Oola Challenge Day 9: Guilt

Here’s an excerpt from the Oola Guys:

Challenge 9: Guilt

The weight of guilt is heavy. Guilt can build and become a major OolaBlocker if it goes unresolved. However, it’s also through our flaws, imperfections, and mistakes that we have the greatest opportunity to grow individually and in our relationships with others. How amazing is it to have someone in your life who recognizes the heart behind all your mistakes? It’s pretty Oola if you ask us.

The problem is, we often can’t move on until we are willing to admit we were wrong. We feel guilty for the pain we’ve caused someone, but we struggle to apologize because we don’t know how to put our feelings into words.

Forgiveness is the greatest gift we can receive—from others and from ourselves.

Oh man. Again with the timing.

Today has been a really difficult day. And, actually, yesterday wasn’t so hot either. I learned that I inadvertently hurt some friends with my behavior in recent encounters. It was, of course, not my intention but I can see that intent doesn’t make much difference when the end result is pain, disappointment or betrayal of trust.

So, here I sit struggling to find the words. I want to be hurt too, if I’m honest. And, I am, truly. But, making excuses about stress, the snowball effect, my good intentions and holding on to expectations and the past…it doesn’t help anyone involved move on from what happened.

Swallowing your own pain and a healthy dose of pride is hard. But relationships matter more. They may never be the same, of course. I know that. And, it’s…heartbreaking. But giving someone closure and a chance to speak their side of the hurt…is valuable. Hopefully, it helps to repair the damage. Hopefully, it helps them let go of anger/frustration/confusion…or at least brings about some peace and understanding. One thing it brings, for certain, is greater self-awareness.

In some respects, apologies should be planned so as not to cause more pain inadvertently, but sometimes overanalyzing leads to procrastination and well…bad news doesn’t get better with time. Sometimes it’s better to rip the band-aid off. So, here goes nothing…

Oola Challenge Day 8: Fear

Here’s an excerpt from the Oola Guys:

Challenge 8: Fear

This past week we focused on the seven Fs of Oola that you need to balance and grow as you pursue your OolaLife. If you truly have a desire to live an OolaLife, it’s important to identify what traits and characteristics hold you back. At Oola, we call these the OolaBlockers. Although it may be a challenge to confront these blockers and look at yourself honestly, we know that when you remove the clutter in your life, you can build from a fresh place.

For most people, fear is the greatest obstacle in their pursuit of Oola. Don’t allow fear to prevent you from taking action that creates balance and growth in your life.

In order to do this, you must overcome fear by using the “ready, set, go” process. The first step to overcoming fear is to get ready. You must acknowledge that you are fearful of the situation that lies ahead and prepare for it.

Next, you must set fear in its place. What would your life look like if you let fear win?

The last step is “go.” This is the 20 seconds of courage you need to walk into the gym for the first time, talk on stage, attend a church, remove that toxic relationship, rid yourself of debt, get involved in your community, or host an event for your Young Living business.

Gahhh! His timing is always impeccable. I’m several days behind and playing catch up but….BAM! Just what I need. Just in time. Always. 🙌🏼

So….last Monday I took took command of the US Student Detachment at the Army’s Command and General Staff College. There are almost 1200 students in the course. This is basically the job I’ve worked my whole career for…the culmination of 18 years leading and taking care of troops. And observing others doing the same (the good, the bad, the ugly). I know I won’t do everything right but I hope I will do enough right and enough good, for the ones who need my help along the way, to make my mentors proud.

Tomorrow I give my first command brief in front of a packed auditorium. I’ve never been nervous about public speaking before but….this is different. That’s a crazy big audience and it’s a 2 hour brief! 😳

But y’all. It’s the finish line of my career. So…

Ready. Set. Go!

Oola Challenge Day 7: Fun

Here’s an excerpt from the Oola Guys:

Challenge 7: Fun

Have you ever caught yourself smiling while you’re doing something you love? When it’s almost impossible to hold it back, that’s OolaFun. Today’s #OolaYLChallenge is to do one activity or hobby that you used to enjoy but quit for whatever reason.

Enjoy the process of reflecting on your memories, schedule a little time for fun, and tap into the carefree joy of your youth. We bet you’ll be smiling.

