Have you ever wanted to just kind of hide from the world? Snuggle down in and not really “put yourself out there”?
For the last few weeks I haven’t felt like sharing. Not in the “sharing a piece of my candy” sort of sharing (although sometimes it’s hard for me to share my candy 😉 ) but in the sense of “I don’t feel like I have much to say” sort of sharing.
I’ve felt ordinary. I’ve felt like I don’t have anything to say that anyone wants to hear.
The thoughts came gradually, slowly creeping into my mind. I didn’t think much of it until I finally discovered that somehow over the course of a couple of weeks, I had practically no motivation for sharing any part of myself or talents.
I was allowing my light to be dimmed. And I didn’t even realize it was happening.
Earlier this week we had the sister missionaries from our church over for dinner. As soon as dinner was over, Lily (our 5-year-old) convinced them to follow her downstairs so that she could show them how fast she could ride her new bike. (She is really fast; I have to say.)
After Lily successfully showed off for several minutes one of the missionaries asked me if I worked, or stayed at home with the kids. I casually told her that I teach photography online and write a blog. I’ve never felt like it was that big of a deal but she was genuinely surprised and excited to know how I did that sort of a thing.
So in a nutshell I told them my story… I graduated from college in something totally different from photography, but after a few years working in my field, I really wanted to learn how to take pictures instead… so I taught myself how to do it. That led to taking pictures of family and friends which in turn led to a photography business which led to writing a book about photography and now teaching it online.
As I was talking I could see their fascination grow. They thought it was a pretty big deal. But to me it was totally normal. There was nothing unique or special about it.
Anyone can do it. …You just do it.
Or so I thought.
One of the missionaries said she always wanted to learn how to take professional pictures but didn’t think she could ever learn. She also never thought it was something that she could earn a living doing.
But here she was, talking to someone who had done just that. Someone who started exactly where she was and had great success.
I gave her suggestions on good (and totally affordable) cameras to get her started. And I encouraged her to give it a shot because she really doesn’t have anything to lose.
It seemed all she needed was for someone to give her permission to do it. And that’s what I did.
She looked at me and said, “Wow. Thank you for talking with me tonight. You’ve completely inspired me! You should be a motivational speaker or something.”
I scoffed… but… at that moment realized something…I may not be everything to everyone but I am something to someone.
To that missionary, I was a bright light that night. I said something that made her life better and inspired her to be a little bit more of the person she is meant to be.
Even though it wasn’t a big deal to me, it was a big deal to her.
And that’s exactly why I can’t hide from the world. I can’t dim my light. Someone needs to hear what I have to say. Even if it seems insignificant to me.
The very first scripture that I ever memorized was Matt 5: 14-16:
14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? …letting our light shine to ultimately encourage others to allow their light to shine as well.
Our Father in heaven has given each of us talents and ways to shine. To us, it may just feel ordinary. Like it doesn’t matter. But that’s not true. It DOES matter.
Satan wants you to think you don’t matter. That you can’t make a difference. But that’s a complete lie.
It matters to someone. And it most definitely matters to God.
You are meant to shine.
. . .
Judy Blume shared a tender moment in her early days of writing when she received a particularly nasty review about one of her books. She said,
“It really got to me. I took my typewriter and held it over this stream. I was going to throw it in. I thought I cannot do this anymore. And then this little voice went off in my head… “Wait. You’re gonna let this one review stop you from writing? That’s crazy! That’s one opinion.”
I don’t know about you, but I’m so glad Judy Blume didn’t let that one cruel review stop her. Some of my favorite books when I was growing up was Freckle Juice and Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing.
Ignore your critics!
…even if (especially if!) the worst critic is inside your own head.
Just like Judy, we can’t let our critics stop us from doing what we feel inspired to do. It’s sometimes easier to just not share, isn’t it? Easier to stay smack dab in the middle of your comfort zone.
But you never know who you are helping along the way, who needs to hear your voice, see your example, or receive your service. It may not be a big deal to you…but it’s a big deal to someone.
Timber Hawkeye said,
“Let your light shine so brightly that others can see their way out of the dark.”
So that’s what I intend to do…let my light shine, share what I feel inspired to share, and do it without apology.
Will you join me?!
. . .
I totally know how hard it can be to get yourself motivated to do what you are called to do or to pick your dream back up if you’ve lost your fire. That’s why I’m so grateful that I’ve learned some super effective tools over the years to get me moving. I want to share them with you…
5 Surefire Ways to Get Yourself Out of a Funk and Let Your Light Shine!
1| Listen to music that energizes and inspires.
Music is such an incredible tool that can change your mental state immediately. Think about when you’re driving your car and one of your favorite songs comes on the radio…you turn it up, and sing your heart out. Don’t you feel wonderful? Doesn’t life feel amazing in that moment?
“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, charm to sadness, gaiety and life to everything.”
Think about it…if you’re feeling bummed out or funk…music can be just the thing to uplift and inspire you immediately.
I have a playlist on Youtube of about 30 songs that I love. If I need a little boost I head on over to that playlist, put on some headphones, and listen. It usually only takes one or two songs until I’m feeling inspired and motivated.
Feel free to use my playlist (my taste in music has no rhyme or reason. It’s whatever some makes me feel something.)
Or make a playlist of your own. If you can’t think of songs, might I suggest The Greatest Showman soundtrack? Oh my. This entire soundtrack can immediately change my state of mind. The words, the music, everything about it is inspiring!
2| Make a gratitude list.
