Building Confidence When You Feel Broken

Most of us have had times in our lives, perhaps extremely long periods of time, where we felt broken. Maybe you’ve felt emotionally defeated, insecure, hopeless, and inadequate. If so, you’re not alone. I went through years of feeling that way. And the worst part for me was that I didn’t see a way out of it. I felt unloved, insecure and depressed. Part of it stemmed from post partum depression and part of it stemmed from difficult life experiences I’d been through . But what made it all soooo much worse was self sabotage. Which of course at the time I wasn’t even aware of what I was doing. But I would numb my emotions with food or social media instead of actually facing those emotions and working through them in a healthy way. I would procrastinate things that were important to me. I’d often find myself wallowing in self-pity and I spent zero time taking care of myself or showing myself any kind of love.

I remember thinking all the time, “I feel so miserable and lost, I can’t ever see myself being a confident person again like I used to be”. But what’s interesting is there never really was a time in my life that I was truly confident. However, in my mind I thought I totally had been at one point. I remember when I was in high school and early college I thought pretty highly of myself. I was so good at not focusing on anything that I was insecure about. I only did things that made me feel great about myself and I would only share the parts of myself that I thought were worthy of sharing. When people complimented me on my talents or my looks, I took that as validation and permission to believe that I was pretty amazing. Sounds SO CONFIDENT right?!? Far from it. I didn’t learn what true confidence was until much, much later in my life.

But what I know about confidence now? I now know that confidence doesn’t come from anything outside of you. I know it doesn’t come from thinking you’re amazing or better than someone else. I know it absolutely doesn’t come from only focusing on the things you’re good at or hiding the things you’re bad at. It doesn’t come from compromising your values. It doesn’t come from makeup and hair products and cute clothes (although I will always love those things). It doesn’t come from people complimenting you and approving of you. It doesn’t come from throwing your kid a Pinterest worthy birthday party or from being “the best” at anything. And it sure as heck doesn’t mean any of the things I thought it meant in high school and college.

So here’s the truth and the realization that literally changed my life…

Real confidence comes from knowing who you are and embracing ALL parts of yourself. Even the parts that are flawed. Real confidence comes from loving yourself exactly as you are AND choosing to be okay with the fact that you’ve still got crap to work through! Because guess what… we all do. It’s part of this life experience. And it’s all OK. Confidence also comes from training your inner voice to be KIND (this is a big one). Kind to yourself and kind to others. Nothing will kill your confidence quicker than when you believe the lies your brain tells you about yourself. That inner voice we all have is by default more negative and condescending than it is positive and uplifting. So YOU have to be the one who trains it to speak to you with love and compassion and positivity. That right there is one of the most confidence growing skills I’ve ever learned. Along with taking responsibility for your own emotions and not assigning someone else the job of making you feel something you want to feel. Meaning you can’t expect someone else to give you YOUR confidence. It’s an internal job and it can only be done by YOU.

And lastly, one of the most powerful things that I’ve found helps you grow real confidence is keeping commitments to yourself. We often take action and keep commitments we’ve made in order to please other people. But it’s an entirely different experience when you choose to do something because you’re honoring a commitment to YOURSELF. If this is something you’ve personally worked on in your life, you know it not only builds self-confidence but it also builds self-trust and self-respect!

So where do you start?? Start by first recognizing that you are not broken. You never were. You have always been whole and beautiful and capable. No matter what you’ve been through. Once you’ve worked on believing that, then decide to take ownership of where you’re currently at in your life and start growing from there! But you MUST decide first to love yourself as you are right now. That can be a hard step, but it is necessary. It’s tempting to think that once we’ve built up our confidence enough, THEN we will finally feel love for ourselves. That’s what I used to believe. But that’s totally backwards. Self-Love does not come from confidence. Confidence comes from making the choice to love yourself. Flaws and all. So start there friends. ❤

Love, Morgan

3 Things That Can Help Anyone Improve Their Emotional Wellbeing

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Over the years I’ve noticed that many people tend to have little nuggets of wisdom, or universal “secrets” that they carry with them throughout life. Some of these nuggets they’ve learned on their own through experience and others they’ve learned from mentors and/or ordinary people that have chosen to pass their knowledge on to them. I’m extremely grateful for those people. Those people who chose to share their knowledge rather than keep it to themselves. Those people who didn’t let their fear of judgement or criticism hold them back from sharing what they have to say. Because no matter how many people overlook it or reject it, there is ALWAYS someone (typically many of us) who need to hear it and benefit from it.

Today I want to share just 3 things from my rather long (and still growing) list of helpful life tools/skills/secrets/nuggets, that have majorly and positively impacted my happiness, confidence, and wellbeing.

#1- MIND MANAGEMENT.

I can’t stress this one enough. I talk about it continuously on my Instagram page (@intentionalpeaceandjoy) and am always sharing ways to manage what goes on in our brains. Over 60,000 thoughts go through our heads every single day and MANY of those thoughts are habitual, repetitive and negative. Most of those thoughts consistently come and go without us ever even taking a second to ask ourselves, “Is this thought true? Is this thought helping me in my life? Do I even want to believe this thought?” For example, a repetitive thought such as “I’m not enough” can have major effects not only on your mind but also on your body and your life. And you probably don’t even make the connection. But you think this thought enough times and it will become so wired in your brain to where you concretely feel and act on a daily basis as if you are not enough. It will inevitably affect everything you do and experience in your life to some degree. But this is where the skill of mind management comes in handy!