Not gonna lie. This might be the hardest F of Oola. And I completely know how ridiculous that sounds. I mean….who doesn’t want more fun, right?

The thing is…I’m in a season of life right now where I legit don’t remember how to do it. Like…when I catch myself truly laughing…it’s a shock to my system and it makes me abruptly stop. Serious. It’s awful. No wonder it’s the shortest spoke on my Oola Wheel 😳

At each stage of life, the increased level of responsibility on a my plate seems to be directly proportional to the lack of fun. And lately, the level of responsibility has been growing.

I think it’s guilt really…which we will discuss more on a later day (as an Oola Blocker). But, I feel guilty pursuing fun stuff cause it probably means I’m ignoring something else that “needs” to be done. That makes perfect sense, right? 😂

But today. Today, I sat in the floor and played blocks with my kiddos…twice. Anna just wanted to take all the blocks apart. But, Casey was building us a brick house so we would be safe from the Big Bad Wolf 😳 And a train station. And a space ship. And a chair for his Nana. 💝

Too often I’ve let work come between me and these moments. Seeing life anew thru their eyes. The excitement, the wonder and the joy. It’s so precious and fleeting.

Someday they will know the guilt and responsibility. But for now, I’m refocusing. I want to protect this innocence (and benefit by association) for as long as possible.

Oola Challenge Day 6: Friends

Here’s an excerpt from the Oola Guys:

Challenge 6: Friends

Over the years you form relationships with many different people whom you consider your friends. And for better or for worse, the more time we spend with our friends, the more they shape who we become.

Positive friendships push you to pursue your dreams, but toxic relationships pull you further away from your OolaLife. Oola: Find Balance in an Unbalanced World talks about the importance of setting boundaries so you can harness the pure love from healthy relationships.

Today’s #OolaYLChallenge is to look at your current friendships and disengage from a negative one.

When you set a boundary in a negative relationship, you make more room for positive relationships.

I have long been a fan of the poem that says friends (and people in general really) are brought to our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime. They come to teach us something about ourselves, humanity, or life. To help us overcome obstacles, to build our character, to test and build our strength, to ignite our passions and more. It’s always impossible to know at the start of a relationship which one they will become. And it’s always hard when they don’t turn out to be the one you thought.

Y’all…my husband is my soul mate and I feel truly blessed to have him as my lifetime love. There is a song…”God Gave Me You” and every single word of that song. 🙌🏼 Those words hang above our bed flanked by newborn photos of Anna and Casey. They are my calm in every storm and he is my rock here on Earth. My gift from the Father.

Then there are the folks who become instant family. No matter the time, distance or life circumstance….they are always there….hovering and waiting in the background guaranteed to be there no matter day or night to help you thru a crisis, to talk you off the ledge (figurative or literal) and to hide the body if necessary 😂 Thank God for these angels in my life. My two besties, Sarah and Dani, have seen me at my best and loved me at my worst. They know my hopes, dreams and fears. They are fiercely protective and I know without hesitation that whether I want to vent, celebrate or fall apart…their arms and ears are open (along with the wine corks) and it’s a judgment free zone. I trust their counsel above most because they are truly my family.

Then….I think the military life is particularly “littered” with seasonal relationships simply because time, distance and life stages tend to cause a drift that eventually dilutes the relationship. It’s no one’s fault. It just happens. And we are left better off because we had this relationship that sustained us for a time.

And finally…the reason friends. Some were never really our friends and we just had to grow into ourselves to know this (think the mean girls in high school who you desperately craved approval from….or maybe that was just me). But others become deep, meaningful relationships that you thought would last a lifetime. Trust isn’t always easy to give but once lost…well, it’s damn hard to recover. When you realize that these relationships can’t weather the storm…that too much damage is done and trust is broken….ouch. Its that abrupt ending when you are left wanting more…that’s when the pain comes. Sometimes it triggers a positive change (in our lives, in ourselves, or towards the next chapter)…sometimes the end IS the positive change. And, like it or not….sometimes we were THEIR reason and we were the toxic relationship that had to go. No matter the ending, eventually we are able to see the lesson or to simply be grateful for the time/opportunity of having them be part of our lives.

