Tag Archives: stress

Do You Feel Good or Guilty about “Me Time”?

It’s been nasty weather all week, but a rainy day off is a whole different game than a workday storm. It’s only natural to allow what is outside to determine our mood and motivation. As busy Americans, we may be frustrated at the inconvenience of the wet wind. The traffic is slower, the bank lines are longer, the  malls are crowded and our hair is a mess!

But a rainy day at home is a breath of fresh air–a day to relax and unwind while we catch up on housework or cuddle up with our kids. I love a rainy day off because I think I finally have time to write.

What do you like to do on a rainy day off? 

C: workout 

N: watch a movie

D: have a facial

I: do a craft

R: bake some cookies

G: organize the junk drawers 

Note: These choices represent the typical responses of each Image Identity. Click the letter to learn more about that style, including What2Wear.

On a rainy day off, do you actually do what you want?

Yea, I sabotaged my schedule, too. In fact, I thought I’d have extra writing time to work on my new book today, but I “had to” do a whole lot of other things before I would allow myself the “me time.” Now, suddenly it’s time to make dinner, and I still haven’t even gone to the market!

Why do we feel guilty about free time?

Guilt is such a distraction from reality. Think about it. When it’s gorgeous outside and we’re stuck inside, we feel like we waisted a great day. When it’s nasty out and we get to stay home, we feel ashamed if we weren’t productive. How many of us (besides Naturals) can just sit and enjoy that movie in the middle of the day without stressing over what we should be doing?

We tell each other to “stop and smell the roses” yet we believe that busy people are happy, successful people, so we keep running hard, thinking that one day we will earn some time in the garden of bliss.

Do you feel good or guilty on your rainy days off? 

If you ever beat yourself up over “me time,” I encourage you to take a deep breath and think for a moment. How do you feel when your kids laugh and play? What does your heart say when you watch them play their sports, do a craft, or laugh through a movie? Now picture them frustrated with themselves, striving to please you or someone else. Which feeling do you want others to experience when they are around you?

Personally, I’m tiered of punishing myself as if I never do enough. I’m tiered of feeling guilty whenever I take some time to do what my heart desires, whether it’s sitting at the computer or soaking in the tub. I want those around me to experience peace. I think of how satisfied I feel when my daughter practices her music. When she takes that time for herself I enjoy it just as much as she does! Granted, her angelic voice is far more satisfying to be around than the tapping of my keyboard is, but even if she sang out of tune, my mommy heart would rejoice with adoration, knowing she is pursuing what she loves.  I believe that is also how our Heavenly Father feels when we enjoy ourselves–especially when we are using our gifts–and if that’s how He feels, then we should all be working and playing with passion–guilt free!

So, go do your stretches, pull out your art, go to the spa, start the oven or pick out a movie! Do what you love to do… and you Gamines, go ahead, clean out the junk drawer, but at least dance while you do it.

Just sayin. It’s the peace that makes a woman a Confident Beauty.

“He who would love life
And see good days,

Let him refrain his tongue from evil,
And his lips from speaking deceit.

Let him turn away from evil and do good;
Let him seek peace and pursue it.

For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their prayers;
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” 
                                             1 Peter 3: 10-12

*****

As an “Image consultant without the shopping obsession,” I help women and girls overcome confidence conflicts by unveiling the power and purpose of their personal Image Identity (Img.ID) and teach them to accentuate their authentic beauty so they can forget about their appearance and think about others. Please consider me as a speaker for your next event. You can find me on Facebook, TwitterLinked In, Goodreads. For ideas of What2Wear, find me on Pinterest where I have a board for each personal Img.ID.

 

3 Ways to Deal with Back to School Blues

For many girls all over the world, this week is the most difficult one of their lives. After Labor Day Weekend, they must go into new territory and face many challenges and insecurities. New Schools, new teachers, peers. studies, sports and activities.

Not to mention new outfits!

Fear of the unknown is one of the strongest Confidence Conflict we will ever face.

I am personally challenged by the unknown this season. As the new assistant coach to daughter’s volleyball team, I find myself in a familiar position of awkwardness. Having little understanding of the sport and very weak skills, I feel in adequate and unqualified. It has been several decades since I have been in high school, yet I find myself battling the same Confidence Conflicts as the kids I am coaching.

Yesterday, the head coach was showing us a funny, dance-like move to spike the ball with power. The first attempt at practicing it was half-hearted and hysterical. Laughter is a great way to hide our embarrassment–at least we don’t feel alone.