I’ve said before that this is the most liberating thing I’ve ever learned and I absolutely still feel that way. You learn to manage your mind by first becoming aware of the negative thought(s) your brain likes to feed you. I’d say pick one that you notice yourself having most often…and then you just simply ask yourself if you want to believe this thought or not. Help yourself see that it’s JUST a thought and that believing it is totally optional. When you’re ready, you can then lovingly redirect your mind to a better thought you can replace it with. Practice this enough times and you’ll see that it really puts you in control and takes away the illusion that your thoughts and emotions control YOU. They don’t. Unless you ALLOW them to. But be patient with yourself- I don’t know anyone who’s perfect at this mind skill 🙂

#2- ENERGY AWARENESS.

I’m not talking about your electric bill or when you think you need a caffeine boost! I’m talking about being aware of the energetic field that we all have IN and AROUND each of us. We’ve carried it with us our entire lives and it is a very real part of who we are on a mental, emotional, (and even physical) level. Some people don’t personally believe in energy or understand how it works, but that doesn’t change it’s existence or the affect it has on each of us every single day. To put it simply- EVERYTHING is energy.

Your thoughts are energy, your words are energy, your emotions are energy, the room you’re sitting in is energy, the person next to you is energy. We feel and pick up on energy all day long but most of us are not aware that that is what we’re feeling. When you say “this person (or place) has a good vibe”, what you’re talking about is the “energy” you feel radiating from that person or place. So how can being aware of energy be helpful to you? WELL… When you start becoming aware of it, you start to realize and take note of how much of a difference positive/healing energy can make for you in your life. You’ll start noticing how emotionally better you feel when you’re in certain places, or with certain people, or doing certain activities, or eating certain foods, or listening to certain music or books. Once you start noticing that, you’ll then naturally start wanting to CREATE more of that energy for yourself in your life. You’ll be more intentional with the thoughts you choose, the words you say, the things you choose to spend you’re time doing, the people you surround yourself with, etc. And THEN you may just want to go a little deeper and start learning ways to release negative, traumatic energy patterns that you have in yourself! And THAT is the most amazing thing ever. I will share more about that in a later post as it is something I’m very passionate about. 🙂

#3- SPIRITUAL SECURITY.

This can mean something different for everyone. But for me, it means knowing that there is more to myself and more to this life experience than what my brain can see and understand at this point. It’s knowing and believing that there is a higher power (for me it’s God) that is orchestrating the details of my life and is watching over me. It’s believing and knowing that there is so much to look forward to beyond this earthly life. Spiritual Security doesn’t mean you never have questions or you never feel afraid when life takes unexpected turns. I believe it just means that you are always willing to trust in a higher purpose, in a guided path, in your own intuition, and in the spiritual gifts you have inside of you. I’ve heard many people in my life say, “I’m just not naturally spiritual, I’m just not a very faithful person, I just have a hard time believing in things beyond what I can see.” But what I’ve learned is that being spiritually secure is really a choice you make. It’s something you work on and develop in little ways every day. And when this is how you intentionally choose to live your life, I believe it allows your mind to find both perspective and happiness much more easily than if you had no spiritual security or foundation. These are just my thoughts and beliefs. Take it or leave it 🙂

I hope you found these 3 thoughts/tips to be helpful! Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or comments! I wish everyone the best in your journey with emotional wellbeing and creating greater peace and joy in your life. Have a beautiful weekend!

Love, Morgan

Forgiveness and Letting Go

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Forgiveness has undoubtedly been one of the biggest lessons I’ve had to learn in my life. Over the past 30 years, I’ve experienced a number of situations that have always led me to two choices- either continue holding onto anger and resentment over what’s occurred… or work towards forgiveness and letting go. However, it wasn’t until much later in my life that I was able to understand the amount of relief, power and freedom that lies in the latter decision. Many of you know the emotional freedom I’m talking about but I know there are plenty that are still struggling to get there. I was once there too.

Chances are you have experienced pain in your life. Chances are, you at some point have been put in a situation that you never asked for. Chances are, you’ve been deeply hurt before by someone you love in one way or another. And chances are, you’ve felt some, if not a lot, of emotional trauma over it. Maybe that someone was your parent, or your spouse, or a friend, or a stranger, or a co-worker, or just someone close to your family. Maybe what happened was absolutely horrific and truly the most painful thing ever. But I’ve learned that no matter who that “someone” is or what that “someone” did- the two choices I mentioned above remain the same… Forgiveness or Resentment.

Let me be clear that I don’t think it’s as simple as just making a choice one day and then everything’s lovely and wonderful after that. No… But the process does START with a choice. It starts with your willingness to change your perception and to try to see the situation in a different light. It starts with your desire to let go. To let go of the story, let go of the judgement, let go of your need for anything to be fixed and your need for that person to suffer for their actions (no matter how terrible of a thing they did). From my experience, you simply cannot heal until you start accepting and letting go. But this does not mean you have to agree with what they did, nor does it mean you need to allow that person in your life again. It just means that your choice to forgive is for YOU and YOUR healing. Its not for them.

With that said- I believe you shouldn’t try to start the forgiving process until you have truly allowed yourself to process your emotions. To grieve, to be angry, to feel sad and heartbroken- It’s crucial that you allow these feelings to be present and to feel them for whatever period of time you need to. I believe it’s also incredibly helpful if you have someone else in your life that is willing to hold the space for you to feel what you need to feel and express what you need to express. Whether that’s a friend or family member, or a coach or therapist. I believe this is so beneficial for any healing process.

