78 Life Lessons on my 40th Birthday

I was shooting for 40 life lessons on my 40th birthday, but I kept going and ended up with 78. Which of these do you like the best? Are there any you disagree with?

  1. Be kind to everyone no matter what. (Thanks Mom!)
  2. Don’t borrow money. And if you have to borrow money, pay it back ASAP. (Thanks Dad!)
  3. People will judge you wrongly. Keep being you anyway. 
  4. People are highly imperfect. Even if it doesn’t seem like it at first. 
  5. Whatever happened with your parents when you were a kid wasn’t your fault. 
  6. Money, or lack of it, can cause a lot of heartache if you let it. 
  7. Be honest. It’s always the best way. 
  8. Sometimes your mistakes can save you. 
  9. People you love can and will hurt you. You don’t have to add to the pain by refusing to forgive them. 
  10. Good people do bad things. Everyone is human. 
  11. The hard things in life make us who we are. 
  12. You can do hard things. 
  13. God is listening. And it’s more evident when you watch for Him in your life. 
  14. If you follow your feelings you can’t go wrong. 
  15. Nature is a gift. Use it wisely. 
  16. You never forget the most pivotal moments in your life. 
  17. There is a strong connection between our bodies and our minds. Don’t ignore the cues. 
  18. People can love you when they don’t even really know you. 
  19. You know so very little. Accepting that fact will serve you. 
  20. There is always something to do. Don’t let it be a reason to not rest or enjoy yourself. 
  21. You literally can’t make everyone happy. Stop trying. Focus on making yourself happy. I.e. you can be the juiciest peach in the orchard, but there will always be someone who doesn’t like peaches. 
  22. The little moments are the big moments. Try not to miss them. 
  23. When you trust yourself, there isn’t anything you can’t figure out.
  24. Your net worth has nothing to do with your self worth. Unless you let it. 
  25. Never be afraid to be yourself. This whole life is meant to help you figure out who you are. 
  26. Guilt and shame are only useful if they lead you to change. If they are making you stuck, let them go. 
  27. Children are our best teachers. 
  28. Love is always the answer. In every situation. 
  29. You don’t get married to complete yourself. You get married so you always have someone to love. 
  30. You can just decide to be happy. 
  31. You can’t make anyone else feel something. And they can’t make you feel anything. 
  32. Sometimes you have to go down the wrong path first to know what the right path is. 
  33. Friends can be the family you never knew you needed. 
  34. Stay calm when you are swimming. Panic will increase the odds of drowning. 
  35. Travel seems glamorous. What’s really glamorous is the destination. 
  36. Every problem is a belief problem. 
  37. You rarely get what you want unless you ask for it. 
  38. If there is a rule, there’s probably a reason for it. But also, sometimes rules need to be broken. That’s the exception to the rule though. 
  39. Distraction is the adversary’s most effective tool. 
  40. Always ask how spicy the sauce is. 
  41. Everyone is boring, until you get to know them. 
  42. People are more the same than they are different.
  43. For many people, outer order contributes to inner calm. 
  44. If you don’t know what to do, start with the dishes or laundry.
  45. There is always a choice. Always.
  46. Mastering your urges is the way to the life you want. 
  47. Always bring your wallet.
  48. When you are upset and don’t know why, try 1. Drinking water, 2. Eating 3. Moving your body and 4. Sleep.
  49. When working with electrical, always turn the breaker off.
  50. Doing It Yourself is worth it in most cases. Except HVAC and drywall. Hire those out. 
  51. Wear your retainer. Even if it bugs you. 
  52. Always wear your seatbelt. 
  53. Water is the best beverage. 
  54. Find a meditation practice that works for you and practice it regularly. 
  55. Always give the compliment when you think it. 
  56. Feelings matter. More than you think. 
  57. Sugar has the same effect as cocaine to your brain. Consume it carefully.
  58. Observe a sabbath for both your physical and mental well-being. Especially take a sabbath from things that you find yourself addicted to. 
  59. If you are thinking it or struggling with it, so are lots of other people. 
  60. Every human has the same value. Nobody is more or less than anybody else. Knowing this brings true confidence.
  61. Getting started is often the hardest part. 
  62. How you start your day makes a big difference. 
  63. Let the music move you. 
  64. Someday you’ll understand why you need this moment. 
  65. Instead of asking “Why me?” ask “Why not me?”
  66. It is a rare situation that has a right and wrong way. Just do what feels right to you.
  67. Time is on your side, not against you.
  68. You are 100% worthy and valuable just the way you are.
  69. “Beautiful” is an opinion.
  70. Your thoughts are your most powerful asset. 
  71. It is easier to keep a clean room than to let it go and clean it later. The same is true for your brain. 
  72. If you can’t enjoy the current moment, you’ll never enjoy a future moment.
  73. What you think other people think of you, is really what you think of you. 
  74. You can’t change something if you are judging it. That includes yourself. 
  75. What you really want is always a feeling. 
  76. Everything you want is just outside your comfort zone. 
  77. The prize is worth the price.
  78. No matter what it is, you are worth it!

Becoming the Woman the Lord Intended

My whole life I have been driven by wondering who the Lord wants me to be and to become her.

Can you relate?

How do I know? If an angel were to come declare it to me, could I– would I– do whatever it takes to be her?