Or at least we don’t look like we feel alone.

After the first run through the drill, coach asked our players how many of them felt like they “got it.”

No one did.

My wise, new friend helped the players realized they were not alone in struggling with their new skill. Once they believed that, they were able to forget about how silly they looked and focus on giving it some real effort. It was astounding how much better they were with their second run through the drill!

If you have ever had to learn a new skill, taken on a new position, entered a new environment or had to make new friends, then you know that awkward feeling of not knowing what to do. This can be exceptionally difficult if you do not know who you are or where you stand. Whether you are starting school or a new job, when you don’t know the building, the people, the plan or the requirements, there's a number of ways you could respond: 

C:volleyball-1531786_640 Study hard and figure it out.

N: Play it cool, stay quiet, watch those around you to find a way.

D: Feel defeated, become consumed by your failures.

I: Quietly shut down and pretend there is no problem.

R: Encourage everyone else–while feeling stupid and beating yourself up.

G: Take charge, point out other people's mistakes and try to hide your own.
 
Note: These choices represent the typical responses of each Image Identity. Click the letter to learn more about that style, including What2Wear. 

We cannot master anything we do not understand and only a heart that is humble is teachable.

Self-talk is the key to succeeding at anything. Every one of us will feel stupid and out of place many times in our lives, especially when facing something new. It doesn’t matter how old we are or what we have accomplished, there will always be something we haven’t done before.

Like volleyball for me. I thought I was bringing some amazing life skills to encourage the team with, instead I am receiving them because these girls are the ones encouraging me!

Whether we think we can or think we can’t, we are right.

Like the follow-through of any ball we throw, hit, spike or putt, our thoughts determine the direction of our confidence. Basically, we have 3 choices:

  1. Ignore or down-play the challenge to hide our feelings of inadequacy–but hinder our ability to improve.
  2. Exaggerate the challenge to disguise our inadequacy–but give it the power to consume us or leave us feeling defeated and desolate.
  3. Accept the challenge for what it is–empowering us to learn and improve.

If you are heading off to a new environment or position this week, I encourage you to join me in stepping out of the fear of the unknown and taking on the challenge with confidence. Anything new is awkward for a little while. Let’s give ourselves time. If we stay humble enough to be teachable, all our fears will be replaced with confidence as we realize we are not alone. We are not stupid or inadequate; we are learning and we are improving and that is nothing to feel embarrassed about.

Go Eagles!

*****

As an “Image consultant without the shopping obsession,” I help women and girls overcome confidence conflicts by unveiling the power and purpose of their personal Image Identity (Img.ID) and teach them to accentuate their authentic beauty so they can forget about their appearance and think about others. Please consider me as a speaker for your next event. You can find me on Facebook, TwitterLinked In, Goodreads. For ideas of What2Wear, find me on Pinterest where I have a board for each personal Img.ID.

3 Methods of Managing Stress Confidently

Summer is officially here. School’s out, kids are home, trips are being planned, company is coming… there’s more daylight in our busy days, so why not do more, right? As a Native Cape Codder, I always keep a bathing suit and towel in the trunk of my car during the summer–just in case there’s a moment between work and errands to grab some quick “beach therapy.” It doesn’t take long to get my “fix” a 10 minute walk or 20 minutes of gauzing on the beauty of our shores refuels my fire like nothing else.

How about you, how do you find peace when you are overwhelmed or stressed out?

Some women take charge.  Continue reading 3 Methods of Managing Stress Confidently

Confident Boundaries with Children

Picture a white picket fence around a beautiful home, this is the analogy Henry Cloud gives In his books about Boundaries to create an image of our responsibilities in life. We each have a home. We may share our home, but within our common space there are times and places of privacy. Our lives are not easily separated from our family’s lives and often the responsibilities of life are ours to share.

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ…. for each one should carry their own load. -Galatians 6:2, 5 

Giving up our time and possessions for our spouse and children is not poor boundaries; it is bearing their “burden” as long as we are each taking responsibility for our own “load.” My daughter’s homework is not my responsibility, for example, but helping her get the material she needs to do it is, since she is still dependent on me for rides and finances. She is still living within my home.

It feels good to be needed. 

The younger our children are, the more we need to sacrifice on their behalf. Our infants need us to sacrifice our needs in order to meet theirs. It doesn’t matter how tiered we are, we must get up in the middle of the night if they need us. As our children grow less dependent upon us we would be wise to adjust our boundaries. While it is proper boundaries to stop everything to care for the child who cannot even burp on her own, it may not be healthy to Continue reading Confident Boundaries with Children

How Will This Be?