There was a conference talk given by Jeffrey R Holland, in the 2018 General Conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints… In it he stated something that has always stayed with me. He said, “Despite the most terrible offenses that come to us, we can rise above our pain only when we put our feet onto the true path of healing.”

So now the real question… Once we are ready, how can we put ourselves onto the true path of healing? I’ll share some ways that I’ve found to be incredibly powerful and effective in my own life:

  1. Start with believing and knowing that the Lord understands what you feel and have been through. He understands perfectly your pain and your suffering. Through the atonement, He has suffered it all so that you don’t have to continue to carry it. Your hurt, your disappointment, your heartache, your anger and resentment- knowing that you can give it all to Him is the first and most important step.
  2. Changing your perception. This is so crucial in the process of forgiveness and healing. You cannot truly forgive or let go when you have a continuous mindset of “How could this have happened to me? or “I’ll never get past this” or “I’ve been so wronged.” To really help shift your perception, you’ve got to start asking yourself and exploring questions like, “What is this experience doing FOR me?” or “What is my heart meant to gain from all of this?” Questions like that will interrupt your typical thought pattern and can really help your perception to start shifting. But you must take the time to really ponder these questions and answer them.
  3. Writing. If you’ve been reading my blog or following me on Instagram, you know that I feel strongly about writing and journaling. Writing your thoughts and feelings on paper is like a form of meditation that allows you to clear negative energy, and at the same time it frees up space in your mind for healing thoughts to be created. I personally have found that for the purpose of forgiving someone, it’s incredibly effective to write a letter. (Even if you have no intention of giving them the letter). When you write a letter to the person who you’re struggling to forgive, expressing all of your thoughts and feelings, it really helps release those trapped emotions inside of you and promotes the healing process. And always CRY when you need to cry. Don’t fight it.
  4. Affirmations. Affirmations are just statements said with intention. And that intention combined with feeling is what allows your mind, body and spirit to benefit from them. So if you consistently practice affirmations with the intention to help yourself forgive and heal, you will find that to be the exact result you start creating for yourself. Affirmations like, “I choose to forgive so I can be free. I am letting go of all anger and frustration. I move through forgiveness into compassion. I now choose to release all hurt and resentment. I am ready to be healed and I am willing to forgive.” You could use any or all of these affirmations on a daily basis and I guarantee you would be amazed at what they do for you! Your words have such power!
  5. Forgiveness Meditation. This has been one of the most powerful things I’ve learned to do. And it doesn’t need to be complicated. I’m going to share a simplified version that is still very effective… First, you find a quiet place without any distractions, (for me it’s my bedroom), sit down and close your eyes. Before you begin, set your intention of forgiveness. Meaning that you basically declare in your mind that the purpose of this meditation is to help you move into forgiving, and keep your energy flowing toward that result. Then, you can simply visualize the person in your mind who you’ve harbored these feelings toward. Imagine them as the imperfect human they are. Imagine them with all the internal struggles that they perhaps have never overcome or healed from since childhood…which could be the very reason they act the way they do and have done what they’ve done. Visualize yourself feeling love and compassion for them in that moment (Important) .You can even imagine reaching your hand out to them or hugging them and saying the words, “I forgive you.” Focus on the feelings this gives you, and breathe through it—– As I said, this is a simplified version you can try and honestly it doesn’t have to be exactly what I’ve described here. You can do whatever you feel works for you. The point is just to do it and watch how your mind, heart and soul benefit from this kind of meditation. It’s pretty incredible.

I could keep going but I’ll stop here 🙂 I hope you find these tips helpful! If you are struggling now to forgive someone, but feel ready to make some progress, give these tools a try. I promise you they will make all the difference as long as your intention is there and you involve the Lord in all of it. And as someone who has been through a very long and life changing journey of forgiveness, I can say that it is worth the effort to get there. There is no greater relief and inner peace I’ve ever felt than the day I knew I’d forgiven the person who I blamed for so much of my pain for so many years. I wish that same inner peace for you in your journey to forgiveness.

Love, Morgan

Finding God in Emotional Healing

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I believe that God is a god of intention. I believe that He is a God of infinite love. I believe that He wants what is best for all of His children and that He intentionally places people, experiences, and trials in our life so that we can ultimately achieve what is best for us. But because we are human, sometimes our emotions keep us from achieving that. Emotions like fear, self doubt, anxiety, overwhelm, stress, confusion, blame, resentment, etc.

This is why I feel so strongly about emotional wellness. This is why I blog, why I share my experiences, why I read and study so many books and programs and why I choose to live my life the way I do now. Yes, the tools that I use and the advice I share have all played a huge part in my healing. But It is only through the Lord that I have been able to come to this place in my life. It was only through Him that I was guided to learn all of these amazing things in the first place. I asked Him for help. I pleaded with Him to somehow help me uncover the person that I knew was buried under a mountain of emotional traumas. Traumas that can seem so subtle from the outside. But nevertheless, traumas that over time can drag you lower and lower and keep you from feeling true happiness and purpose in your life. Not to mention the physical issues they can cause. (Heart palpitations and chronic fatigue were two of my main physical issues that I never realized were related to my emotional issues)

I wanted something better for myself. I wanted to be a better mother than I felt I was being to my kids. I wanted to be a better wife. I wanted to feel more connected to God and to my true spiritual self that I had once known. I wanted to feel healthy and whole. I wanted to be able to better help family and friends who I love. I wanted to strengthen my relationships. I wanted to be able to love and accept myself not just despite, but BECAUSE of my weaknesses and I wanted to be able to forgive certain people in my life for theirs. I wanted to grow and prove to myself that I could do hard things. And part of that meant re-learning what it truly means to love unconditionally. Something I hadn’t experienced in a very long time because of my emotional struggles. I was ready create something totally different in my life. I was ready to release everything that was holding me back. And I wanted Heavenly Father to show me how to do this.

