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I’ve learned some tough lessons throughout my life, but these were the hardest by far

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Photo by: stanciuc via Getty Images

Pre-algebra was hard for me. So hard, in fact, that I had to take it twice. But it was still pretty easy compared to some of the lessons I’ve had to learn in life.

When I was taking pre-algebra for the second time, I thought that was the hardest life would get. These days, I wish I was that incredibly innocent high school girl again. Because, trust me, that class that kicked my ass so hard back then is nothing compared to what life had in store.

I don’t know what your hardest lessons have been, but here are mine.

My kids will grow up whether I want them to or not

I’m now mother to a 19-year-old about to turn 20 and a just-turned-17-year-old. Over the course of nearly two decades of parenting, there have been so many times that my kids have been ready to take a leap forward before I was. …

Let’s be honest: affirmations don’t always work

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Photo by: alexxx1981 via Getty Images

Affirmations don’t always work. They just don’t. I use them and I believe in them but I also know that sometimes they don’t work.

Why don’t they work? One of the biggest reasons is that you simply don’t believe them. When an affirmation is too positive, too much, you just can’t convince yourself to believe it. And when you don’t believe it, naturally it won’t work because belief is how it works.

When your current belief is “I’m ugly and worthless,” telling yourself “I’m beautiful and worthy” is going to be tough to swallow. And yet everyone wants you to think it’s as simple as telling yourself that, right? So when it doesn’t work, and people just keep telling you that if you just keep affirming it to yourself it’ll change, you just get more and more frustrated, right? …

Can being ungrateful cause problems?

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Photo by: crystalsingphotos

Last week, I gave you three reasons why gratefulness matters and an example of how it could help. But what happens when you don’t focus on being grateful?

Thanksgiving is next week, which means everyone is thinking about time spent with family, delicious menus, and of course, gratefulness. And it’s nice to have that reminder sometimes, especially in a year like 2020, when it’s so easy to lose sight of all that we have to be grateful for.

When some people think of gratitude, they only think of the Thanksgiving holiday. But gratitude is so much more than an annual holiday. …

We apologize to others much more easily than to ourselves

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Photo by: miya227 via Getty Images

I’m very good at apologizing to others. So good, in fact, that I often apologize even for things that don’t require an apology or things that aren’t my fault. I’m guessing that you may be the same.

We offer others so many apologies: for things we do, for things we don’t do, for things they think we did or didn’t do. But what about yourself? Do you owe yourself an apology for the things you haven’t done for yourself or have done to yourself?

I woke up one day and realized that I owed myself a huge apology. Several, actually.

I needed to apologize to myself for all the bad relationships I’d stayed in even after realizing they were bad relationships with partners who weren’t right for me, toxic, or even abusive. …

I’ve got gifts for Mom, kids, and friends this year

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Photo by: RomoloTavani via Getty Images Pro

For many years, I was the mom who did my Christmas shopping in December, often within just a couple weeks of Christmas, and spent hours on December 23rd and Christmas Eve sitting on my bedroom floor wrapping gifts. This year, I’m proud to say that I actually finished all my shopping already and have at least half the gifts wrapped already. And I haven’t spent hours with an aching back doing it, either.

In my search for the perfect gift for those I love, I’ve come across some truly amazing gifts. Some are just incredible for their quality or what they are and some have an amazing story behind the brand. …

If you’re still questioning whether daily meditation can help you, think about these benefits

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Photo by: YakobchukOlena via Getty Images Pro

With rare exceptions, I meditate every morning. It’s a quiet, still way to make the transition from sleep to daily life. It offers me peace, balance, and so much more. But when you’ve never made it a daily habit, or you’ve struggled to feel any difference after meditating, it can be hard to understand how it can help you.

But it can help. Consider these five ways it can change your life for the better.

More happiness, less anger & frustration

When you take the time to sit in silent stillness each day, you give yourself the time and ability to process your thoughts and feelings. By turning your attention inward, you take away the distractions of phones, computers, televisions, other people and things that pull you away from how you feel, what you think, and what you want. …

Whether you’re unexpectedly pregnant or getting divorced, there are things you can do to cope more easily

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Photo by: PeopleImages via Getty Images Signature

There are many paths to being a single parent. You can become a single parent by choice, choosing to adopt or get pregnant after much thought and planning. But most of the paths stem from unexpected circumstances such as a surprise pregnancy, a divorce, or the passing of your spouse.

And it’s those unplanned paths to single parenthood that can give a single parent a serious case of nervousness. Worrying about how to cope with being a single parent is not uncommon. There’s certainly plenty to worry about.

But coping with single parenthood doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, these simple do’s and don’ts can make coping so much easier. …

Hard times and harder decisions can make you question your strength

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Photo by: Korpongstudio via Getty Images Pro

I was married for about three years when I finally decided, really decided once and for all, that my marriage was over. I was six months pregnant and had a toddler, had been a stay-at-home mom for the last couple of years, and we were living with my parents because we were trying to buy a house.

There was a lot to be afraid of in that moment. I was very pregnant so who would hire me? I had no education beyond high school which meant my job options were pretty limited anyway. How would I afford daycare or a babysitter to even look for a job? …

Try one of these ideas to feel better fast

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Photo by: macgyverhh via Getty Images

We’re entering the most joyful time of the year — and also the most stressful. Between keeping up with all of our usual daily responsibilities and doing the holiday shopping, baking, cooking, cleaning, and events, it’s no surprise that many of us find it a relief when the holidays are behind us even though we look forward to them.

But whether it’s the holidays or just usual life stress, there are a few simple things you can do to ease the stress quickly. …

Giving the acronym a more heart-centered feeling

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Photo by: Serhii Yevdokymov

Goal-setting is a thread that weaves its way through everyone’s lives. It doesn’t matter if you’re a stay-at-home married mom or a working single mom, a single guy with no kids and high career aspirations, or even a grandma knitting at home, everyone sets goals at one time or another.

And we’re told to set SMART goals. Not intelligent goals, though of course one would hope that any goal you set is also intelligent. But SMART goals:

S — Specific

M — Measurable

A — Achievable

R — Realistic

T — Time-based

Your goal is supposed to be very specific about what you intend to achieve. It’s supposed to have a measurable outcome that is easy to identify. It should be something that you can actually achieve, that’s able to be accomplished by your deadline, and have a deadline by which you plan to accomplish it. …

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