She had her whole life ahead of her. The wedding was planned, her fiancé was building their home and she was waiting the day that they would become one and start a family. She was being very careful to keep all her ducks in order. Imagine the emotions that must have run through her heart when she heard the news of her prenuptial pregnancy.

“How will this be, since I am a virgin?”

Mary didn’t respond the way an average girl her age would. I don’t know about you, but if I ever had an angelic encounter, I doubt I would have been as clear headed as Mary was! I would have been more like, “What? Wait! WHY ME?”

Our subconscious mind does not have a sense of humor. 

The questions we ask ourselves direct the way we handle life’s situations. The subconscious mind won’t easily abandon an unanswered question. Continue reading How Will This Be?

Building Confidence by Keeping Christmas Unfair

“I just have to get this for little Tommy, he will just love it! Now I need to get something more for Suzzie or he will have more than she does.”

My parents didn’t keep Christmas fair for their five children. I’m sure they were tempted to, and I’m sure there were times when our complaints about the sibling who got the most gifts made them feel bad, but instead of giving into our (and society’s) pressure they responded with a non-apologetic, practical answer. “He needed the bike. You all already have bikes. This is his big year.” As children, we may not have known it, but we were learning powerful life-lessons from this response.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI will never forget my junior year of high school, when my parents made that Christmas my “big year.” I felt extremely humbled as I opened the beautiful ring they bought me. I knew we were in a very difficult season financially and I couldn’t believe they spent the money on me. The only thing I remember my brothers opening was sox! I don’t know how my siblings felt toward me that year, but I do know that if they felt it was “unfair,” they didn’t show it. Instead they Continue reading Building Confidence by Keeping Christmas Unfair

Renaissance Beauty

1778190_76_zIt was a long, dreadful ride into the city. Unloading the car was a difficult task, and rolling the cart full of books across the massive exhibit hall to find our table was rather daunting, so when I hit a bump on the ramp and spilled my careful packed goods, I nearly lost all emotional strength. Instead, as I’m sure you would, I mustered up a chuckle, re-stacked my cart and continued to set up our book display. Being a “vendor” was out of my comfort zone, but I was determined to follow through on my commitment.

“There, it’s done! Now we have time for a nice dinner on the town.” My girlfriend and I said as we headed back to the car to find it was not only dark and rainy, it was now rush hour in a city neither of us cape cod girls were comfortable navigating without our husbands. “Perhaps our hotel will have a nice restaurant,” we thought as we tried to keep each other’s spirits up. “Tomorrow will be a full day, with 11 hours on our feet talking to 10,000 women, I’m not sure I have the strength to go out in this chaos again; we should probably turn in early anyway.” Feeling a little disappointed that our plans weren’t going to be as exciting as we had thought, we fought our way to the hotel.

Worn out, wet and wary, we enter into the beautiful Boston Renaissance lobby and all the stress melted away. “Ahh, we made it.” Our work was done and now we could relax and enjoy a time of peace and rest before doing it all over again in the morning.

As Americans, we tend to have overbooked schedules and overwhelmed lives–especially at Christmas time when we add cooking, shopping, programs and parties. Personally, before my experience at the Mass Conference for Women, I was feeling as though taking the time to decorate my home was a bit trivial. But after my “ahh experience,” I am reminded of how important it is to make my home a place of refuge for my family and myself.

Beauty does that.

No matter how busy life is right now, I want my home and heart to be like a renaissance–a safe and peaceful place of revival for those around me, don’t you? This season, let’s not only deck the halls, let us also wear an attitude of celebration so that those around us will experience an “ahh” moment that melts away their stress and gives them (and us) the strength to face another day.

*****

Catrina Welch is an inspirational author and speaker whose personal experience with overcoming rejection, betrayal and loss–as well as her expertise as a cosmetologist, image consultant and Biblical life-coach–is empowering women to BE and LET BE.

Her latest book, CONFIDENT BEAUTY: Reflecting the One Who Made You, with the Images in your Mirror and in your Soul, is now available in your favorite bookstores. Autographed copies of all her books are available on her website at www.CatrinaWelch.com

Are Men and Women Really Equal?