What came next was a journey of self development and self healing that I truly did not know was possible. I have been guided from one thing to the next. Still, every week I feel is like a new lesson learned, a new experience had, and more inspiration from The Lord comes to me, letting me know to keep going on this path. And because I have chosen to listen, I have had the most incredible experiences of others reaching out to me and telling me that they applied something I shared in conversation or in a blog post or a social media post and they have been amazed, seeing their own healing taking place and their lives starting to change for the better. It’s truly a testimony to me that this type of work on ourselves matters! I know and believe that it is so very important and that God CARES DEEPLY about our emotional wellbeing.

I believe that it is through our own emotional healing and self development that He is able to use us in a more spiritually impactful way. In a way that allows us to recognize and more confidently share our gifts and strengths and knowledge and testimonies with others. To build each other up and help each other grow.

But when we are disconnected from God and from ourselves, or when we consistently feel emotionally stuck, it can become difficult to remember who you truly are, to recognize all the amazing gifts you have to give, and to create something better in your life than what you are currently experiencing…or even to just simply feel happy. Sometimes that’s all we want. I know it because I have lived it. And I promise there is hope and healing waiting for you. Always.

Love, Morgan

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO CREATE YOUR LIFE?

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Hey there! It’s good to be back after a couple of weeks! My family and I have some exciting life changes happening but they sure are keeping us busy from week to week. We also had the opportunity to take our kids to the snow in central California before it melted, so we made sure we did that! Best day ever! Why are little kids all dressed up in snow gear so stinking adorable?? Seriously. Anyway, enough rambling. 🙂

So, this blog topic has been on my mind for a while. I often use the hashtag “createyourlife” at the bottom of my Instagram posts. And I often wonder how people interpret that. What does it mean to create your life? Have you ever sincerely asked yourself what you believe about that? Does it mean to “make things happen”? Does it mean to create a plan every day and do your best to stick to it? Does it mean setting goals and actually achieving them? Does it mean believing in something so deeply that you are bound to manifest it?

To me…Yes, I do think it means all of those things. But I think there are also some key parts of creating your life that many of us tend to overlook. And I wish these key parts were taught in school. I truly do. I wonder how much better of a start I would have gotten on my life! But that’s ok 🙂 Maybe someday they will be taught to students. For now, I’m just going to make sure I teach them to my own children once they’re old enough. So, here’s 3 things I believe are essential when it comes to the process of “creating your life”.

  1. CREATE YOUR EMOTIONS. We can do that?? Yes, we can totally do that. That being said, we all have circumstances in life that trigger thoughts and emotions which almost seem to happen without any warning. And it’s incredibly important to recognize, allow and process those emotions. But we also have the power to generate emotions within us by intentionally thinking, meditating or visualizing. We can create emotions on purpose. A simple example is how I feel genuinely sad and get teary eyed by imagining something heartbreaking happening to someone I love. But I can also make myself feel immense joy and excitement by imagining being on vacation in Rome with my husband. So why does this matter in creating your life? Because your emotions are what drive you to take action. They can either inspire you to go and create what you desire, or they can keep you stuck in a negative pattern of fear, doubt, and inaction. I’ve been really practicing generating my desired emotions every day for the past 7 months- the ones I often choose are Love, Gratitude and Confidence. And I can’t even express just how much this simple practice has healed me and has helped change my world for the better. It’s allowed me to create so much good in my life in so many ways.

2. CREATE YOUR STORY. You are not your past. You are not the story that people tell about you. You are not your mistakes, your weaknesses or your failures. You are not the things you constantly doubt about yourself. You are whoever you choose to be and your story is whatever you choose to write moving forward. This doesn’t mean denying your story, but rather “owning your story and writing a brave new ending”… as Brene Brown puts it. And don’t fall into the “but I’ve just always been this way” lie. Just because you’ve always had a short temper, or have always been too reserved to go after your dreams, or have always been an emotional eater (a battle I’ve struggled with my whole life), none of that means that you have to be that person for the rest of your life. You can love yourself despite the struggles you’ve had, and decide right now that you are going to change your story and create a new one moving forward! I know it can be scary to let go of a story that you’ve always told yourself. Your brain will even try to resist you changing at first. But once you get past that first part that feels a little uncomfortable… a whole new world of healing, intuition and possibilities will open up to you! That has been my experience.

