Through a Phone Camera Lens

God’s beauty is all around us.  A beautiful full moon. A smile from someone you love or even a stranger.  Simple conversations. Amazing coffee. Answered prayers. Are we wholeheartedly enjoying these moments?

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Have you ever seen something so beautiful… something that you stop and stare at…simply in awe of God’s beauty?  You want to capture the moment, so you get to the spot with the best possible view, put your car in park, get out your phone and snap a picture.  You want to capture God’s beauty then share it with the world. You’re so excited to capture this moment and see God’s beauty over and over again… anytime you want because it’s now saved on your phone!  Then…you look at the picture. And it’s just ok. It simply does NOT showcase God’s amazingness the way you see it in real life.

This morning I dropped Samson off at daycare and headed back west.  The brightest, fullest moon was peeking around the Glen Elder water tower.  I had to see what this looked like over the lake, so I drove a little further, crossed the dam road and parked my car.  How GORGEOUS! God is awesome and it’s gonna be an awesome day!! Of course, I got my phone out to take a picture and the scenario described above played out.

As I turned my car back around and crossed the dam road again, (saying dam road makes me giggle…dam road) I pondered.  How often are we in the moment, enjoying what is around us, loving it and soaking it in? Then we want to save it forever so we get out our phones and it’s just not as good anymore.

God’s beauty is all around us.  A beautiful full moon. A smile from someone you love or even a stranger.  Simple conversations. Amazing coffee. Answered prayers.

Are we wholeheartedly enjoying these moments?  Is anything ever better through a phone camera lens?  Is saving these moments forever better than enjoying them in the present?

Life in Quarters

I’ve been all over the place lately.  This is something I would’ve previously seen bad quality.  Before, I’ve felt guilty about it. Flaky. Being all over the place made me feel overwhelmed and super self-conscious. What do others think when I’m all over the place doing all these things and everyone else seems to have their ‘thing’? Why do I care? Lately, however, I see it in a new light.

Clarity comes from engagement, not thought.

Nowadays, I’m ALLOWING myself to be all over the place.  The difference this time around is that I’m actually engaging in things.  I’m proud to be all over the place. I’m embracing it. I’m loving it. And I truly feel like I am letting the Lord lead me.  When I don’t know which direction to go, I go to Him. Somedays that is easier to remember than others.

 

But here’s the thing – I tend to dip in a ton of things and then FREAK OUT when I have too much going on, so now I am being more attentive to the fact that I get easily overwhelmed.  I asked myself, “How can I be all over the place and still have focus?”.  I answered myself, “Think about your goals in quarterly terms.”  What do I want to accomplish this year and what are my focuses each quarter?  No longer am I letting someone else’s business run me. I AM the business. A business with goals. My goals. My way.  Let’s break it down. 

 

 

 

 

 

Change your habits, change your life.

Q1: Jesus. Workout. Read.
Three habits I felt would change my life if I just did them.  Everyday.  I even wrote them on my to-do list for a good while just so I could cross them off when complete.  Yes – I’m one of those weird people that will write something down just so I can cross it off! Ahhh…it just feels so good!

Jesus:
“Spend time with Him.  Everyday. It’s that simple.”  This was a quote from one of the audiobooks I listened to this year.  (Uninvited or Cultivate) On an ideal day, this meant reading my devotional, writing a little and praying.  But as we all know, not all days are ideal. Other days it meant listening to His message – either from a podcast or audiobook – while I drove Samson to daycare.  

Of course, there were days when Jesus didn’t happen…I’m far from perfect…but what I realized is that the longer I put Jesus off, the less likely I was to spend any time with him.  And I needed this time with him! After all – I have no idea what I’m doing with my life! Only God does!! So I sure as hell should make it a point to ask Him! After a few days of merely passing by Jesus, avoiding eye contact, while I pretended to be busy on my phone, (yeah… you know what I’m talking about) something had to change.  

That’s right people – I woke up earlier.  The oldest trick in the book. Instead of doing my workout first, I had my coffee date with Jesus.  Reading his word. Thanking Him for the continuous blessings and asking him to lead me!

Workout:
But crap!! If I spent my mornings with Jesus, when am I going to find the time to workout!??!  I love working out in the morning! I don’t want to give that up! And my inner mind said, “What’s more important, Shannon?  Workout out? Or Jesus?”. We ALL KNOW the right answer here. But how often do we choose it?!

I’d find time over my lunch break or in the evening once Samson went to bed to fit it in.  I thought it physically impossible to workout at night. I proved myself wrong.