But, I can say, without hesitation, that I’m so grateful for everyone I’ve ever known. Even when it hurt. Because they shaped me and this road. God doesn’t make mistakes. Two more songs…”I Hope You Dance” (and if you haven’t read Brene Brown’s “Daring Greatly” stop reading this and go get it) and “God Blessed The Broken Road” 😭❤️🙌🏼 These songs epitomize my friend philosophy.

I’ve had a “declutter” theme for the last two years. I’m constantly striving for (and often failing at) more positivity and less “stuff” in my life- physical (materials and obligations), emotional, mental. I’m a work in progress (the struggle is real). And, I’ve come to realize (even more lately) that I need to give more energy to those sustaining relationships. So, today as I put a couple drops of Friends™ essential oil blend on my palms, inhale, and say, “I am blessed with empowering, healthy relationships”, I am reflecting on these relationships and committing myself to doing a better job of prioritizing them and being sure they know how eternally grateful I am that God brought them into my life to stay. ❤️

And I’ll leave you with this little video cause I think it’s particularly relevant to this whole Oola Challenge…

Oola Challenge Day 5: Faith

Here’s an excerpt from the Oola Guys:

Challenge 5: Faith

Oola does not shy away from faith. Who and what you believe in is up to you, but we know that faith is rooted in gratitude, humility, and an understanding of your greater purpose in the world.

It’s easy to get caught up in our thoughts. We overanalyze, overthink, and overgeneralize. The patterns in our lives make it easy to get lost in our own minds. We wake up thinking, and we have a hard time falling asleep because our minds are running. Our thoughts can turn to worry, but guess what? It takes the same amount of energy to pray or meditate as it does to think.

Today’s #OolaYLChallenge is to meditate or pray about something as often as you think about it. To enhance your challenge today, end the day in gratitude. Think about the good and the bad of your day and what makes you grateful for both.

Boy. Both times I’ve done this…this one has kicked my rear.

In some respects, I find it easy to take a leap of faith. For example, when I met my husband…it was so easy to jump. Or…maybe it was the fear of missing out on a great love that drove me?

Now that I’m a mom, I realize fear might have motivated my leap into love…but faith kept me here and as a Mother, it will have to sustain me for the rest of my life. Cause there’s just no way to control or fully protect those parts of our hearts that walk freely outside the body, am I right?

But what about everything else? All the stuff and the other relationships, hopes and dream? Letting go and letting God? I struggle and fail so often. I will likely have to meditate and pray on this one everyday for the rest of my life. Every time I think I’m doing it…He sends me a wake up and I realize I’ve been backseat driving again.

I am so unbelievably grateful for the blessings in my life from my family and my health to my friends and my careers. I’ve been truly touched and shaped by so many other lives all because of the path I’ve walked and more importantly because of the times I let Him carry me. It all adds up to being uniquely and wonderfully made.

As I enter a new period in my military career full of challenges and as my oily organization grows and my legs and their legs become organizations of their own…I’m gonna have to learn to accept life in terms of faith.

So, I’m gonna let go. Close my eyes. And leap.

I have no doubt that, come what may, it will be Inspired if I let Him lead.

Oola Challenge Day 4: Field

Here’s an excerpt from the Oola Guys:

Challenge 4: Field

Field refers to your career or profession, including stay-at-home parents and students. There are two categories in OolaField. First is your day job. This is typically something you do to make ends meet. It isn’t your passion, but it pays the bills. The second category is your dream job. This is a job that makes you feel like you’re fulfilling your purpose. If money were no object, what would you do? For some, it’s growing their own business. Others may have a passion for writing, caretaking, or homemaking.

Unfortunately, it’s rare that you find people who make the most of every moment of their job, whether it’s their day job, their dream job, or somewhere in between.

Today’s #OolaYLChallenge is to find at least one way to give your all to the job you have today. You may not be in your dream job. You may not feel like you are serving your purpose. But every moment you make the most of your current opportunity, the closer you get to your OolaLife.

So…this day didn’t go as I had planned. But I’m glad I was focused and giving my all to what needed to be done.