3. CREATE YOUR ENDING. You may think this is similar to creating your story but it’s actually quite different. I’ll share a simple example of what I mean by this. Almost 5 years ago my husband unexpectedly lost his job. He job hunted and went to interviews for about 8 months. 8 very stressful months. I was watching him do this and trying to be the support he needed. But instead of just trusting and believing in the ending I wanted, (which was- that he would get a great new job that offered new growth experiences and would be a blessing for our family), I remember getting so hung up on the details of “how” this was going to happen and “who” would be the person or company to hire him. And “when” on earth would this actually happen?? Needless to say, my faith was tested. I caused so much stress and anxiety for myself by obsessing over the details that I truly had no control over. And when the time came that he finally did get hired, it ended up being an amazing opportunity that came with several blessings that were totally not expected and never planned for. It required us to move to Southern California which I also never saw happening nor did I ever want. But it has been one of the greatest blessings of my life. So my point to this is to help you see that all you really need to be focused on is the ending you want. Don’t stress trying to figure out the “how”. Just believe wholeheartedly in whatever you want to manifest. Do your part and The Lord will take care of the details. And often He will give you even more than what you were trying to manifest in the first place.

Love, Morgan

#createyourlife

How Can I Gain and Keep Perspective?

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“Life is ever changing.”
That’s what my family member said to me a couple of weeks ago during a conversation we had about certain life experiences and trials. We were talking about how different life has been since the unexpected passing of someone we love, and yet at the same time how life hasn’t changed at all. That’s sort of the cruel paradox when it comes to tragedy or sudden life change isn’t it? No matter how big or how small the traumatic event, life still goes on. Responsibilities are still there. People still need taken care of. Bills still have to be paid. Problems still need to be solved. Memories still need to be made. Life still has to be lived. And often that’s the last thing we want to do when a special part of our world is suddenly gone or altered in some way .

Of course it doesn’t always happen in the form of death. Sometimes it happens in the form of someone else’s choices turning your world upside down, or watching someone you dearly love get hurt. Sometimes it’s receiving a diagnosis of some sort, losing a job, getting through divorce, or any unexpected events that change the course of your goal or dream. Maybe it’s even a change that you are actually welcoming into your life but you still feel uneasy and scared of the unknown.

Whatever life changing event you’ve experienced (or will experience), it can be extremely difficult (sometimes impossible) to pick yourself up and truly move forward in your life if you do not have perspective. Have you noticed that your brain is very good at worrying, thinking dramatic thoughts and jumping to worst case scenarios? It’s completely natural for the brain to do that because it was designed to protect us and keep us safe. That fight or flight feeling we get comes from our brain’s instinctual reaction to when we feel fear or sense danger… Which is why the brain often reacts that same way when we experience tragedy or sudden life changes. It’s just doing what comes natural to it.

So this is where the power of perspective is INCREDIBLY helpful to us!

I want to share with you 3 QUESTIONS (that I personally use) that can be so useful when you’re trying to gain and keep perspective- especially during the hard times. But also during situations when you’re just trying to help your brain chill out and take a step back to see the bigger picture.

Question #1: What do I have control over right now?

My answers to this are always the same: my thoughts and my actions. I can’t control or change what has happened, I can’t control other people, and I can’t control exactly how things will play out in the future. But I can totally govern my own thoughts and actions moving forward. And I can make sure that they are thoughts and actions that will help me show up in my life as the person I want to be. Decide what your intention is and go from there.

Question #2: What would my future self most likely tell me?

This question is powerful because we often have greater perspective later on down the road when we’re not so caught up in the middle of it. So asking this question helps me remove myself from the situation momentarily and gets me thinking about what my future perspective would be or could be. I’m telling you this is super helpful. Something that I honestly recommend is writing yourself a letter from your future self. I’ve done that numerous times and it’s very powerful. Try it! You just might be surprised at what it can do for you.

Question #3: What do I choose to learn from this experience?

I love this one. When we are going through a difficult situation, we so often hear or think “I’m sure there’s a reason”… or “I’m sure I’m supposed to learn something from this.” And that attitude isn’t a bad one by any means, but I’ve noticed that sometimes it tends to keep us waiting to see what we are “supposed” to learn from it- or it can keep us waiting and looking for the answer to “why” this happened to us. But what if YOU just decide what lesson you are going to learn from this and how you will use it in your life moving forward? What if YOU decide what it will mean for you and your future, instead of waiting to find out what’s supposed to happen next.

That’s the thing about our free agency. God gave us the ability to choose for ourselves and to co-create our lives. And that is true even in times of change, trial, tragedy or confusion. He will never take away our freedom to choose what we do with our lives. And that’s why I love these questions so much. They help me remember that gaining perspective is a choice, moving forward with faith and confidence is a choice. It might not be the easiest choice… but it is most definitely the one that brings the most peace and joy. And allows you to live your life to the fullest… even amidst the trials.

And to quote a friend- “You don’t keep your chin up because you’re trying to put on a good face during a hard time. You do it because you know what’s waiting for you ahead.”

Love, Morgan


How Can Music Influence My Emotional/Mental Wellbeing?

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“Music touches us emotionally, where words alone cant.” -Johnny Depp

I’m sure this quote has been true for most everyone reading this. Music, at one point or another in your life, has probably touched you in a way that only music can. If you’re like me, you love music deeply and use it for all sorts of situations in life. I love listening to music when I clean my house, when I write, when I want to calm my anxiety, when I need to cry, when I want to feel spiritually connected, when I just want to sing, the list goes on and on.

More than anything, music has played a huge role in helping me heal from things in my life. It has been my therapist in a way. A safe haven. At my lowest lows I have turned to music, or reached for my guitar and just let my emotions play through my fingers on the strings. When I experienced my first real heartbreak in college, when I’ve had marriage struggles, when my parents divorced, when my father in law passed away unexpectedly, when my childhood home was sold, when I’ve simply struggled to let go- music has always been there for me.

