This past weekend I was invited by some friends from my West Valley neighborhood to go to Time Out for Women at the Salt Palace. I spent the night at my friend Kim's house while Seth got off work a little early so someone was here when the kids got home from school.
Let me start by saying how grateful I am to Seth for making it possible for me to go. He is so supportive of nearly everything I do. I appreciate his thoughtfulness and his support.
It was so fun to see my friends again and get to spend some time with them. That is what I was really looking forward to. What I didn't expect was how uplifting this weekend would be. I needed this weekend even more than I thought I did. My heart is so full today, I hope I can convey how I am feeling.
Hillary Weeks opened Friday evening. She was so funny and had great things to say. I really loved when she talked about the clicker. She had heard somewhere that people had, on average, 300 negative thoughts a day. She bought herself a clicker and every time she had a thought that was negative or not uplifting, she would click her clicker. At the end of the week, she said that she got up and was feeling really down. That was unusual for her and as she was trying to figure out why, she thought about her experiment with the clicker. She decided to try her experiment another way. She was going to count her positive thoughts. Her mood was dramatically changed. Really, as we think about the positive things happening in our lives, it is hard to be depressed. I am thinking I will be getting clickers for my family and the next time it is my turn to give the lesson for family night, I will be handing out the clickers. I can't think of anyone who couldn't use a little positive thinking.
Brad Wilcox also spoke on Friday. He talked about when he lost his testimony while on his mission and how concerned he was. He talked about the steps he went through to get it back. He testified that Heavenly Father loves us and is aware of us. I left hopeful and uplifted. It was so fun the way that he used humor all the while teaching us.
On Saturday morning, Stephanie Nielson spoke. She spoke about her plane accident and her choice to survive. She was so sincere and humble. I loved every moment of her talk. I felt pain with her and could see her struggle as she had to relearn to do simple tasks. She was such an inspiration.
Emily Watts also spoke on Saturday. She gave the 5 steps to happiness. They are:
1. Have a thick skin - don't allow your children or others to offend you.
2. Expect hard things of children and yourself - when you accomplish something that you didn't think you could do, you appreciate it more and it will boost your confidence.
3. Have a few well chosen traditions. Just have a few, don't let it be a burden but have something that means home for your family. In her husbands family, it was crab dip. It can be as simple as that.
4. Learn to think of yourself as a person. This was nothing new to me. I know I am a person but she means to really take care of a person. I loved her analogy. Imagine your best friend had spent the night. When she is ready for breakfast, you aren't going to tell her, "For breakfast, you can have the crusts of the peanut butter sandwiches that the kids won't eat. If you wait until they head out for school, you can finish the last of the milk they left but don't drink from the red cup, he back washes." You are going give her a whole peanut butter sandwich and even a clean cup of milk. I think that often as mothers, we put ourselves last. I remember my mom crying when she had to buy herself a new pair of shoes because money was tight and she had never spent that much money on herself. I loved when Emily said, "Your children deserves to have a person for a mother and your husband deserves to have a person for a wife and you deserve to be a person." I really loved what she had to say.
5. Catch your children and others doing something good. This goes without saying that people thrive on compliments. They will live up to what you think of them, so make sure you are thinking good things about them.
Wendy Ulrich came on and she followed up with seven more steps to happiness. They are:
1. Stop worrying about your weaknesses and celebrate your strengths.
2. Don't try to get motivated to exercise. Do first. Just do it. Action precedes habit.
3. Stop trying to find friends. Develop friend making skills. This was especially applicable to me. I have friends here in Kamas, but I don't have a Melissa. And I don't have a Natalie or a Kim or a Stephanie. I need to be the friend that I want and good friends will follow. I need to step out of my comfort zone and get to know people. They are comfortable with who they know and will need a little motivation from me too.
4. Don't try to feel happy. Try to feel grateful.
5. Celebrate failure. Failure often means we are taking the necessary risks to grow, stretch and serve.
6. Don't get help with your problems. Instead help someone else. Science found it the single more reliable way to better our mood.
7. Don't endure to the end. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured.
I pretty much loved everything she had to say.
Our final speaker was Laurel Christensen. I was so inspired by Laurel. I wish I had taken notes on what she had to say, but I was too enthralled by how easily she spoke to this group of 5000 women. I am happy to say that I have found her blog.
I went away from this weekend feeling uplifted and blessed beyond measure. I feel like I have more control of my happiness and who I become. I am so glad that I was invited to go with these friends. It is so nice to be thought of.