Are you thinking… “Pa-lease, if I hear one more person tell me to make a gratitude list I’m going to scream!”?
I know this is talked about over and over again but there’s a reason for that. The reason is… IT WORKS!
There’s something in our brains that actually shift when we focus on what we HAVE instead of focusing on what we DON’T HAVE.
Robert Holden taught,
“The miracle of gratitude is that it shifts your perception to such an extent that it changes the world you see.”
It’s scientifically proven that when we practice gratitude our outlook on life improves. My suggestion is to get into a regular practice of writing down or saying out loud what you are thankful for.
I try to think of any and all the things that bring me happiness and joy…big and small. Of course, my family is always on my list as is my relationship with God. But I also try to think about all the small things like my bed, delicious food, access to a washer and dryer, my talents, our health etc.
3| Take a break from social media.
This one is a must for me. I have fallen trap to the soul-sucking effects of comparison and it’s a beast. Most of the time I don’t even realize I’m comparing myself to others but I know it’s happening when I feel myself going inward and doubting my own talents.
In a great article about how to stop comparing ourselves to others on social media, Emily Holland said,
“I found myself comparing all aspects of my life, both internal and external, to a person I had never met. She was a stranger in every sense of the word, and yet somehow, her profile page caused me to question my accomplishments, appearance, and even personality traits.
I didn’t realize just how illogical this was until I explained it to someone, and, now as I type, I’m reminded even further.
Regardless of how illogical these comparisons may be, our emotional responses to such images can be so strong that they completely overpower our sense of logic.
The reality is, people are constantly showcasing the best aspects of their life onto social media.”
Haven’t we all felt like Emily? I know I have. So that’s why I have to give myself a break. I don’t allow myself to mindlessly scroll through Facebook or Instagram because when I do, I can feel my outlook on life and my positivity slipping.
So I give myself 5 minutes to look and respond and then I’m off.
You may have a higher “social media” tolerance than I do. Only you know. Make sure you are honoring yourself and setting up healthy limits so that you can stay in a good mind space.
4- Use oils!
Use essential oils. If you’re not familiar with essential oils this one is going to sound a bit weird. But I promise you…it works.
Essential oils are able to support our bodies physically as well as emotionally. It all has to do with our limbic system and how essential oils affect it.
Dr. Josh Axe states,
“The limbic system plays a powerful role in creating different emotions and feelings. In fact, some even call it “the emotional switchboard of the brain.
Because essential oils can impact memory, balance hormone levels and overall support healthy limbic system functions, much new scientific evidence shows that inhaling essential oils may be one of the fastest ways to create physiological or psychological benefits. These include decreasing anxiety, anger or even fatigue.”
Our family has been using oils for a little over 6 years now and they’ve played such a big role in our overall health and wellness. We turn to them when we are experiencing any type of illness. We turn to them for emotional stuff…sadness, overwhelm, tantrums, pre-teen attitudes…you name it.
And I love turning to oils when I feel like I’ve lost my groove or I find myself in a funk. Each oil has a physical and emotional benefit so there are literally hundreds of oils to choose from but 3 of my favorite blends of oils that I LOVE are:
Motivate– This is called the encouraging blend. It’s full of citrus and mint oils and smells awesome. This blend promotes feelings of confidence, courage, and belief in yourself. It also counteracts negative emotions of doubt, pessimism, and cynicism.
Elevation– This is called the Joyful Blend. It’s the perfect blend for those moments when you need to be revitalized and invigorated. The blend can elevate your mood and increase your energy. It has a wonderful smell…kind of fruity.
Passion– This is called the Inspiring blend. I love reaching for this one when feelings of boredom and disinterest take over…when I just can’t seem to find my spark. This blend helps to rekindle feelings of excitement, passion, and joy.
With all of these blends, I simply rub 1 drop of oil on my wrists and inhale deeply. I like to re-apply throughout the day about every 2 hours or whenever I think about it.
5| Connect to God
I probably should have started with this one because it can truly be the end-all way to get your groove back. So let’s just say, I saved the best for last…
So often the reason we feel like we want to hide our light or we’re feeling unmotivated is simply because we’ve forgotten who we are. We’ve forgotten WHOSE we are.
So if you’ve forgotten or if you don’t know…We are literally sons and daughters of God. It’s not just something to say, it’s truth. When we can focus in and remember that, everything else seems to fall into place.
As a loving Heavenly Father, he wants to hear from us. He wants to know our concerns, worries, joys, and triumphs. Go to Him in prayer. Talk with Him. If you’ve never really prayed, really connected to God, just try it.
Trust yourself that He is truly listening. And trust yourself even more that you are truly receiving answers from Him. Because you are.
I went through a really tough time with Postpartum depression and anxiety after Lily was born. It was a dark time for me. I wish I never had to experience it… however, in the course of figuring out how to deal with that trial of life, I figured out how to really connect to God. To truly receive answers from Him.
It’s something I cherish. It brings me so much peace and joy.
I encourage you to connect make the time and effort to connect with God. He will show you how incredible you really are.
Welcome to Being Katie Brave! I’m so happy to have you here. If you’re looking to take better pictures (stress-free!), get the inside scoop on all things Disney World, or be inspired to live YOUR best life (even if especially if it scares you to death) …you’re in the right place. I ’ve written 3 photography books, our family lived at Disney World for 2 years, and wear my heart on my sleeve…all of which would never have come to pass if I didn’t push past my fears and step in the darkness. Join me as I share my adventure of life, one post at a time.