Did you know that there are actually music therapists? I just recently learned this. They use music to help treat patients with Depression, Alzheimer’s, and Autism, as well as a number of other things. Music has the ability to trigger emotions, thoughts and memories in people. It also has power to help with developmental delays and impaired cognition. It has power to help heal us. Pretty amazing!

Along with music, we can find inspiration in lyrics. Something I have come to realize and appreciate so deeply is the way that lyrics can affect us. Certain lyrics speak straight to my soul in a way that feels like they were written specifically for my life and my experiences. They also have the power to inspire your mind and bring certain thoughts to you that can literally move you to take needed action in your life.

An example of this happening for me was one day when I was listening to Nichole Nordeman. Her song “Every Mile Mattered”. There is a part in it where she says… “It’s history, It don’t define you. You’re free to leave it all behind you. Every tear brought you here, every sorrow gathered. It’s history, and every mile mattered.”

Those words pierced my heart and opened my mind to a new perspective in a split second. I remember stopping the song and actually replaying that part. It helped me be able to see myself and my life in a new way. The thought and realization that I was literally free to leave certain things behind me that I’d been struggling to get past. I didn’t have to let any of it define my life moving forward or take up any more precious space in my mind. The realization that I could be grateful for certain experiences and hardships simply because they brought me here, but I no longer had to carry them with me. It was such a powerful epiphany for me. One of many moments of pure inspiration I’ve had all because of a simple song that spoke to me.

Never underestimate the power of music or the power of lyrics. Let them speak to you and work within you. Use them to enrich your life, to open your mind and to heal your soul. And they will.

Love, Morgan

How Do I Change My Limiting Beliefs?

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Let’s start with the obvious question first… What is a limiting belief? A limiting belief is simply something you believe to be true about yourself, about others, or about the world, that limits you in some way. Limiting beliefs can be toxic. They constrain us. They can make our vibrant spirits seem dim, they can hide beautiful parts of our personality, they can (and typically do) stunt our personal growth, and keep us from taking action on things we feel drawn to do.

So throughout your life, you’ve had experiences that have shaped your thoughts and beliefs about yourself and about the world. Those thoughts and beliefs have likely become engrained in you for so long, to the point that they feel like absolute facts to your brain. Your limiting beliefs usually develop in the past where something either happened to you, or someone said something to you that you interpreted a certain way. You then took it into your subconscious mind, and over time (years for a lot of us), you’ve unconsciously always looked for evidence to prove that belief about yourself to be true.

A simple example- maybe you did poorly in a particular math class one year and your teacher even made some harsh comments to you about it… and then you adopted a belief that you’re really bad at math. When in reality, that’s not the case at all. It’s just a belief that you have nurtured so deeply for so long and so now you’ve got so much evidence to prove it. We’ve all done this in one way or another. We all have limiting beliefs. And ya know what? We can let go of the ones we choose to, at any time we choose to.

So I’m going to share a limiting belief that I struggled with and the process for how I overcame it. This belief I had probably seems trivial or silly, (and I’ll admit it’s not one of the heaviest or most damaging beliefs that I’ve had), but it did GREATLY impact my self-confidence and my mental energy from day to day. And perhaps some of you even have the same one. This was my belief… “I’m really terrible at organizing closets. I hate it. It’s not my strength.”

Silly, right? But sometimes its these silly beliefs that create the bigger problems and chaos in our life. I can’t even tell you how hardcore I believed that I super sucked at organizing closets and it was such an overwhelming task. (Makes me laugh now). But it was to the point that my palms would get sweaty and I’d feel tremendous anxiety over the thought of doing it. This limiting belief led me to have cluttered, disorderly closets for years. And every time I’d walk into or walk by one of them, I could literally feel my mental energy being drained out of me. And I was finally ready to do something about it! So here’s how I learned to let go of that limiting belief that interfered with my life for so long. You can use these 3 simple steps below for any and all limiting beliefs you have, regardless how serious or how trivial.

STEP 1 Become aware of the limiting belief you struggle with regarding yourself or your life. You can do this by thinking of a goal you have or maybe a project you want to complete… no matter how big or small. (So in my case, it was organizing my walk in master closet) Notice the thoughts that come into your mind when you think about that goal or project. What does your brain start telling you? Also, recognize the emotions you feel surrounding your belief. My emotions about organizing my closet were dread, anxiety, and frustration. Which, for years, kept me avoiding the task all together.

STEP 2Be curious and compassionate with yourself. Do not judge yourself for the belief you have. Just get curious about it. Try to be understanding and have compassion for whatever experience you had that caused this belief to develop in the first place. (In other words, don’t tell yourself you’re ridiculous for having that belief). Love yourself through it. And don’t worry if you have a hard time connecting it to a specific past experience. What really matters is that you’re just aware you have the belief and that you’re ready to let it go.

STEP 3–  Choose a new empowering belief and envision it! So what I did in my case was I took my limiting belief and I challenged it with this question: “What if I’m actually great at organizing and it’s totally a strength I have? What if I LOVED organizing my master closet and it was even fun for me?” So that’s the new belief I chose to cultivate: “I’m super good at organizing and I have fun doing it!”

