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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Time Out for Women - Spokane, WA 2010 - Wendy Ulrich

Wendy Ulrich:  She is a psychologist and in her introduction she said that she would be talking about 7 things that will give us hope.
1)  Stop worrying about your weaknesses.
2)  Don't try to get motivated to exercise.
3)  Stop trying to find friends.
4)  Don't try to feel happy.
5)  Celebrate failure.
6) Don't practice resisting temptation.
7)  Don't endure to the end.

When she finished off her list I thought, "This is a lady I could get along with."  Haha.  She even joked that now we were all thinking, "This is the church for me."

I should have known she would have put a twist on it.  She's a psychologist for goodness sakes.

1)  Stop Worrying About Your Weaknesses.

Wendy told us of how she was called on a mission when she was 21 and how she struggled.  She said that they were the worst 18 months of her life.  (A commonly known statement for missionaries is that it's the best years of your life.  There is even a LDS movie called "The Best Two Years".)  She felt as though her own weaknesses made it difficult for her to do the work and felt she barely made it through.  Years later, her husband was called to be the President of the Canada Montreal Mission.  She thought, "This is my chance.  This is my chance to do things right and be better."  That apparently lasted for about 10 minutes, until she realized that she still had some of the same weaknesses that she did the last time.

Then, in a "moment of absolute clarity", she felt a voice say to her, "I did not call you on a mission for your weaknesses.  I called you for your strengths.  Serve with your strengths."

"Wow!", I thought.  All this time, I've been so focused on how I can't do things because of my weaknesses and it's totally the opposite.  I shouldn't focus on the things that are my weak areas, but the strong points.  My talents.  After all, isn't that what the Lord told us to do?  Develop our talents.  Brilliant!

2)  Don't Try To Get Motivated To Exercise.

Get in motion and the motivation will follow.

She told us about an article she read in a Runners magazine on this man and how he sort of tricked himself into running every day.
He would start by putting on his workout clothes. Not because he was going running. Because they were comfortable.  Then, he would go to the door.  Not because he was going running.  Because he wanted to see what it was like outside.  Then, he would start walking down the street.  Not because he was going running.  Because he wanted to see if his neighbor was out, or something like that.  Once he was out there it was like, "Oh alright."

Once you start moving, the motivation will follow.

3)  Stop Trying To Find Friends.

I don't know about any of you, but I felt really encouraged by this.  In normal settings, I'm extroverted and I love to be around people.  However, no one really warns you that when you get married there's no more Single's Ward-like activities to help you meet people.  At least not if you don't live in a university town where there are married student wards and other things like that.  As for myself, when I'm in "unfamiliar territory", I become really introverted and reserved.  Of course, I want to make friends, but quite frankly that's scary.  Especially, when we moved here.  I'm still getting used to our ward and trying to remember people's names.  It's not like Moses Lake, where even if I didn't know them, they knew my dad/mom/brothers so then there was some kind of a connection.  I don't really have that here.  Needless to say, I'm struggling to find friends.  Especially friends that I have things in common with.

Wendy's advice:
Stop trying to find friends.
Start trying to learn how to be a friendlier person.

-Have 1 meaningful conversation daily.

While this is good advice, I'm also a lonely little housewife with no kids, who doesn't go anywhere.  Maybe that's my problem.  My visiting teaching could definitely use a boost.
Either way, what I've decided is to shoot for one meaningful conversation on Sundays.  It will be a good motivator for me to meet and get to know more people in my ward and hopefully form some friendships.  If anyone from my ward reads this, spread the word!  I'm comin' at cha'.  Haha.

4)  Don't Try To Feel Happy.

-Try to Feel Grateful
Wendy had us to an "exercise" where we closed our eyes and thought of a difficulty or stressful issue in our lives right now.  We had to think of how it made us feel.  Get that emotion.  Then, we had to think of the feeling of being grateful.  How that made us feel.  Once we had that for a bit.  She had us open our eyes and said, from the time we started out stressed, it took us ONE minute to be happy by being grateful.  AMAZING!

Wendy suggested that we write down three good things that have happened today and why did that happened.  Once you realize why they happened, you become grateful for those things.  In turn, becoming happy.  Anyone remember the "Thankful" posts I did in November?  I was so happy all the time doing those.  I thought it was because I was writing every day.  Now, I realize it's because I recognized the things my Heavenly Father gave me.

5)  Celebrate Failure.

If a thing is worth doing, it's worth doing badly.
That's when we learn how to do it better.

-What is a difficulty you faced?
-How did you feel?
-What did you learn?
-How did you overcome that problem?

6)  Don't Practice Resisting Temptation.

Yes!  Finally an excuse to eat chocolate!
Or so I thought...

-Distract yourself.
If you are placing a temptation in front of yourself (or placing yourself in front of a going to the candy section of the grocery store...don't lie you've all done it), and "trying" to practice resisting, it's not going to work.  We are weak people!  It's not a good idea.  Get away from the temptation.  Run and don't look back.
Feed your real hunger and get away from the temptation.
With things like scripture study or learning a new skill or habit.

7)  Don't Endure To The End.

"Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured."  President Gordon B. Hinckley

There are so many things to live for and live to do.  This reminds me of Mariama's story.  During the war, she and her family had to endure to the end.  Just waiting for the next day.  What's our excuse?  Are our circumstances so incredible and challenging that we all we can do is endure?  Enjoy life.  Enjoy the trees, the weather (yes, even if it's windy....I'm a work in progress), our families, bubble baths.  This life isn't all about work all the time.  It's also about enjoying the world our Heavenly Father gave us.

Wendy suggested:
Savor delight in 10 tiny changes.

Maybe we could make little changes to our daily routine and switch things up a bit.  You know make things interesting.

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