Thuy Smith Outreach International- Living on Purpose

Health and Wellness, Mindfulness, Spirituality, Relationships, Lessons Learned, Recovery, Healing, Empowerment


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Sometimes Life Takes A Different Turn Than What We Had Planned

 

This was never so clear to me after I sustained an injury and other health issues developed. I had moved to a new community and had all these plans I was looking forward to. Some of the plans were to simply relax and regroup after years of working with many people.

I had so many more things I wanted to do. Instead I end up in my new community isolated due to my injury and other health issues without having a chance to meet anyone new yet. My husband’s job kept him from being home a week at a time. I had limited contact with him during these times. I didn’t want to worry family so I kept a lot of struggles to myself other than sharing with my husband. My family would worry and then that would just stress me out. This was especially hard since my health issues I was developing had no real answers at the time. I had to learn to become my own advocate. Finally, I stopped pursuing help from conventional medicine and started doing my own research. Eventually I made my way to naturopathic care. This is where I finally started getting confirmations to my research along with other answers.

I was sick, searching for answers, and finally treated in a period of 2 1/2 years. I wondered at times if I would ever get answers and or get better. I am a naturally optimistic person, although a realist, but I had my moments of struggle and feeling depressed through it all. I wondered at times if God forgotten about me and if I would ever get better. I’ve gone through some real trials in my life but this was probably the hardest. There were times I just wanted to sleep and not wake up. I just wanted peace and the suffering to stop. It wasn’t a matter of feeling sorry for myself, it was a very real struggle. Your health is everything and when you aren’t getting answers, it adds to the stress. At times you are in a very dark place.

Fortunately I didn’t give up. I was determined to get answers, and better. I was proactive and did many things to help myself. Besides doing my research, I sought out support groups, a counselor to help me cope, worked hard on changing my diet and incorporated regular exercise and meditation, and focused on the things that gave me a sense of joy and purpose.

After my health finally improved, I had mixed feelings. I was grateful and yet unclear on what I was supposed to do next. At first I felt an urgency to make up for “lost time”.  There were ideas running in my head about what I could do, what I should do. Of course no real peace followed.

So, I have come to the point that I need to do what I’ve always known and done in the past. Stop doing! Simply be still, in the moment, and let my intuition and spirit speak to me. Breathe. Be grateful for where I’m at now compared to where I was.

There are different seasons in life and simply life that just happens. What are the lessons learned? How have I, how can I grow from this? How can what I’ve been through be used to serve a greater purpose?

And at the same time…. relax, sit back, disconnect my brain and allow myself to simply listen.

Sometimes things don’t work out as we had first planned, but I’ve been reminded to be grateful for what I do have, what I’ve learned through my trials and challenges and appreciating that.

While I am “doing nothing” my life still has purpose and value. Sometimes we are simply in the meantime and the meantime isn’t necessarily a bad place to be. It can be a time to rest, heal, and learn something, although difficult, that will change our life and prepare us for something greater that’s to come.

In the meantime, I will trust and be grateful in the moment.

“So, what if, instead of thinking about solving your whole life,

you just think about adding additional good things.

One at a time, Just let you pile of good things grow.”

Author Unknown

 

 

 

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Recovery- what does it mean? We all could use a little recovery sometimes.

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Recovery- what does it mean? We all could use a little recovery sometimes.

When a person enters and works through recovery, they become a different person in some ways and yet in other ways remain the same. People begin to have more of a sense of self and are at peace with that, both the good and the “bad”.

Recovery is not always easy. Stopping the using was the “easy part”, but there is all the other work of self-reflection and forgiveness. Forgiveness is in some ways easier to have for others than it is for yourself.

What does recovery mean really? Well I feel first of all it doesn’t have to be a term referring only to people who have found or are seeking recovery from chemical dependency. It can apply to anyone. Anyone can use a “Recovery” from time to time.

Recovery to me means recovery of one’s self. In this way, don’t we all need to find this from time to time?

We lose ourselves when…………….
We don’t draw boundaries with people

When we don’t know how to say no

When we take on more than what is realistic and put too much expectation on ourselves

When we over extend ourselves for whatever reason

When we don’t own our truth and be willing to express- No, I don’t like that or I need this in my life right now

When we are not gentle and forgiving of ourselves

When we don’t take time to slow down to be in the moment and let our mind, body, and spirit rest

It can be easy to fall in any of these traps.

