the skepticism of the world around you. Life is much fuller lived with hope for miracles, faith like a child, and good old-fashioned, unabridged, all-in……BELIEF in the magic we cannot see, but feel deep in the recesses of our human hearts.
Manndi Maphies DeBoef works at the UMKC School of Pharmacy at Missouri State University. She also enjoys freelance writing. Her greatest passion is being a boy mom to her two sons, William and Waylan, who never fail to provide daily entertainment, which inspires many of her writings. She writes about everything from being a single mom and dating after divorce to finding love later in life, the devastation of miscarriage, the loss of a loved one and starting over. Her pieces are lovingly filled with inspiration, encouragement, and always a touch of humor. “Live a life worth writing about.”
Image courtesy of Julia Larson.