The opening of the United States Declaration of Independence states as follows:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness…

softball. let looseAll men and women were created with equal rights. Jefferson said this truth was “sacred and un-deniable…” Franklin called it “self-evident” There is something else about the human race that is self-evident: chemically, emotionally and physically we are very different from one another. Just last night saw the evidence again. I was sitting with some other wives watching our husbands play softball. It was a great game. It was the bottom of the last inning, the score was tie, the bases were loaded-you know, the kind of game us gals actually get into.

It is so much fun to watch grown adults let loose and enjoy life.

The sun was setting a beautiful backdrop as we ladies sat laughing, cheering and taking it all in when someone made an error. Suddenly testosterone levels rose and the comments came, “why do they get so mad when they make a mistake? Relax guys! It’s only a game!”

I’d been thinking of what to blog about. Well, there it was.

All week long I have been bombarded with questions from men about why their wives are so stressed about getting old, gaining weight, loosing hair, changing careers, letting the kids go…

My answer: because we are women.

We don’t desire the same thing a man does. Yea, we both want love, joy, peace, and success but it looks different to our hearts than it does to theirs. John and Stasi Eldredge nail the concept in their books, Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul and Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man’s Soul.

“Every man was once a boy.  And every little has dreams, big dreams,  dreams of being the hero, of beating the bad guys, of doing daring feats and rescuing the damsel in distress. Every little girl has dreams, too: of being rescued by her prince and swept up into a great adventure, knowing that she is the beauty.
But what happens to those dreams when we grow up?
… how many women do you know who ever find that life? As the years pass by, the heart of a woman gets pushed aside, wounded, buried. She finds no romance except in novels, no adventure except on television, and she doubts very much that she will ever be the Beauty in any tale.”
 

Really, our differences make a perfect design if we could just learn to take the advice given from the bleachers, “relax a little.” Maybe it’s time the sexes learn to BE and LET BE.  He wants to be strong, we want to be beautiful; who says either is wrong? Our creator is strong, and He is beautiful; we were made in His image. Is He wrong? Let’s start empowering our men to be who they were designed to be and lets give them grace when they don’t understand our desire. After all, it sure isn’t easy to understand theirs.

“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” (Colossians 3:13 NLT)

*****

Catrina Welch is an inspirational author and speaker whose personal experience with overcoming rejection, betrayal and loss–as well as her expertise as a cosmetologist, image consultant and Biblical life-coach–is empowering women to BE and LET BE.

Her latest book, CONFIDENT BEAUTY: Reflecting the One Who Made You, with the Images in your Mirror and in your Soul, is now available in your favorite bookstores. Autographed copies of all her books are available on her website at www.CatrinaWelch.com

Take Care of You

I love to analyze women. I love to assess which style of beauty they are and teach them what not to wear. I love to consider their personality and encourage them with their life’s mission in caring for their husband, kids, home, career and girlfriends. I love to search their hearts and minister to the wounds that have affected their confidence. But do you know who I do this to the most? Myself.

Whenever I feel a strong emotional twinge in my spirit I ask God, “why am I feeling this way?” I don’t always like the answer.

Washing hands

One day I snapped at my little girl for taking so long to wash her hands. She was only 5, she had no understanding of all the important things I had to get done as she played with her bubbles and sang her song. I broke her little heart by hurrying her. Then she broke mine as she tearfully told me how her teacher said she needed to finish the song before rinsing her hands so that she got rid of all the germs.

 

“God, why do I do this? Why do I make those around me feel so rushed? Now my daughter feels less important to me than my busyness.”

“Well, why do you feel so rushed, my daughter?”

 

Ooch! My daughter’s playfulness was cramping my style, but my style is what was wrong, not hers! This was the beginning of a powerful “cocoon time” when I really searched my heart for all the reasons I was always so rushed. Why did I keep myself so busy? There was a lot to it: man’s approval, God’s approval, my desire to control, impress, succeed…

I didn’t want to fail, disappoint, become lazy…

It all came down to fears and flesh and this realization was a bit like eating humble pie. The thing is, after eating it m eyes were opened (Maybe the pie was made with the same fruit Eve ate?) and I could see the root of it all: shameful pride. I was proud of my shame. It sounds twisted because it is twisted–or what I call a twisted-Truth.

The Truth is that Christians should serve others selflessly.

Philippians 2:3, 4 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

The twist happens when we read the Truth without the words only and also and it speaks a lie that says we are selfish and conceited if we take care of ourselves. What a total misconception!

This twisted-Truth was causing me to neglect myself and consider myself unimportant.

