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Monday, September 17, 2012

Joyful finds: Time Our for Women!

Brought to you every Monday;
Beginning the Week with a Little Happiness

I have an incredible friend. Janna blogs at A Pocket Full of Elephants, but I didn't meet her through blogging. I was fortunate enough to live behind her for a time and we went to church together before I moved out of state. Our friendship has grown over the past couple of years and next to my husband, she's the person I most depend on most in my life. She was the first to be there when my mom passed away- even took charge of several funeral arrangements because I sure needed help! She's the lady I call with questions even before I call the doctor! I run my sewing ideas by her, and always shoot her an e-mail when I have a funny story to share. Janna is soon to be a mommy of four kids age 3 and under, but some how she manages this crazy life with so much grace! I look up to Janna and so I've asked her to share a little something on my blog today for the joyful finds post. Janna went to Time Out for Women over the weekend and here is a little bit of wonderful inspiration passed on from her to us! Please join us in learning about how to discover and honor our most authentic selves in 3 simple steps! 

Have you ever taken a time out for you before?   So many of us (new moms especially) feel guilty when we "get away" from our kids and husbands for some "me time".  But, have you realized how you always seem to come back from your time out a much better person (a better mom and a better wife too) ?  Well, I've been needing a time out for a long time.  I'm a mother of a toddler and a 3 year old and I'm ubber pregnant with twin boys.  My husband works full-time, goes to school part-time, and has a very active calling in our church that takes him away from the house at least one to two times a week.  Don't you think I deserved a little "me time"  too?  So, this weekend I took my time out at Time Out For Women.  There were some amazing talks and fabulous musical performances!  I could go on and on about some of the great "take-aways" I received at the event, but I picked my absolute favorite. 

Julie De Azevedo Hanks is a social worker, therapist, mother of four, and musical artist (with 10 cds out), and she's now writing a book about women's emotional self-care.  WOW, right?  I'd love to know how she does it ALL!  Anyhow, her talk was about Your Most Authentic Self.  Your Most Authentic Self = Heavenly Father's Will + Your Will, Unique talents, and Experiences.  I needed this talk, as I know many women do.  Let me start by asking you a question:  Who are you?  What are your interests, hobbies, and unique talents?  When is the last time you did them?  If you don't know the answer to these questions, start by searching what made you truly happy as a child.  Was it dancing?  Was it playing teacher with your siblings?  Was it finger painting or just spending time with your family?  Honestly, I'm still thinking on this.  So don't feel bad if you have to as well.

According to Julie there are three basic steps to honoring and discovering your most authentic self:

Step One:  Honor Your Emotions 
Myth:  I should be happy all the time.
Truth: Having feelings are NORMAL and essential.   There are four basic emotions: happy, mad, sad, and scared.
-54% of 3,000 women that Julie polled said that they found it hard to express "mad" and most said they felt guilty that they weren't happy all the time. Mad is just information, it's what you do with it that matters.  And even Christ felt all the emotions (including mad) so, it's more than okay that we do, right?
-Emotions are energy in motion, it's what propels us to do certain things....or to react.
-Having a full range of emotions will help you develop your most authentic self.  Emotions give us clues to who we are.  What makes us happy?  What makes us sad?  What makes us mad?  What scares us?  Instead of trying to "feel better" or get rid of emotions (like going shopping to feel happy...Julie said this was her favorite way to get rid of emotion), search them out.  Why am I feeling this way?  Get better at feeling and allow yourself to move to where Heavenly Father wants you to go.

Step Two:  Invest in Your Own Growth
Myth: Taking good care of myself is selfish.
Truth: Taking good care of myself is KEY to giving more to others and the Lord.  You can't give anything when there is nothing to give.
-Definition of Selfish: Doing what's in your best interest withOUT the regard for others.
-If you take care of yourself with regard for others, it is not selfish. 
-51% of 3,000 women polled said they don't have time to take care of themselves.  (Ummm, confession: I would be one of those women)
-Question:  If you don't take care of yourself, who does?  Our husbands and friends can help, but honestly, there are certain things only you can do for yourself.
-God wants us to take care of ourselfs.  Emotionally, spiritually, psychologically, and physically.
-So many people give up their authentic selves or what gives them joy.  Don't give up your joy, this is who you are! 

Step Three:  Celebrate the Good In You
Myth:  Acknowldeging my strengths is prideful.
Truth:  Acknowledging and owning my God-given strengths and gifts is a sign of humility.
-Turn your To Do List at the end of the day into a "TA DA List".  Write down what you accomplished.  We don't do this enough.  (Okay, so I didn't get my house clean, but I did spend time playing Barbie's with my two girls and we all laughed together lots today)
-Realize that you are good, focus on what your talents are and develop them so you can share it with others...even if you don't share it, if it makes you happy you can share your happiness with others.

Amazing stuff, huh?  I thought so.  I'm still pondering on all I learned from this weekend.  But I can tell you that before I went to T.O.F.W, I was stressed and definetly needed some time to figure things out....like wrapping my head around doubling the number of kids we are going to have, 2 to 4!  Wowzers!  When I came home, I felt happy and peaceful...full of love for my beautiful girls and wonderful husband.  Are we perfect?  No.  Is that okay?  Absolutely.  Do I want to show my kids who I am and let them know it's important to find out who they are?  YES!  We need to teach our children that it's important to be our most authentic self.

Thank you so much Janna for sharing this with us today! 


  1. Very nice - thank you! For a long time (after a few babies), I could not get my sewing act together but after time I figured it out (the balancing act) and discovered I NEEDED that to make me whole! Now I make sure I have plenty of sewing to do and it keeps me sane!

  2. Very well said! It can be difficult to be our true selves in this crazy world, but we have to try. I find staying creative really helps... expressing myself in my own way. I'm your newest follower Jessica! Hope you can stop by for a visit sometime.
    Tuula :)