Years ago, I came up with the term “replacement theory”. I posted about it on an old blog and also in a closed-out Facebook group. What do I mean by replacement theory? If you remove something from your life. For example, you’re trying to cut down on sugar. So, you decide to eliminate sugar. All of a sudden, you find yourself weeks later with a ton of purchases from an online retailer. What use to be your coffee and sugar break turned into your shopping break. You tried to do something great by eliminating sugar and your subconscious replaced sugar with shopping. You didn’t consciously replace it so your subconscious did.
Before you eliminate or cut back, think about why you want to stop or curtail a behavior. Then think about a reasonable plan that isn’t a hurried quick fix. Instead, make it a lifestyle change that you can sustain.
Maybe it wasn’t the amount of sugar, but the type of sugar you needed to cut down on. Instead of eliminating “sugar”, replace food that contains high fructose corn syrup with a natural sugar like turbinado or beet sugar or don’t add sugar or sweetener to coffee and have a sugary treat. Or maybe have a natural sweetener in the coffee and a piece of fruit. Ask yourself why, 7 times. Why do I think I need sugar?
Are you a priority in your own life? Or just a small box on a never ending checklist? The laundry gets refreshed more times than you do. Reread that statement. Form it into a question, Is the laundry being refreshed more often than you? If you answered yes, then changes are needed immediately.
It's great that we all have a list of priorities. When it comes to you being a priority, are you? Are you getting the sleep, nutrition, exercise, breath, opportunity to show your gifts/talents, that you make sure everyone else is getting? I'm not talking about neglecting your family and leaving them in the care of nannies, babysitters, and extended family members while you go on retreats or work trips for several weeks out of the month only to return occasionally to pay for the slew of employed caretakers. Yes, I know of cases like this. I'm talking about overworked (entrepreneur, corporate, and stay at home) moms who aren't caring for themselves. Moms who place the vast majority of their time and attention on their families, volunteer responsibilities, home, and work. You must make yourself a priority. How is up to you. The when is NOW.
We try to instill this virtue in our children. Are you qualified to teach accountability? Who are you accountable to?
You're making lifestyle changes, great. Make sure you speak your changes to someone else and allow them to remind you of the changes. Don't get angry or annoyed when they say, "I thought you weren't eating gluten after 3pm?" If you told them that you weren't eating gluten after 3pm and you're sitting there eating a bowl of pasta for dinner then you're at fault.
Being accountable, means we're being true to the statements we make. We're actually upholding our promises. You've head the statement speak your truth. In my opinion, a part of speaking your truth means to actually walk the truth you're speaking. The world is full of hot air don't add more to the mix with empty words and promises.
HINT: If you can't keep the daily promises you make then you need to decrease making snap promises and increase your own accountability. Decrease trying to tear off a band aid and find out where the boo boo came from.
Purposeful (Purposely) Playing
My daughter can play for hours. She loves to play with her toys. I marvel at the way she casts her cares out of the window and just plays. She's purposely playing.
Before we define purposeful play we need to talk about two other ideas, escaping reality and addiction. There is a difference between escaping reality, being addicted to something or someone, and purposely (purposeful) playing. Two are quite negative and the last is not only positive, but also necessary. When you're escaping reality you unconsciously or consciously "lose yourself" in an altered state of mind or being for periods of time with the sole focus of NOT facing reality. An addiction is something that controls you. It consumes you until you cease being, having alienated family and friends. Neither of these are our goal, if you are experiencing either of these please seek help NOW from a licensed therapist.
Purposeful play is constructively reconnecting with fun to find the joy within to refresh yourself. Fun can be had in so many ways that I am not going to try and list everything. When you define fun for you, make sure you share it with your children. As moms, we don't play enough with our kids. We drive them. We cook for them. We teach them. When do we purposely play with them?