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THE WORK

Feb 01, 2023

 

Do you ever sit back and wonder…Is there a way to feel good about yourself? Or how about, “I wish there was a magic pill I could take that, when taken, would magically change my life for the better, and I would experience undying happiness for the rest of my life.  Consider this…have you ever picked up an interesting book, read the synopsis, then hurriedly run to the cash register completing the necessary steps in order to make this potential life altering read yours. By the time you arrive at your favorite reading spot and crack that book open, you have convinced yourself that this is the one piece of literature that will most definitely improve your life. However, after reading this intellectual piece of prose, you are disappointed to come to the end of page after page of psychological doctrine, lecturing how the mind works, but still have no idea how to incorporate all this new knowledge!  You need examples, scenarios! Today’s blog will...

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GET A TATTOO

Jan 23, 2023

Written by Valynne Underwood

Let me preface the first part of this blog with some background information.  I am a mom of one child.  A daughter.  I am very obsessed with her, proud of her, love being with her, and love her dearly.  She is everything to me.  One day, while in college, she declared she was going to get a tattoo.  Yes, I was that mom.  I didn’t want her to get one.  I said things to her like, “Why?”, “No!”, “Oh hell no!”, “Grandma and Grandpa will not like that!”, and the ultimate mother phrase, “Why would you do that to your beautiful, perfect skin that I created!”  I’ve always tried to be the kind of mom that always accepted her and not try to change her.  I tried to always remember to “act with love” when it came to her.  Well, when I realized what I was doing, I quickly shut my mouth and attempted to internally begin coming to...

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RESPONSIBILITY

Jan 08, 2023

Written by Valynne Underwood

Isn’t it interesting, when we start something new, we are full of energy, we feel strong, and invincible?  Then, after a while, we notice that our pace has begun to slow a little.  And then a little more, and a little more.  Your mind starts saying things like, “Boy this is kind of hard.” Or “Hmm I’m not really enjoying this.”  Then, “It’s ok to take one quick break.  I’ve been doing so well.  I deserve a little time off.”  And lastly, “Yeah, this sucks!”  The next thing you know, there’s another goal that has fizzled down slowly into non-existence. 

However, ‘fizzled down slowly’ doesn't seem to be in the cards for me.  Try ‘blow up in my face!’  Today is January 9th.  Only 9 days into the new year, and this past week really knocked me off my path of personal growth.  Let me explain. ...

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Navigating a New Year

Jan 05, 2023

Written by Valynne Underwood

Whew!  2022 is over, and 2023 has been presented to the world. 

A new year always comes with so many feelings of hope, excitement, joy, relief, anxiety, worry, and troubling emotions.  Events happened in 2022 that were a veritable smorgasbord, a feast!  Some events you would classify as wonderful or even life changing while others will definitely be a hard pass-a no thankyou repeat of this one!  Questions make way to the forefront of the mind full of the unknown which always asks: What will this year hold for me?  Will it be better or worse than last year?  What will life look like a year from now?  Will all be well in my life?  Will there be more moments of good rather than bad?  Who will still be involved in my life?  Will I remain healthy?  Will my weight go up or down?  Will my family circle increase or decrease?  The same question goes with my friend circle and we haven’t...

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And The Truth Shall Make You Free

Mar 24, 2021

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...

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Be Willing To Not Know

Oct 14, 2020

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...

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Your Happiness Is On YOU.

Oct 07, 2020

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...

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Messy Growth

Oct 07, 2020

“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.

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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...

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Control

Oct 02, 2020

Control.

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...

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The Universe Is RIGGED In Your Favor

Oct 01, 2020

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...

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