And again – there were days that I missed.  Days I didn’t get it in and didn’t feel guilty about it.  Days that I did it, but hated it. And days that I felt like I could take on the world.  Regardless, most days I got it in! And on those days, I felt better. Better than the day before.  Better mentally. Better physically. I felt like I was making progress toward the best-version-of-myself.

Sometimes the most important thing you can do is just show up!

Read:
I feel like if you ask almost ANYONE, their goal is to read more.  “I just want to read more.” or  “I love to read! But I feel like I don’t have time.” None of us have time.  But all of us have time.  The same amount of time even.  Priorities.

That was the old me.  But the new me, the red-haired, center-part me, makes time for her priorities.  The new me has Goodreads on her phone to track my reading progress!

But I had to be honest with myself.  I knew if my goal was to read 15 minutes a day, I would likely not succeed.  Even 10 minutes seemed like a stretch. But 5 minutes? I could do that. Even at the end of a tiring day.  I could do 5 minutes. And 5 minutes a day was more than 0 minutes a day. On some days, it literally was 5 minutes.  On other days, those 5 minutes turned into 20 or even 30 minutes.

I also decided to sign up for an Audible subscription.  My first thought was “Fifteen bucks a month? Really? Do I really want to spend my money on an Audible subscription when I can just read books?  Do I even spend enough time in the car to get that listening in? Do I even retain the information?”  Not as well as a book that I read, but I still absolutely get something out of it.  My goal now is to finish one audiobook a month and one book-book a month.  So far, so good!
2018 Books Read:  

Do you have any idea how accomplished I feel that there are 10 books on this list already and it’s only Q1?  I should probably get some fiction in at some point.  My John Grisham book whining to be opened!

Q2: Meditate. Go to bed. Enjoy the Summer.
It’s the end of March, which is also the end of Q1, and I am just now starting to think about Q2.  Not a super bright life-business decision.  But I guess it’s better than not thinking about it at all. Where is my focus?  What are my goals? What are a few more life-changing habits that I can take on in addition to the three from Q1?

Meditate.
My mind is drifting toward meditation.  In my all-over-the-place fashion, I’m in the middle of three books right now.  Two of them have mentioned meditation as life-altering.  I’ve also experienced the life-altering-ness of meditation first hand.  So 10 minutes. I will find 10 minutes to sit and breathe.

Go to bed.
Go to bed, Shannon.  You’re tired. I literally fall asleep on the couch at 8pm.  Wake up to walk to bed and waste time either on my phone or watching netflix or something until 11pm.  It sure would be a whole lot easier to wake up at 5am if I just went to bed and slept, rather than wasting time doing wasty-time things.

Literally what I’m thinking:go home, tree

Enjoy the Summer:
Looking back on the past summers, we have NOT enjoyed them!  One of them was downright the shittiest summer of my life thanks to Wyatt E.R.P.  So this year – it is my priority – to LOVE summer!  To embrace it! To go to the pool. To go to the zoo. To go to the lake. To explore. To ENJOY.

Q3: TBD
Let’s be honest.  Who the hell knows where I’ll be by July.

Q4: TBD
It’s interesting to even think about October.  My guess is Q4 will contain things that I haven’t checked off my list the rest of the year.  I want to write a book. I’m not saying it’ll be a good one. I want to do a CrossFit competition.  I want to be around people. I want to have meaningful conversations.  

I want to continue to go where God leads me.  Step. By. Step.

I don’t KNOW what my dream job is!

At the beginning of the year, I got a new manager at work.  To get to know me better, he sent this little survey thing with candy bars on it.  I made it a point just to answer quickly and off the top of my head.  One of the questions was “What is your dream job?”  To which I responded half yelling – “I dunno, Scott!  I just want to be around people and have meaningful conversations!”

I just kept thinking about this over and over.  And over.  Currently, I was spending 8+ hours a day in an office by myself.  And meaningful conversations?  I mean – really – you can pull meaning out of any conversation.  The conversations I had with my customers that were completely unrelated to apparel were my favorite!  So how can I find something that allows me to have more of those conversations?

I just keep pondering these two things.  How can I be around people and have meaningful conversations?  This is what I want in LIFE!  Or at least I think so.  So simple, right?  But how the heck do I go about it?

Last year, I wrote this on my vision board: Clarity comes from engagement, not thought!  Thanks, Marie Forleo.  I need to stop just THINKING about it and get some DOING done!

I’ve always loved Gayle’s determination and positivity.  I’m just naturally drawn to her.  She inspires me even when she doesn’t know it.  She encourages me when I get feelings of self-doubt.  She pushes me to stay on my personal development journey even when “life happens.”  What if I could be this person for somebody else??  Oh, how I would love that!!!