It’s good to not be selfish because that is not only an undesirable characteristic to have; it is never going to be sustainable. At the same time there is the other extreme. Sometimes people are so worried, especially women and all the more if they are mothers, that if they took care of some of their own needs they should feel ashamed of that.

One time I heard person say that “taking care of your self is not selfish, it is Self-full”. When we are full, we are more able to better take care of others, let alone ourselves.

In the end, we are all the same and wanting the same things- Love, to be heard, and know that we have value. So allow yourself permission to recover. We all need a little recovery sometimes. It’s OK and there is NO shame in it.


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There is no love from someone else if I can’t love myself

Self-love and self-care is not selfish, but rather self-full.

Fill yourself up  first so you are able to pour into others,

while not burning yourself out.

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Stuff, stuff, stuff- My new life simplified.

Stuff, stuff, stuff- My new life simplified.

Stuff, stuff, stuff- My new life simplified.

For the last seven years I’ve read about people who gave up on maintaining their homes especially the big homes they didn’t really need anymore. They decided to simplify and live more sustainably. Some sold their homes and built smaller efficient ones. There were those who decided to embrace the downtown living and all that it offers. Others hit the road and began their new journey with a fifth wheel.

My husband and I have built and owned three homes. The last two were especially beautiful with one being across the Namekagon River. We know the joy of having your own home, but also about everything that is involved in keeping and maintaining that home. Throughout the years we have done quite a bit of downsizing. I had to tell friends and family to PLEASE do not buy us anymore stuff!

The items they bought were nice, but it was just more of what we really didn’t need. It came to the point where we didn’t have a place to display everything. The items began to blend into each other as a compilation of stuff rather than as a showcase of unique, beautiful, and interesting pieces.

It took a few years, but I finally got through to everyone to stop buying us anymore items. We asked if they insisted on giving something, to give it to a charity in our name or get us something that is more along the lines of a consumable item.  It could be a certificate to a movie, a restaurant, or specialty food basket. Of course you can never go wrong with chocolate.

Throughout the years (starting seven years ago) we continued to have garage sales, moving sales, donated items, threw out items, and gave some away. We have always prided ourselves in keeping things simple and not having a lot of stuff. However, it wasn’t until our last home that we realized even after all that we had downsized, we had a long way to go. We were not hoarders by any means and it was just the two of us. No children, no pets. When you have a bigger house you simply accumulate more stuff.

NO more! Bye-bye stuff! Never see you again! We put our house on the market and within the first week we had an interested buyer. He immediately put in an offer. While preparing for the move with packing and yet another moving sale, it had been both liberating and stressful with the realization that we still had so much more than what we needed or wanted.

We moved into less than half the square footage of our last home and decided to do the downtown living. We rented a beautiful apartment on the river while deciding our next move.

One day I came across this ad and couldn’t help, but smile. It said, “Live the American Dream. Stop renting, own your own home”.

We loved our new apartment and the fact we no longer had any maintenance to worry about. We decided that if we ever owned a home again, it wouldn’t be any more than 1000 square feet and 10 minutes tops for maintaining a yard.

We have since then bought a condo and we are in way less than the 1000 square feet I mentioned earlier and have never been happier.

This blog category-My New Life Simplified will be about how I downsized and simplified my life. I will share simple prep recipes, products I love that are useful, and what I’ve learned from designing and building three of my own homes. I will share about our downtown living (first with an apartment and now a condo) and its many activities and the people we meet along the way. I will talk about the ways we have incorporated to live more sustainably.  I will share about health and wellness. It will be about the things I love and ideas I learned in my new simplified life and sharing them with you.

 


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A Perfect Person

A Perfect Person

Never hurt anyone.  Doesn’t Cry.  Doesn’t fail.   Doesn’t Exist.

We all have some place where we fall short…..spiritual progress versus perfection.

Acknowledge, make amends if needed, learn, forgive yourself, move on……..GROW.

“Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make you a far happier and more productive person”.  Dr. David M. Burns