So now the envisioning part… I took this new empowering belief that I chose and I went and stood in my master closet. I closed my eyes and started envisioning. I envisioned myself organizing it and really ENJOYING the process of it all. I envisioned that I was purging and organizing that closet like a freakin pro. I envisioned the details of what the finished product would look like, with labeled bins for accessories, color coordinated shirts, neatly hung blouses, and only having things that actually belonged in the closet, in the closet (#hoarderproblems.) Everything was orderly and it had the most light, refreshing feel to it. I probably spent 3 to 5 minutes envisioning all of this in my mind, and when I opened my eyes- I felt something totally different- I felt excited, I felt motivated! I felt confident in my ability to complete this task from beginning to end and enjoy every bit of it. And ya know what? I totally did! And the finished product was just as I envisioned it. (I’ll do a later post on how and why envisioning works so incredibly well)

I had totally cracked my limiting belief and proved it wrong. So my new, empowering belief fueled my new actions, and my new actions blew me away, and that then solidified the new belief in myself to be true. See how that works?? Goodbye limiting belief! Hello Truth! It was so nice to finally meet you 🙂 I took this new belief and I started applying it to many other areas in my house, and within a month, I was able to have 5 major areas in my home cleaned out and organized. Areas that I had been staring at for years and feeling totally overwhelmed by. The struggle was finally gone. What a liberating and empowering lesson this was for me. And it all started with a choice. And with something as simple as a master closet. Imagine what you could do in the major areas of life!

I’ll leave you with some powerful words from one of my favorite actors, Hugh Jackman… “If you continue to tell yourself the same story, it will continue to be true. But when you change your story, you can change your life.”

Love, Morgan

Finding Balance: Lucky 13!

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Life, in a lot of ways, is about finding balance. A little over a year ago, I was very “off” mentally and emotionally. I was not managing my mind in a conscious or intentional way, and as a result I was totally unaware that my emotional beliefs were so incredibly imbalanced. And I was even more unaware of how much it was affecting so many areas of my life. I was not open to any other perspective except the one I had been living in for so long. I was missing out on so many valuable life lessons because I was too wrapped up in my own emotional struggles. I had beliefs like… “I’m a hot mess and I’ll probably never get it together”, “I’m so emotionally jacked up, something is so wrong with me.”, “Life freakin sucks”, “I’m so angry at this person for their decision”, “I’m not the mom I should be”, and on and on. I believed all of these things. And ya know what? Its normal. It’s the way the human brain works without any help or direction.

I’ve said before that I believe we learn and experience things in life at the time we are meant to. And I got to a point in my life where I just knew it was time. It was time for me to figure things out. It was time to do some soul searching, to heal from past experiences, to understand life on a deeper and more inspired level. Things started really changing for me once I dove into my journey of self-help and life coaching. I’ll be forever grateful for that decision and for the lessons I’ve learned and experiences I’ve had because of it. They have changed so much in my life for the better. So I wanted to share 13 of the most valuable lessons that, once I truly understood, helped me to create more balance in so many areas of my own life. You may have already learned some of these lessons for yourself! And if you have, then just consider these below to be good reminders 🙂

As I wrote these, I started thinking a lot of my teenage and college years for some reason. How much heartache, guilt, and insecurity I probably could have saved myself had I understood these things and applied them at that point in my life. It makes me so grateful for my understanding of them now and that I’ll be able to teach my children these lessons as they grow.


1.YOU CAN/SHOULD ALWAYS VALIDATE YOUR CURRENT THOUGHTS AND EMOTIONS, AND AT THE SAME TIME CHOOSE TO WORK ON CULTIVATING THOUGHTS THAT ARE MORE HEALING AND UPLIFTING FOR YOU.

2. YOU CAN CHOOSE TO FEEL IMMENSE GRATITUDE FOR EVERYTHING YOU ALREADY HAVE IN YOUR LIFE, AND AT THE SAME TIME STRIVE FOR MORE. IT IS TOTALLY OK AND EVEN HEALTHY TO WANT. IT’S WHAT KEEPS US CHANGING AND PROGRESSING.

3. YOU CAN CHOOSE TO COMPLETELY LOVE AND APPRECIATE YOURSELF AS YOU ARE, AND AT THE SAME TIME BE AWARE THAT THERE ARE THINGS YOU WANT TO IMPROVE ON. GO FOR IT!!

4. YOU CAN ADMIT THAT YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW YOU’RE GOING TO ACHIEVE A CERTAIN GOAL, AND AT THE SAME TIME STILL BELIEVE WHOLEHEARTEDLY THAT YOU WILL ACHIEVE IT ANYWAY.

5. YOU CAN CHOOSE TO COMPLETELY FORGIVE SOMEONE, AND ALSO CHOOSE TO CREATE BOUNDARIES TO PROTECT YOURSELF IN THE FUTURE.

6. YOU CAN CRY AND GRIEVE… AND STILL MOVE FORWARD, KNOWING THAT HEALING IS TAKING PLACE LITTLE BY LITTLE.

7. YOU CAN EXPERIENCE LOSS WITHOUT LOSING YOURSELF.

8. YOU CAN CHOOSE SOMETHING YOU’VE ALWAYS BEEN BAD AT, AND MAKE IT SOMETHING YOU ARE GOOD OR EVEN GREAT AT.

9. YOU CAN TOTALLY FEEL LIKE NOT DOING SOMETHING, AND STILL CHOOSE TO DO IT ANYWAY, SIMPLY BECAUSE YOU KNOW IT IS FOR YOUR GOOD AND THE GOOD OF OTHERS.