My reading this morning was from Ephesians 2:10.
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.  

Followed by this question: When have you felt like you were doing what you came to do?

What do you suppose my answers were?

  • *When I get to be around people, sharing my energy, connecting with them, being inspired by them and visa versa.
  • *When I share my stories and get a “Me too!!” or “That’s exactly how I’m feeling!!”.
  • *Oddly, when I’m cleaning or organizing things – we’ll get to that later! 🙂
  • *I just love helping people by using the gifts God gave me so I might inspire others to know that change is possible!! All the while reminding myself the same thing!!  Because Lord knows we all have to be reminded!! Again… and again.

So that is why I started my Coaching Adventure!!  It was HARD to get the courage to finally make it known that my Facebook feed was about to start getting a lot more action.  But then I remembered how consistent I’d seen Gayle posting and that I was never annoyed by it.  I was inspired!!  She’d been doing it for months before it was my time to reach out and I’m so glad I did!

In the first few weeks of making my new adventure known, I had so much fun connecting with people!!  People I wouldn’t have normally talked to.  Reconnecting with my college roommates, high school classmates and even people I’d never even actually met in person!  Learning about where they were in their health journey… in their life journey!  What they were doing to stay healthy and be better humans all around!  I genuinely LOVE these conversations because we can ALL learn from each other!!!

I called Gayle and said, “THIS IS SO MUCH FUN!!!!”

My hope is that whoever you are, wherever you are, you are making yourself better!!

Everyone has different ways of doing this and if you’re anything like me, the “Let’s do this!” attitude sometimes comes and goes like waves.  If you’re looking for a different avenue to stay motivated, to workout, to eat healthy, reach out to me.  If you’re looking for a good book to read or how you can even find the time for that, reach out to me!  If you’re looking for a different avenue to use the gifts that God gave you and are interested in the coaching opportunity, reach out to me.  If you have no reason at all, but just want to say “HI!”, reach out to me!!  I will be so jacked to hear from you!

Just a little perspective

From the journal of Shannon Duskie – November 15th @ 7:36am.

Yesterday, it was rainy and gloomy, but 50 degrees, so I went for a run.  It felt FABULOUS!  It was so great to get out of the house!  Great to clear my mind!  Great to see God’s beauty!

After mile 2, I stood out at the edge of town.  I bent over and put my head through my legs to stretch.  I kind of like looking at the world this way.  Everything turned upside down.  From a different perspective.  I hung out there for a minute and a few thoughts came to mind.

God is beautiful!  Even on the dark and gloomy days.

Perspective can change anything!

 

Don’t make me unfollow you!

So you ask – “WHY SHANNON??  Why did you do this?  I’ve literally unfollowed all of those BB Coaches, Rodan & Fields, Plexus, etc on Facebook…and now…that’s going to have to include you!”

Well peeps – in September 2017 – I was on the struggle bus.  I LOVED going to CrossFit in the mornings, but with a 4-month-old and other priorities, wasting 40 minutes of my morning driving to and from was not the best option anymore.  I was giving myself excuses to eat like an idiot and not workout.  I just didn’t feel good about myself.  I mean – c’mon!  I was going to be that mom the bounced right back! HA!  

Then I see Gayle was over here…about to have another babe…quittin’ her job…rockin’ her workouts…and posting a ton of shit about it.  Finally, I reached out and said “OK – tell me about this Beachbody stuff!”  So she told me all about it!!!  And I totally ghosted her!!  Even after she followed up a few times.  “OK,” I finally told myself, “I need something, so let’s do this.”  

I was hesitant because I thought this “accountability group” she spoke of was on Facebook.  I pretty much hate Facebook notifications.  Facebook is NOT my preferred method of contact or accountability.  I just didn’t see how this was going to do anything for me.  But I learned that the challenge was NOT through Facebook – but rather – another app.
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Because I’m a questioner – I don’t necessarily NEED accountability.  But I loved the messages that Gayle was getting across.  

PUT YOURSELF FIRST.  THE BEST VERSION OF YOURSELF IS THE BEST VERSION FOR YOUR FAMILY.  BE A BETTER PERSON.  DON’T QUIT!  TRUST THE PROCESS!!  IF YOU WORK AT IT – YOU WILL REACH YOUR GOALS.  SOMETIMES THE BEST THING YOU CAN DO IS SHOW UP!

