20: How Self Care and Gratitude Can Improve Your Relationships (with Esther Littlefield)
In this episode, Esther Littlefield shares a time when she had to make the tough decision to stop trying to change her husband and focus instead on simply changing herself. As she did this, she discovered a powerful formula for creating happy relationships and a happy life, including self-care, gratitude, letting go of perfectionism, getting up early for quiet time, and finding self-fulfillment through pursuing one's passions.
Nuggets of Wisdom from Esther:
- “Courage comes from the heart that knows it is loved.” (a quote from Beth Moore)
- “I can have courage and I can do those things because I know I am loved.”
- “There have been times when it feels like everything came crashing down around me, but yet I still have known the love of God and the love of my family and the people closest to me. And that has allowed me to move forward in those situations and be able to put one foot in front of the other.”
- “I think what helped me is realizing that I could only control my own actions and behaviors and attitudes in our marriage. I had to make some changes myself.”
- “It is easier to love someone back when you are feeling loved.”
- “I needed to find time to invest in myself, and I didn't have to feel guilty for that. Taking time to do something with girlfriends or to participate in a Bible study or to do these other things that were life-giving to me was actually better for my marriage and for my daughter….That made a huge difference in how I felt about the responsibilities that I have as a wife and a mom. “
- “You can do self-care in ways that are just small little snippets of your day that can help you to have a happier life.”
- “You have to start figuring out what you enjoy and figuring out what you love.”
- “I encourage other women to do is getting up earlier in the day and starting your day with some quiet time. I find that to be super helpful as I go into the rest of the day of all the responsibilities I have to just start focused without any responsibilities that I need to worry about.”
- “Difficult things happen to everyone. Every single person goes through an experience that is unexplainable, that is just very challenging, and it is not so much as ‘Why me?' as it is ‘Why not me?'”
- “I spent a lot of time in my life being a people pleaser. I really like to succeed and I really like to make other people happy. A lot of my life has been trying to live up to other people's expectations of me. Or even my own expectations of what I think other people want me to do. So, I have realized now that I want to spend time doing things that are really important to me, that I really enjoy, and that I can help other people along the way doing those things but I am less concerned about pleasing other people as I do those things.”
Some of Esther's Favorite Things:
- Personal habit: “The habit of getting up early and having that quiet time at the beginning of the day. I get up and come into my office and try to have my coffee ready, pull out my bible and do some reading or pull out my journal and do some journaling. And I have a nice window in my office that I can watch the birds and see the trees outside. “
- Easy meal: “My favorite thing to do this time of year is using the grill. Whether I am grilling some chicken or some steak, some kind of meat. And then having a salad, sweet potatoes, some kind of veggie on the side. That is the easiest and fastest meal in the summer time. “
- Possession: “Blender. I love to use the blender to make smoothies in the morning. “
- Book: Restless: Because You Were Made for More by Jennie Allen
- Best advice received: “Trust your gut. If you feel something is off or something is not right, to trust that.”
- Esther‘s Happiness Formula:
- “Get up early and spend time with God. Get outside and enjoy nature. Have good conversations with friends and family and pursue your passions.”
A Challenge from Esther:
“I'd love to challenge everybody to take time to show appreciation to your spouse or another person that is important to you because it will really help your relationships grow stronger and give you more joy in your life.”
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Jen Riday is a mom of 6 and life coach who loves to help women experience massive happiness as they let go of stress, sadness or other chronic emotions of negativity.
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