I helped a mom with two young kiddos get medical and counseling support after a domestic violence incident. She moved to my installation only 3 days before. She knows no one. But…she has me.

And everyday lately I’m facing life changing decisions as a Commander. I didn’t write all the policies I have to enforce and I don’t agree with several that end up excluding Soldiers from training that could make or…completely derail their careers and leave them 10+ years invested looking for a new career simply because of luck, timing and circumstances (ranging from injury to cancer to pregnancy to substance abuse and PTSD). This might be the hardest thing I’ve ever done (besides motherhood) and I can tell (on only Day 2) that this is gonna be a huge test of my own resilience and it’s really gonna push me to seek “balance” in all areas of my life.

So…I’m super busy. I’m also missing this group like crazy. But once this transition period is done, I’ll have a much better plan for keeping up with all my daily passions.

Busy? Stressed? Mentally and physically exhausted? YES!

But I also feel like I have purpose and fulfillment in multiple areas of my life…and that’s been missing for awhile. ❤️

Oola Challenge Day 3: Family

Here’s an excerpt from the Oola Guys:

Challenge 3: Family

Have you ever felt like your presence is a present? It’s the feeling you get when gratitude overwhelms you because somehow you know you’re exactly where you’re meant to be with the people you’re meant to be with. You don’t feel pulled by something else or distracted—you just feel pure joy. These are the moments you’re so engaged with others that time seems to stop, and you wouldn’t really care if it did.

These moments seem to be increasingly rare. Social media steals our focus; alerts and notifications interrupt our interactions; and work obligations never stop running around in our mind long enough for us to appreciate the present moment.

Today’s #OolaYLChallenge is to put down your phone for three hours.

Ok. Let’s get real, people. I need to do a LOT of work on this one. But…that’s why they call it a challenge, right? 21 days of change, day 3…F is for Family. And, I just started a new position in my day job this week….so, things are really unpredictable for me at the moment. My goal over the next few weeks is to really study a daily “battle rhythm” (Army talk) and find a way to carve out some protected daily time to be offline putting my words into action.

Stay tuned on this one…

Oola Challenge Day 2: Finance

Here’s an excerpt of the challenge from the Oola Guys:

Challenge 2: Finance

Debt is very un-Oola. There are primarily three ways we use money: spending, giving, and saving. Most of us don’t have a problem spending it, but when it comes to giving and saving, we have a harder time.

Today’s challenge is to sacrifice something small today for something bigger. After you make your small sacrifice, put a couple drops of Finance™ essential oil blend in your palms, inhale, and say, “I am financially free and living abundantly.”

So….The goal was to sacrifice something I was planning to buy and donate that amount or save it towards another goal. Then, rub two drops of Finance on the palms and inhale.

Background…my husband stinks at gifts and celebrating birthdays, anniversaries and holidays. He fully admits to this.  It’s just not one of his love languages and it very much is for me (The 5 Love Languages is a great book that I highly recommend if you aren’t familiar).  Truth…I KNOW without a shred of doubt that he loves me. He supports me and he celebrates me everyday…in his way. But, I still get my feelings hurt. Selfish? Immature? Just human? Or maybe a girl thing? I dunno. Maybe yes to all of that. Either way…it makes me sad.

I read somewhere that we are often more disappointed by our own (uncommunicated) expectations than we are by other people. And it’s SO TRUE. So, I’ve been known to purchase my own gifts, cake, etc so that when he inevitably exclaims “oh snap- that’s today/this week/etc” – I won’t be totally disappointed.  Y’all…I’m turning 40 next month and I’m terrified of being disappointed by my expectations. Sigh.

But, I was reminded today, by one of my oil team leaders….you can’t pour from an empty cup. And, I’ve been feeling totally burnt out like a Roman candle shooting off from both ends. So, I got an idea and my hubby agreed to let me mark my 40th in a big way! This has been brewing for awhile. It’s a little bit of a twist on “finance” though. Here’s the thing….I’m stressed. All the time. By the physical and mental clutter in my daily life. And…time is money, right? My time with littles is finite and can’t be replaced. My time with my YL team, building our futures is so SO precious to me. My time at the office is mandatory. So, what gives?