These are all things I NEEDED to hear at that time in my life… and let’s be honest…do you ever NOT need to hear them over and over and over again? (and over and over and over)

And meal prep?  Come onnnnnnn.  You expect me to plan a whole week’s worth of meals?  I can barely think about tomorrow.  Plus, all of these fancy-ass recipes have shit in them that I’m going to go to the grocery store and ask about and get a ‘deer in the headlights’ look from the employees.  Tempeh?  What the eff is that?  But whatever…I did it.  My mom helped me the first go around.  And guess what?  Just like anything else – it gets easier and easier.  And now – I frickin’ love it.  I don’t do anything fancy – but it’s nice to not have to use up any willpower thinking about what the hell I’m going to eat.  And I literally eat a chicken salad every day for lunch.  And will continue to do so until I get sick of it.  But I just really like that!Meal Prep


You want me to spend how much on a frickin’ protein shake?  Gayle – I’m NOT out of debt yet!  No way in HELL I’m going to continue to spend 130 bucks on that.  But whatever – I’ll try it because the challenge pack comes with all of that shit – containers, year’s access to workouts, the book & shake.  Yah Yah – that’s a good deal.  Seriously – the best protein shake I’ve ever tasted – mixed with water!!  Yes…WATER.  While I was breastfeeding, I was a hungry monster!  It actually filled me up and kept me full for hours.  And say whaaaa? I can magically turn it into brownie batter?  Hellz yea.  I also LOVE the vanilla flavor and my cravings are much less often with it!
Samson wants Shakeo

I HATE working out at home.  I’d so much rather go to the gym where there are no distractions and I don’t have to stop mid-workout to a crying baby.  But whatever – I’ll try it.  Even if that means I do have to stop mid-workout and go back to it.  Which really didn’t happen as often as I’d envisioned.  My false belief of “I don’t want to disturb my husband.” turned into “Whatever…he can deal with 30 minutes of me doing this.”  Which turned into me convincing him to do it with me this month – something I thought WOULD NEVER HAPPEN.  Turns out it’s a helluva lot easier to convince myself to press play than to convince myself to wake up, start my car, get dressed, think about if that tank top is too tight to wear to the gym, get in my cold-ass car and drive to the gym and then wonder what the hell I’m going to do when I get there.  I press play and Autumn tells me what to do.  And when I’m done, I take a half-assed shower and go about my day.
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So this is my story, friends.   Unfollow me if you wish – know that the posts are coming.  Reach out to me if you’re intrigued.  I’m not going to sell you any shit you don’t want, but if you want to drink the kool-aid (or Shakeology, I guess), I’m here and I’m ready to rock!

Insanity & Change

Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. How many years now have I been insane?
– WHY NOT???
– I JUST WANT TO SEE IF I CAN…
-CLARITY COMES FROM ENGAGEMENT, NOT THOUGHT.
– IN ORDER TO KICK ASS YOU MUST FIRST LIFT UP YOUR FOOT.

Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

How many years now have I been insane?  For years now, I’ve felt in my heart that it is time to move on.  I’ve given myself false beliefs of why I cannot.  We are not out of debt, so I need to keep the job that I have.  I’m never going to find anything I like this much that pays this well in the area, so I’ll just play it safe and stay here.  Plus – I do like what I do – most of the time.  My gut…The Universe…God…whatever…has been telling me this isn’t my spot for years…. But it’s also not bad…. So why change?

In 13 days, I turn 30.  I’m not where I thought I’d be at 30 years old.  I had a vision of what I wanted when I was 20.  I wanted a good job, that I was the bomb at, with opportunity to move into management and basically just make a lot of money.  As my twenties progressed, my vision changed again and again.  That vision turned into another vision and another and another. Then I questioned my visions, because I question fricken everything.  What do I want??  

What I know.  What I know is that I truly have learned to love the simple life.  I love taking walks with my family and my dog and not having to pick up Abby’s poop.  I love never having to waste time figuring out where to park when I want to go somewhere.  I love the simplicity and the calmness and the kumbaya of it all.  I appreciate businesses being closed on Sundays…even though that means planning in advance if I want to do a weekend project.  But…if I don’t…there’s usually a friend who has what I need.
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What I know is that I want to be around people.  The energy I derive from simply seeing other humans in person is kind of perplexing to me.  When I drop off and pick up my son at daycare.  When I work at the country club, when I go to the bank, when I go to CrossFit, when I sit at the kettle and drink coffee.  I love talking to people, watching people, being in the presence of people.  It makes me smile.  It makes me happy.