God knows we have needs and that part of a woman’s desire is to get a little pampering now and then. God expects us to look out for our own interests and He wants us to use our understanding of our own needs to better help others with theirs. If we feel ashamed of our needs or unworthy of being cared for we cannot serve others well because we either make them feel weak and needy or they feel like they are depriving us. That’s what I did to Tori that day. Her need was a bother to me because I felt deprived of my own needs. Not anymore. I found the whole Truth and it set me free.

I may not sing out when I wash my hands, but I often whisper a little prayer of thanks for my moment to enjoy a little lathering with Bath and Body Works.

Tori’s teacher would be so pleased.

*****
Catrina Welch is an image- and life-coach whose message is not as much “what not to wear” as it is, “Know Who You Are,” which is the title of her book of guidelines for your personal image identity. Catrina has also written a Bible study to help women overcome their confidence conflicts; it is titled Supreme MakeOver: a Rich and Refreshing Devotional Experience. Her other books include Footprints Through the Sand: a Consolidation of Life-altering stories about Loving and Losing a Trisomy-18 Baby and Confident Beauty: Reflecting the One Who Made You with the Images in Your Mirror and Your Soul, which will be available in book stores this spring. All of these books are available now at www.CatrinaWelch.com

 

I choose Joy

imagesI wasn’t even 19 when I got my first job as a hairdresser. Being the new girl with a zeal for my blossoming career I was often asked by my more experienced colleagues to finish their clients with a fancy braid before sending them off to the beach. I did a lot of weddings, proms and formal events. My friends called me the “braid queen.” I loved being creative with any head of hair I could get my hands on-except my own. Every professional knew not to do her own hair. Physics do not allow for proper angles to do a good job when reaching up to your own head, so in my youthful brilliance I knew not to even try giving myself even a simple braid.

One day I had a new client come in with a nice, tight braid. As I unweaved her golden locks to prepare her for a haircut I asked her who did her beautiful piece of art. I was stunned when she told me she had braided her own hair.  Her matter-of-fact statement rocked my belief system. I began to consider if I had fallen for a twisted-Truth. Was it physics, opinion or maybe someone else’s excuse that said I couldn’t do a good job braiding hair I couldn’t see or reach?

The next day at work I was sporting a beautiful braid of my own. It took me one attempt to do it myself.

Some things in life simply take a decision.

As I consider what I will do with a new year’s arrival, I find myself challenged by this memory. How many other things in life do I assume I cannot or should not do?

I am feeling especially challenged to take charge of my own attitude. Depression is something I struggle with and when I am feeling down I find myself expecting disappointments that haven’t even happened, or feeling self-contempt for things I did or said that I feel may have come across wrong even when they didn’t. Yea, it’s another confidence issue, I know. My passion to help others with their confidence is rooted in my own struggle with it, but that’s how life is. The things that are hardest for us to learn are the things we most likely should be teaching. After all how can anyone be very effective helping another with their struggle if they found that topic easy to learn?

Anyway, as most of you know the holidays can take a toll on our emotions if we let them. This week I found myself dwelling on some disappointments and discouragements in the midst of a beautiful celebration of my Lord’s birth when suddenly I felt a change in my spirit. Kind of like when my client told me she did her own braid. “That’s it! I’m taking charge! Who says I can’t do this?” This time the change in my spirit is saying, “no more! I am no longer giving this much mental energy to that which is not real, or not present. I am going to live in the moment. And when the moments I am in are really unpleasant or challenging I will deal with it accordingly with righteousness and integrity and I will not wallow on the pain it may cause me. Who says the holidays make our pain harder? The joy of the Lord is my strength, I will focus on Him who is able to do exceedingly more than I could ever imagine. I will no longer focus on that which discourages and depresses me.”

How about you, is there anything in your life you wish you could do but have never even tried?

*****

Catrina Welch is an image- and life-coach whose message is not as much “what not to wear” as it is, “Know Who You Are,” which is the title of her book of guidelines for your personal image identity. Catrina has also written a Bible study to help women overcome their confidence conflicts; it is titled Supreme MakeOver: a Rich and Refreshing Devotional Experience. Her other books include Footprints Through the Sand: a Consolidation of Life-altering stories about Loving and Losing a Trisomy-18 Baby and Confident Beauty: Reflecting the One Who Made You with the Images in Your Mirror and Your Soul, which will be available in book stores this spring. All of these books are available now at www.CatrinaWelch.com

If you are interested in having Catrina come speak to your friends, colleagues or ministry you can contact her on facebook or by email at catrina@catrinawelch.com.