The Loving Hopeful Version

  • Words Are Magic

    Hello, friends! It’s been an unusual week for me so I’m sorry I missed my usual Monday post. I am back today for a “Quote of the Week” and some thoughts about it. Thanks for being here.

    Today I want to talk about words. You probably know that I am a big fan of words, since I share so many with you and am a self-proclaimed bookworm. They are just so intriguing to me. Isn’t it interesting how words can make or break your day? It’s crazy to think how someone sending you a text message that says something like “Hey, just thinking about you and hoping you’re doing well” can fill up our emotional buckets so much. And on the flip side, a negative comment on social media or text or in-person can be burned into our minds for daaaaays. There is power in what we say.

    The quote I want to share with you is not from something I’m currently reading. Instead, I am choosing one of my all-time favorites to share. It is from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling and it reads:

    The choice we have to make is whether our words are going to help heal or cause pain. And by the way, this doesn’t just apply to how we communicate to other people and how they communicate with us. This also is hugely important in how we talk to OURSELVES. We probably have all been hard on ourselves at one point or another… way harder than we would be on someone we love. And that’s not ok. We need to be gentle with ourselves… problem solve and heal hurts, instead of yelling at ourselves and dwelling in bitterness and negativity.

    So as you go through the rest of today and into your weekend, remember: your words are magic. What you say and how you say it makes a difference, both to yourself and those around you.

    I’m going to embrace the magic. ~ Sonja K.

  • Truth & Courage

    Just a quick “Quote of the Week” post for this Saturday morning. I am letting it settle into my bones and I hope you will too.

    Love and hope today. ~ Sonja K.

  • The Journey Through the Hard Places

    Through the dark. We’ve all had to go there. We’ve all had something hard happen that came out of left field. We’ve all had a friend move away or a family member get sick. We’ve maybe even witnessed a tragedy unfold and needed someone else to carry us for awhile, the grief too much to bear alone. We’ve all seen things. We’ve all been in a dark spot at one time or another. Life doesn’t let any one of us off the hook.

    The interesting part about this darkness in our human experience is that without it, we would not appreciate all the good things in our lives. We all want the good things, the love, the friendship, the successes in different areas of our lives. But who said anything about suffering? We don’t want that. We don’t want to feel down or frustrated or not enough.

    Here’s the thing though… we can’t truly appreciate the good things without also appreciating the journey through the hard places. This seems to me to be an important paradox of the human experience. After all, to understand and appreciate what we have, we have to consider what it would be like if it was gone.

    I’ve heard it said that gratitude can have a major impact on how we live our lives. Being thankful for the relationships we have, the roof over our heads, the food on the table can really shift our perspective. And does it cost us to be thankful? It literally costs us nothing, but it benefits us so much. Instead of dwelling on the car that just cut me off (true story of struggle for me here), I can try to shift my thinking to WHY that person is driving like a maniac… maybe they can’t be late for work again or they will be fired, maybe someone is having a baby in their backseat, maybe a friend called them for help. The point is, when I take a step back in compassion, I can allow gratitude to come into me instead of anger, annoyance, or hate.

    So let’s bring this back to the journey through the hard places. Am I saying the hard places will disappear simply with gratitude? I am not saying that at all. I am saying that as we journey through whatever hard thing is in front of us, finding things to be grateful for could serve as stepping stones across the hot lava of the situation when we can’t seem to see a way forward. Take a step in gratitude, breathe, feel the heat of the moment, stay on that stone as long as you need to, and then look for the next one.

    Going through the dark times in our lives is also more bearable when we have someone who cares about us. If you need help in the midst of a struggle, always remember your people. Those who care will show up. You don’t have to be alone. They can hold your hand as you jump from stone to stone through the mess you’re dealing with.

    I was really sick last week, which is why I didn’t do my usual Monday post. It’s the first one I’ve missed since starting this blog in April, if that tells you anything. What it tells me is that I’m committed to being here, sharing my thoughts, and connecting with others. I am grateful to have my health back and be back on here again this week. Thanks for being here.

    Wishing you all love and hope this week, especially in your journey through the hard, dark places. ~ Sonja K.

    Sometimes when you look a little closer in the hard places, you can see love.
  • Don’t Miss Your Slice

    Happy Friday, friends! It has been an interesting week for me, as I was very much under the weather since last Sunday morning. Today is the first day I woke up feeling like myself again, and for that I am thankful. I am glad to be back today to post this week’s Quote of the Week and a few thoughts around it that are swirling in my brain. Let’s jump into the quote, which reads as follows:

    Life is not something you get; it’s something you experience. Life exists with or without you. It has been going on for billions of years. You simply get the honor of seeing a tiny slice of it. If you’re busy trying to get something, you will miss the slice you’re actually experiencing. What actually gives life meaning is the willingness to live it.