What I know is that I LOVE a good-hearted, deep, meaningful conversation.  This is how this earth connects.  This is how we grow as people, connect as people, find meaning.  I’m down for deep conversations with people I barely know or with people I know super-well.  I especially love them with ‘my people’.  I love hearing others’ stories and I love being able to relate to them.  These conversations are best had over coffee and wine.
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WHY NOT???

I JUST WANT TO SEE IF I CAN…

These are mentalities I’m making a priority this year.  You are a Badass has been sitting on my bookshelf since August.  I finally picked it up at the beginning of this month.  Some books can be life-changing.  A few years ago I read “The Total Money Makeover” and “It Starts With Food”.  These books changed how I view money and food and I’ve changed for the so-much-better as a result.

CLARITY COMES FROM ENGAGEMENT, NOT THOUGHT.  -Marie Forleo

This is another quote that’s been hanging out on my vision board for a year.  I need to stop just THINKING about what I’m going to do to change and start doing.  WHY NOT?  So what if I fail?  At least I’ll have ENGAGED rather than just THOUGHT about engaging.  

As a ‘questioner’, I question myself constantly.  My motives, my thoughts, my everything.  “Is this really what you want, Shannon? Or is that someone else’s dream?”  “Can you really do that, Shannon?  Are you sure?  Just because someone else can do it really well, might not mean that you can.”  “Do you really want to spend your time on that?”  I get caught up in the questions, then fall back into the INSANITY of doing the same thing over and over again and hoping for change.

Well, this is the year – my friends.  I’m going to stop being insane.  Yes – I might be all over the place, but whatever, I guess.  I’m going to try some things and I’m going to do some things.

IN ORDER TO KICK ASS YOU MUST FIRST LIFT UP YOUR FOOT.  – Jen Sincero.

With that being said – my first adventure is to share with you – is that I am now a Beachbody Coach.  

FLY POST

 

Strength

It’s been almost exactly a year since I opened up about our struggle with fertility.  When I sat down to write about it, I was overlooking the beautiful Lake of the Ozarks.  This morning, I am at Table Rock Lake with my family…including my 7 week old miracle.  It’s loud…because we’re loud…so we’ll see how much writing I actually get done.

We’re on the deck.  The top deck.  There are multiple decks.  This is a fancy house!  Mom is sitting next to me.  Uncle John and Latecia flew from Arizona to be here.  They are sitting at the table playing dominoes with Nick, Reece, Peyton and Petyon’s friend, Mea.  Drew is downstairs napping with Samson.  Darren is downstairs throwing a silent fit about his stuffed animal being ‘broken.’  Turns out Will asked, “Have you ever seen a reindeer fly?”  Darren replied, “No!”  And Will threw it off the deck.  I’m not sure where Will is right now.  Katie and Leah went to the Beer Cave with Becky and Ryan.  Cody will be here this afternoon.  I think that’s everyone.

I am so thankful for these times.  And for the fact that we can all hang out for an extended weekend without going crazy!  My favorite is waking up in the morning.  Sitting around drinking coffee and having quiet conversation that eventually gets louder as more and more people wake up.  We make a few pots of coffee….enough to go around a couple of times.  We snack on some breakfast.  Ryan makes bacon.  Eventually, the coffee drinking turns into beer drinking  around 10 or 10:30am.  John, AKA Mr. Michelada, whips up a few of those for everyone.  

Yesterday morning it was raining, forcing everyone to just stay and hang out for a bit before heading out on the boat.  Some napped, some played pitch, some just hung out.  The rain was awesome.  In the afternoon, a group headed out on the boat and the house got quieter.  Samson and I have gotten some serious snuggle time in and I just loved every minute of it.  Though, I think all of the commotions of the day wore him out!  He went to bed around 7:30 and was pretty fussy when he woke up to eat at night.  This morning, he is better!  He snuggled with Yaya and ate his mid-morning snack outside.  He’s loving being outside and snuggling with whoever will snuggle with him!

A conversation from last night stuck out to me.  I love love love the meaningful conversations that Katie and I always seem to have.  The topic was ‘STRENGTH’.  She and I pondered why some people just have the ability to hold things in.  Or at least that what it looks like to us from the outside.  We’re not those kinds of people.  And I think we’re starting to be ok with that.

I’ve pondered this a lot.  What is STRENGTH?  What is it to be strong?  I’ve decided that STRENGTH seems to have different meanings for different people.  My strength is not holding it in.  My strength is letting it out.  Being vulnerable so that others can relate.  So that I can connect with others.  It’s what I love doing.

I usually don’t end like this – but if you’re reading this and care to comment, I would love to know what your STRENGTH is.  We are all strong in different ways and at different times.  It’s what keeps us all going.