10. YOU CAN BE A COMPLETE HOT MESS AND AT THE SAME TIME KNOW THAT THE LORD ONLY SEES A WOMAN/MAN OF INFINITE WORTH AND POTENTIAL.

11. YOU CAN WATCH SOMEONE MAKE DECISIONS THAT YOU WOULD NEVER SUPPORT OR AGREE WITH, AND AT THE SAME TIME LOVE THAT PERSON AND ACCEPT WHERE THEY’RE AT IN THEIR JOURNEY.

12. YOU CAN BE REMEMBERED FOR CERTAIN THINGS IN YOUR PAST AND STILL CHOOSE TO NOT LET IT DEFINE YOU OR YOUR FUTURE.

13. YOU CAN CREATE YOUR OWN PEACE AND HAPPINESS REGARDLESS OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES IN YOUR LIFE.

I invite you to add to this list! What are some of your most valued lessons or beliefs that help you create balance? 🙂 Thank you for always reading.

Love, Morgan

Feel free to follow me on Instagram @kenningtonmorgan 🙂

WAYS TO IMPLEMENT GRATITUDE

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Hey there! So this is part 2 of my previous post that I promised you. :)Hopefully you’ll find something in this post that speaks to you, maybe encourages you to think differently, or simply nudges you in the direction you’ve already felt inspired to go! I love it when that happens. If you’re searching for a way to help manage your stress, frustration, self-esteem, or to just feel happier in general… Gratitude is an amazing gateway.

So how can we practice and implement this beautiful thing called GRATITUDE? When I think of the word gratitude I always think “deep appreciation”… but sometimes it can be hard to know what that looks like. That’s always one of my first thoughts…what does the ACTION look like? Something that I love to do when I want a better understanding of a word is I go to Google. (Can you believe it??) I of course look at the definition, but what I love even more than that are the synonyms. For gratitude, you’ll find synonyms like “recognition and acknowledgement”.

I don’t know about you but those words help me to have a more clear vision in my mind of what gratitude could potentially look like. So I decided I was going to start being more intentional at recognizing and acknowledging specific moments, people, experiences, and blessings that occurred on a day to day basis.

Many people do this through prayer. And I am definitely one of them. It’s something I’ve done my whole life and it’s a powerful practice that I cherish and keeps me feeling connected to God and more grateful in general. But there are 3 additional things I decided to make a part of my life in order to take on a deeper understanding of gratitude…through recognition and acknowledgment. You may already do these 3 things and if you do, you know what a difference they make!

  1. Keep a “Daily Gratitude” journal. I once thought that was just something cute you do when you’re 14. Oh how I wish I would have understood that it’s so much more than that. It’s truly one of the most healthy and inspired practices that we can do throughout our life. I’ve often heard lots of influencers, like Rachel Hollis, who preach it and encourage it but it’s just one of those things you don’t fully understand until you start doing it. At least that’s how it was for me. The way I like to use my journal is I take some time every night, and I write down 10 things that I noticed or experienced that day which I feel grateful for. If you do this every day, you’ll start to see that it keeps your brain aware of the good that’s going on around you. It changes your perception by helping you to constantly look for and recognize meaningful moments, experiences and people. Which is really fun! It can be something as simple as the beautiful weather, running into a friend that day, your child doing something that made you proud, or receiving kind words from a stranger. When you focus on finding things to be grateful for…you will in fact find them. And more than anything… you’ll FEEL it. And that feeling/perspective can help carry you through the hard times as well.

2. Write GRATITUDE notes. I first learned the power of this when I served a mission for my church in Barcelona. I lived there for a year and a half and I would truly love to know just how many gratitude notes and thank you notes my companions and I wrote to each other, and wrote to other people we served or taught in Spain. We wrote them because of what we felt in our hearts and we wanted to express it. It made us happy doing it. I learned that expressing your gratitude helps you just as much as the person receiving it. I’ve tried hard to keep every note and card I’ve ever been given. Because the words on them are powerful and remind me of the importance of expressing our feelings through writing. One of my favorite notes that I still have from one of my mission companions simply says, “Thank you for making my bed for me today. I love you.” I can’t explain exactly why that little note still means so much to me, but it does. So, the next time someone serves you in any way, take the time to write them a Thank You note. Or better yet- make it a habit! I’m working on making it a habit again in my life.

3. Intentional Thoughts of Gratitude! Like other emotions, gratitude is created in our minds. And it can be difficult to feel grateful if we aren’t being conscious of the thoughts going through our heads every day. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s been studied and proven that the thoughts we have actually create our feelings. So if that’s true (and I believe it is) then that means that we can choose to intentionally focus on grateful thoughts and it will literally generate the feeling of gratitude in our bodies! I like to do this the most when I’m in the shower, or driving in my car, or doing dishes, or journaling. Any place where I have some time to be in a more meditative state of mind. It is powerful. It has a way helping me find healing, and happiness. It has a way of opening up my mind to all the things I have to be grateful for… and helps me hold on to the good, to the positive, and to the continual blessings that pour out upon me and my family.

So there ya go! These are the ways I love to practice gratitude in my life. 🙂 I would love to hear some of the ways you try to make gratitude a lifestyle too! And if you haven’t ever tried any intentional gratitude practices before then I encourage you to do it! It will bless your life and enrich your spirit. That I can promise you!

“GRATITUDE CHANGES EVERYTHING”

LOVE, MORGAN