    Michael A. Singer – The Untethered Soul – pg. 161

    Once again I was awestruck by words from Michael Singer’s book The Untethered Soul. I finally finished working my way through the book about two weeks ago, but I saved these words (along with many others) on my phone and I cannot seem to stop reading them over and over again. How beautiful it is that I get to be here, that I get to experience this tiny slice of something so precious. The people I love, the experiences I go through, the emotions I feel, my unique soul… it’s all part of something so much bigger than I can even comprehend. And yet, I get to be here. My life matters. And so does yours.

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again… there is no one like you. No one will ever live the life you are living right now. I am saying that as much to myself as to you, friend. Let’s enjoy this beautifully precarious slice of life we have the honor of experiencing, while we have the honor of doing so. It truly is amazing.

    A little more hopeful today,
    Sonja K.

  • 7 Things I Waste Time Worrying About

    Today’s post is brought to you by… worry! You know… that really obnoxious thing that creeps into your mind and makes you go nuts.

    I have been thinking lately about how I can transform my worry into something productive. The list below includes seven things I waste time worrying about, and the ways I try to mentally combat them.

    The 7 Things

    1. What others think. I don’t want to be the person OTHERS think I should be. I want to be who I AM, in all my strengths, weaknesses and quirks. After all, there’s only one me.
    2. Whether or not I’m capable. I know I am capable of many things, and probably have potential I haven’t even tapped yet… so why is this even a thing? Believing in myself is key.
    3. What we will make for dinner… I swear half of being an adult is thinking about this exact dilemma. Thankfully meal planning has become somewhat of a habit for us. And when in doubt? It’s okay to order in every now and then.
    4. What I’ll be doing in five years. The more important thing is what I’m doing and who I am today, because that is where I am RIGHT NOW.
    5. How someone will react to something important I have to say. I have the control over what I say, not over how it’s received. And that’s okay. All I can do is try to communicate my thoughts and feelings effectively; I have no control over theirs, and that’s a burden lifted off of me.
    6. Being right. It’s more important to be connected and open with people than it is to convince them of something unequivocally.
    7. How much money I make. My husband and I make the money work for us, whatever that looks like. I’m lucky to have a partner in the arena with me who works with me to figure out financial stuff. Also, money is not life… love, family, friendship, joy – those things are life.

    My hope is that I can learn to win that mental battle every time by reminding myself of these truths. Maybe it’ll help one of you to reframe your experience of worry too. Maybe today we can both worry a little less and enjoy living a little more. I’m rootin’ for ya.

    Thanks for being here again this week. When you stop by to read my thoughts, it means a lot to me. Sending you love and hope today. ~ Sonja K.

    One place worry cannot seem to find me. 🙂
  • Choosing Joy

    Happy Friday, everyone! This past week I’ve started reading Bob Goff’s book Undistracted. I love the voice he writes in – it’s both simple and profound, challenging but loving. He offers relatable insight into life and the work of finding joy.

    The quote I am sharing today focuses on the ability to choose joy and happiness, and what happens as a result of that decision. I invite you to read it a few times. Let it sit with you. You could even write it down yourself, read it again, and underline, circle, or highlight the things that stand out to you.

    The question I asked myself after reading this quote was this: what’s holding me back from choosing happiness and joy? Don’t I want my life to be full of kindness, empathy, and engagement?

    It seems obvious after reading his words, that those things will not happen as a result of a constant state of anger, sadness, or other negative emotion. To bear goodness, I have to focus on goodness. I have to find the people and experiences that spark joy in my life and embrace them.

    I hope you do at least one thing today that brings you joy, that sets your soul ablaze, that adds to your life’s collection of happiness.

    ~ Sonja K.

  • Brimming with Beauty

    Hi Readers!

    Since today is a holiday, I thought I would do a shorter post and share with you a poem I wrote this morning. I wrote it out of overwhelming gratitude for one of my favorite places on this earth. I hope it paints a picture in your mind of a beautiful place, no matter where you may be when you read it.

    I’d also like to extend thanks to those who currently serve in our military and to those who have given their lives in the line of military duty. This day is for you. Thank you so much for your service.

    I hope each of you find joy and love today in the company of loved ones, and that your soul is refreshed.

    Until next time,
    Sonja K.

  • Capabilities & Callings

    Hey friends! I was listening to the Dream Big podcast this week and heard something that has been stuck in my brain ever since. I decided it would be the words I share this week for my Quote of the Week.

