Written by Valynne Underwood
Years ago while in a college English Literature class, I was given the assignment to read a book by Harriet Doerr called Stones for Ibarra. Being a student suffering burnout and having a full social life had more priorities than reading a seemingly dull novel. Many in the class had secretly shared that a movie by Hallmark, had been made from this book rendering the possibility to all the maintaining of a well-established social life and easy completion of a class assignment. I could go into great detail how we were able to obtain a viewing copy of the movie (think Beta and college library magic) but this is not the point of this post. The point being was that I watched the movie unaware of the impact upon my life it would have.
In quick summary, Stones for Ibarra-the movie, portrays the story of a young couple’s move to a small town in Mexico to open an old family copper mine. The plot maneuvers among characters...
Written by Valynne Underwood
Maria Shriver, in @thesundaypaper, said this perfectly about the holiday season.
"I've Been Thinking about what really matters this holiday season, and as we close out the year. It won't be the stuff. It will be all about You:
Your light, Your love, Your presence, Your laughter, and Your stories.
Remember that You are the gift. You always have been, and You always will be."
I am writing this blog post because many of you follow me because of my faith. You know me through my painting of Christ’s eyes and my church leadership in every community I’ve lived in throughout my life.
Some of you have noticed changes in me throughout the year and I’m ready to talk about it.
For anyone who doesn’t know, I was born and raised a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or “Mormon” for short. I was born into a great home with loving parents. And while we weren’t perfect, we sure tried to be! My book Becoming Whole tells of my story more in-depth, but for now, I will say that my faith has saved me. Like every other person who’s walked this earth, I’ve seen some dark days. It is my faith in God that pulled me through. The example of my parents and grandparents and the religion that we all believed in meant everything to me. It was my beam of light to navigate this “dark night.” This...
Whatever pain you might be experiencing right now—whether it be physical illness, anxiety, depression, a struggle in a relationship, the loss of a loved one, whatever it is, I want you to know that YOU CAN HEAL!
When I am in my valleys, I have to remind myself frequently that ‘this too shall pass’. So if y’all need it today, this is my reminder—LIFE GETS BETTER! Believe that you can heal! If you can believe in a life where this conflict no longer exists for you, you can begin to live within that reality.
The first step toward healing is always BELIEF. So if you need help believing, this is how to start: spend time every morning envisioning it. Close your eyes and imagine what you will feel like when this pain you are in is resolved. What do you look like? Sound like? Act like? What do you do with your time? What do you have? WHO ARE YOU without this pain? Live it with your eyes closed. Spend every morning basking in this feeling. Let your heart expand...
The more I know, the more I realize I don’t know.
This year has been an absolutely incredible opportunity for growth. I feel it. Life is expanding faster than I’ve ever experienced before. In this time of learning I have realized how much I didn’t know, and how beautiful of an experience it is to say the words ,“I don’t know” with peace in my heart. In ‘not knowing’ my mind can remain open to new ideas, new people, new conversation, and new ways to love. In not having everything figured out all the time, I am open to growth, God, and further revelation.
The old me always wanted to know. This made her feel safe. She wanted to formulate an opinion as quickly as possible, and then stood so dang firm in it—convinced her way was the right way—unwilling to hear anyone who might shake her. The old me thought she knew everything. She was suffering from her “knowing”.
I now realize that to “know” something...
Your happiness is on YOU.
Part of growing into maturity is learning how to meet our own needs. As a child we were dependent upon others to fill our cup. If we wanted fed, we asked and waited for someone else to feed us. If we wanted comforted after we fell down, we cried to our moms. If we wanted to play we had to wait for the next activity or we had to get permission. We learned as a child that something outside of us was going to take care of us and fulfill us. Some people never grow out of that…
Emotional maturity is learning how to meet your OWN needs and it is a learned behavior. Most of us learn it the hard way, by expecting someone else to show up for us, stand up for us, be there to comfort us, listen to our every desire and come running (because that’s what “love” is). We wait and wait (some learn to manipulate, whine or punish other people into meeting their needs) until one day we FINALLY figure out that we are a grown up now and we are the very...
“Sometimes people think that calling on God means inviting a force into our lives that will make everything rosy. The truth is, it means inviting everything into our lives that will force us to grow—and growth can be messy."
We've done a lot of messy growing lately haven't we babe? We've done a lot of building, tearing down and re-building. We've looked at our lives with incredibly raw honesty. We've joined hands with the God of love, stood over the rubble and decided what of it we actually want back...
We have started over with a new home, an evolving faith, and a commitment to each other that is deeper than I've ever felt. Life with you keeps getting better Trav. You're my best friend.
Also, messy growth with you is exactly the kind of growth I want to do.
If any of you are standing above the rubble that was once your life, I want you to know that whatever you are going through is not the end.
Your world might feel like it is falling apart. If it is, let...
The word has been on my radar lately. I've been extra aware of what is within my control and what is not.
I’ve been noticing how often I try to control things that are not mine to control (like what other people think of me or what other people do) and how it's a complete waste of time! I've been losing my interest in these things fast lately.
More than that though, I've been hyper aware of the ways that I freely give away things that are my right to control, to others. (Things like how I spend my time, what I do with my day. etc.) There are times when I say "yes" when I really mean "No." Times when I over-exsert myself to show up for people I barely even know. Times when I throw my own desires out the window, or let other people dictate how I feel.
Words like 'control' will pop up in my life and stay on my radar for one reason... It's time for a shift.
I've been consciously deciding to let go of the things outside of my control and shift my focus on the only...
Trav and I were standing in our kitchen yesterday afternoon just talking and smiling for no reason. So much has changed within us, so many lessons learned and our lives have taken so many unexpected turns for the better. We were talking about all of this and then he said, “You know, this has been one of the worst years of our married life, and it has been one of the best years of our lives.”
I couldn’t agree more. It was so moving for us to stand there almost in awe at what this year has brought to us and to our little family. I’ve shared a little bit with y’all but as you know, these little squares only hold so much. What goes on inside of hearts and homes is so much more than what we all share and see here.
This year and this conversation with Trav has left me entirely convinced that even the most painful circumstances are rigged in our favor. That God and the Universe has so much in store for us; things we cannot fathom; things we couldn’t...
Do any of you feel like you’re really good at connecting and taking care of everyone else, but to connect with yourself and take care of yourself feels foreign?
After becoming a mom, I noticed that I had a really hard time knowing myself. My life was so engulfed in serving my new beautiful babies that at the end of most days I had nothing left. The Heather I knew was fading and I missed her terribly.
Shortly after giving birth to my second baby I decided to start drawing and painting again, only this time these drawings and paintings weren’t for anyone else, they were for me. They weren’t pieces I would be hanging on my wall or showing to anyone, instead they were attempts for me to get to know what was going on inside of my own skin.
I felt like I couldn’t explain how I felt to anyone, because even I didn’t know how I felt! I didn’t have the words, so instead of finding words, I found colors. I would draw the colors I felt inside of my head,...
Every tired woman within the sound of my voice, this one is for YOU! I see you carrying the weight of ten men! I see you putting in long hours making sure the kids are taken care of, the house is clean, and the people in your world are safe and healthy.
You need your energy back. You need your life-force, and you deserve excitement for your passions again.
Come join us for this exclusive event. The Gift of Burnout Summit is here to revive you!
THE 11-DAY SUMMIT BEGINS MONDAY JAN 30TH!