I’ve decided to SPEND money. 😱😐😳 Ummm….wasn’t I supposed to be saving money? Yeah. Well, it may need to be a little bit of transference in the beginning but I think it will pay for itself, not only in peace of mind….but in actual $$ within a few months if I do it right.

I’m getting assistants, y’all. We already have a housekeeper but I’m getting serious about meal planning and upping my delivered goods game to include produce, meat and dairy…I’ve hired a trainer (cause if I’m paying for it, I’m accountable and will show up)…I’m booking a sitter three times a month for standing/scheduled date nights and “decluttering” and I’m hiring a teen to come organize my closets, my sell/donate piles and my office space.

I’m over trying to do it all, y’all. Cause I try and…I end up miserable, missing all the fun and unable to enjoy and savor those precious moments and victories. My time and sanity has a price.

So, Platinum….I’m coming for you (to understand what that means, check out the Income Disclosure Statement from YL linked at the bottom of this post 😱). And until then, I’m gonna enjoy the gift of being Gold. I’m gonna reinvest in me a little bit and recharge my batteries. If time is money…I’m looking at abundance a little bit differently but, I still think the Oola Guys would approve. 😜

Click to access incomedisclosurestatement_us.pdf

Oola Challenge Day 1: Fitness

Here’s an excerpt of the challenge from the Oola Guys:

Challenge 1: Fitness

It’s easy to point out what we love about how other people look. We notice how fit, strong, and good-looking they are. Social media, magazines, and TV bombard us with ideas of what our bodies should look like and what diet we should be on. It’s easy to get caught up in society’s idea that physical appearance dictates beauty. With all these influences, it’s easy to compare our bodies to the “perfect” things we see in society. Today, we want you to find the beauty in you.

Today’s #OolaYLChallenge is to think of three things you love about your body.

This is always tough for me….but I guess that’s why it’s so important, right? Here are three things I love about my body:
1) It was strong and adaptable enough to conceive, carry and sustain my two precious children
2) It has allowed me to achieve a lot of goals in life and to reach literal and figurative peaks I’d only imagined
3) It was uniquely, beautifully and wonderfully purpose built by God to bring me joy- from my curvy bottom to my hazel eyes and from my tiny feet to my curly hair. Everything else is mine for the shaping!

After deciding my 3 things, I rubbed 2 drops of Fitness between my palms, inhaled deeply and said “I am fit, healthy, disciplined and strong”…know what? I believed it.

I may not have the body I want but I am so grateful I have the body I need. Time to get serious though. I turn 40 this year (in a few weeks actually) and I want 40 to be my healthiest ever. So, here we go…

The Oola Challenge

The inspiration for this blog came from a 21-day challenge I completed in May 2016 known as the Oola Life Young Living Challenge.

What the heck is Oola? Well, I’m glad you asked…

“Oola is that state of awesomeness when your life is balanced and growing in the 7 Fs of Oola.”

There is an Oola companion book (available on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Oola) and this year they’ve released a new version specifically for women.  The premise is that to live a life ” in balance” (a concept I’ve come to realize is a myth), you have to constantly reprioritize and tweak your seven Fs of Oola.

Want to learn more right from the source…check out this YL Podcast with the OolaGuys. Listen in as they share with us their tips to finding balance and growth in the seven key areas of life: the 7 F’s of Oola: Fitness, Finance, Family, Field, Faith, Friends, and Fun.

I’ve included my current OolaWheel result in this post. If you’d like to join me on this journey and need some help identifying your own starting point for this journey, go here to take a quick little test:

“When all 5 senses are working together for your #OolaLife, you become fearless, transcend guilt, release anger, gain victory over self-sabotage, overcome laziness, transform envy, and refocus.” These things are known as the Oola Blockers and part of how we overcome these obstacles on the path to Oola is by embracing the Oola Accelerators for Love, Gratitude, Humility, Discipline, Integrity, Passion and Wisdom.

I mean….who doesn’t want some of that, right?

This challenge was really eye opening to me in 2016….but I had a hard time “staying the course”…so, I decided to do the challenge again in July 2017 along with my Young Living team for added accountability and for that extra push…I’m sharing this journey with all of you  ready for Day 1?