    This really hit home for me in more areas of my life than I can tell you. Scenario after scenario have been running through my brain of things I could do because I have the skill set.

    But just think if I said yes to everything I’m capable of doing… where do you think that would lead me?

    I’ll tell you where… to exhaustion, to bitterness, to anger, to resentment. I can’t think of one good thing that living that “yes life” would lead me to. And in fact, I think it would lead me further and further away from my authentic self.

    I am capable of so much, but I also have my peace to protect. I need to have the energy to love my husband, my family, my friends. I need to be the most loving, hopeful version of myself.

    One thing that’ll help me do that, is saying “no” even when I may be capable of doing something. Saying “no” when I know I’m capable, but I don’t feel good inside about doing that thing. Saying “yes” to things that call to my heart and my soul.

    I’d rather say “yes” to the things that call to me because I know they will likely lead to peace, love, joy and who knows what other good things. That sounds like the kind of life I’d like to live.

  • Use Money to Embrace Joy

    Let’s talk about MONEY. Some people say it makes the world go ‘round.  Others say it doesn’t matter how much or how little you have… it’s always a problem. 

    I didn’t grow up hearing a lot about our financial situation, but I know I always had enough to eat, clothes to wear, and a warm house to come home to. And that’s valuable.  

    As a newly married woman, learning to talk openly about finances has been a real stretch for me. I’ve been so used to making decisions for myself that my brain thinks it’s too complicated to have a whole other PERSON involved.  Usually, I get nervous and overthink the scenario before I even approach my husband about a money issue, which of course leads to anxiety and stress.  

    It’s been almost a year that we’ve been married, and I can already tell you… I gotta let that sh*t go.  It is SO MUCH EASIER to have a partner to figure things out with, and I have zero reason to stress about money when it comes to how we will handle it in our life together.  We are a team and we can figure things out.  I’m telling you… find yourself a partner like mine who knows the value of money and isn’t scared of communication around the topic of money, while also recognizing that it is not the only thing that matters in life.  Man, did I hit the jackpot on that one.  Wow.  

    Anyway, I have found that the posture I take towards financial decisions really matters, whether it is deciding to buy a coffee for the third time this week or deciding to pay off debt faster or invest in retirement.  I usually find myself having an internal dialogue about whether or not a decision is a good idea and why, and there is one thought that usually brings the decision into sharp focus. 

    That thought is this: will this decision bring my stress level up or down?  

    If the answer is up, then guess what… it’s pretty easy to say no to something.  Sure, if it’s something small like buying a coffee or a candy bar, I might say yes and be satisfied for a little while.  But if I really contemplate for a bit and I think about all those beverages and snacks added together, I realize they take a toll on the bank account AND my mental and physical health, and that is a big increase in stress!  

    On a bigger scale, if my husband and I are trying to save up for vacation or a car or football season tickets, it’s much easier for me to cut out the little things in order to slowly put more money towards those big purchases.  And guess what?  My stress level plummets!  I find it worthwhile to have a common goal to reach with him, and therefore knowing we are both on the same page creates unity and less stress for us both.  

    One other thought I’ve recently had about money is this: it’s just money.  It is not what gives me value.  It is not the end goal for my life to attain as much money as possible.  It comes and it goes.  Usually there is a way to get more.  Point being, I don’t want my life to be about money, whether that’s a surplus or a lack of it.  I just want to use money to live a good life.  A good life to me, means having open hands that allow money to come and go; it means being a responsible adult who is able to pay my bills, while also doing some fun things; and certainly, it means helping people whenever I can. I want to use money to embrace joy, whatever that may look like.

    So, the next time a decision around money needs to be made, I am going to try my darndest to keep my cool, remember that I have an amazing husband who is my partner in all things including money, ask the stress level question, and think about how that decision helps me live a good life.  Breaking it down like that already makes me feel less worry and angst about money in general, and who knows… maybe it’ll help you too.  Give it a try.  

    Doing my best to figure things out, 
    Sonja K.

  • Who You Are

    For this week’s QW post, I am sharing with you a quote from Dr. Brené Brown’s book Daring Greatly. Her words about who we are and what we know struck a chord deep within me. I’ve been feeling lately like I just want to show up as my truest self and add to the world what I can. There’s no one like you and there’s no one like me; we all bring something unique to the table that can help change the world for the better.

    Know today that you are, in fact, incredible. If you haven’t heard that in a minute (or ever), I’m just here reminding you and myself of that truth.

    Cheers to who you are,
    Sonja K.