Am I falling short, or am I on the right track?

In the Bible Dictionary under “Faith” it says, one effect “of true faith in Jesus Christ [is] an actual knowledge that the course of life one is pursuing is acceptable to the Lord.

The first time I read this, it was like getting the breath knocked out of my body! How did someone write these exact words that describes what I yearn for so much?

Here’s what I have come to know in my almost 40 years on this earth:

  1. I am already her. God created me before this earth life. He gave me talents and gifts and desires that make me uniquely me. I can’t NOT BE her.
  2. My actions do not determine if I am being the woman the Lord intended. My actions come from who I am. I can’t act or earn my way to being her. Being is in our identity.
  3. Behind this question- how do I become the woman the Lord intended me to be?– is the desire for God’s approval. And what I would think I would feel if, somehow, I could know I had God’s approval. For me it’s love. Maybe confidence. Maybe free.
  4. I am making it too complicated (and I’m sure you are too). God’s work is to help me and everyone else achieve eternal life. That’s it. It’s not more than that. I have made covenants and continue to do the work to stay worthy of eternal life.

So now I just decide that I believe I am the woman the Lord intended me to be. Already. Done.

Now what?

{Let me just be clear: I am not saying that there aren’t things God wants us to DO. He certainly had a work for Joseph Smith, and I am sure he has a work for each of us.}

Now we get to do our work FROM the confidence that we are the person God wants us to be. Our action isn’t geared toward figuring that out– FOR being the person God wants us to become. We are that much closer to accomplishing our work in the world…. which will help us become our future eternal selves even more!

So go do it, Sister! Don’t spin in questions and doubt about your identity. Just assume your identity is set and go from there. Obstacles will define you even more and help you learn and grow yourself.

I can’t wait to see what you do! Come back and let me know.

Love,
Denita

When Striving to Be Better Backfires

Are you always striving and trying to improve?
Do you hold yourself to high standards? 
Do you deeply want to do your best? 
Do you find yourself wondering if you are doing the right thing? If there is a better way?
What if there is no “best?”
What if there is no “better way?”
What if “perfect” is just an illusion?
What if we are asking the wrong questions? 
When we think about doing our best, it assumes we aren’t our best already.
When we wonder if there is a better way, we assume the current way is not good enough. 
Always striving for higher standards implies we are not already good enough.
These underlying beliefs leave us feeling depleted, defeated, hopeless and helpless. 
From these emotions, we do LESS, smaller.
Perhaps you will say, “But it’s TRUE!” 
I ask— Is it USEFUL?
Take a moment. Take a breath.
You are enough.
Right now, exactly as you are. Flaws and all.
If you can allow yourself to believe that, you will feel love, hope, confidence, and motivation. 
From those emotions you will be able to get so much more accomplished and become so much more than feeling the need to always do your best. 
Accept the way you are now and watch yourself do more than you’ve ever been able to do before.

Negative emotion never comes from God.

While I was listening to this podcast today, (it’s so good, go listen to it!) I had a bit of an epiphany:

All positive emotion is from God.

All negative emotion is from the adversary.

In my opinion, these thoughts line up with this scripture:

For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.

Moroni 7:16

Kurt Francom suggests that God is never disappointed in us in the podcast I mentioned. He gives lots of great evidence why this is. So I thought to myself, “Where does disappointment come from then?”

My first thought was that it comes from ourselves. But as I thought more, I came to the conclusion that the person who is ultimately the most disappointed is Satan. He must be living in disappointment from not keeping his first estate. And for centuries, he has seen how he missed the boat.

So what if God really never has any negative emotion toward us? What if he is just cheering us on, encouraging us, listening, loving?

I like to think of him watching us as if we are mice in a maze. He might be amused, but He is still also being our fan.

And what if, because of the principle of opposition in all things, Satan is the only one discouraging and confusing us, tearing us down, and making us feel bad?

I used to think there was a place for negative emotion such as guilt if it compels us to make positive changes. But now I see that guilt is just a mis-match between our personal values and our behavior.

Of course, it is human to feel negative emotion. It is part of being here on earth. We are in a fallen state.

I like to think that the mortal part of us naturally listens to the adversary. And our spirits naturally listen to the Spirit.

If we are never confused that the Spirit will only offer us positive emotion, then if we are feeling “bad,” we know that is coming from the adversary.

So, who do you want to listen to? And can you give yourself permission to learn from the negative emotion and listen to the positive?

The Productivity Trap

Thinking productivity will create your feelings or make you feel better is a trap.

When we accomplish something, we might feel better for a moment, but the effect is temporary. So then we have to do more and more to feel better and better. It leaves us feeling exhausted and confused.

We use willpower to get stuff done, which is why we are perpetually tired. Then when we are tired, we don’t get as much done. We are consistently falling short of what we know we are capable of.

This leads to shame, because there is a disconnect between what we believe about ourselves and what our actual results are.

Then we want to feel better. So we think, “Doing something will make me feel better!”

And the cycle continues.

The Productivity Trap

This Productivity Trap is draining and makes us want to give up because we can never quite reach our goal in a way that feels good.

There is a better way. I call this Positive Productivity:

  1. Decide what you want, and make sure you like your reasons. Don’t do anything IN ORDER TO feel better.
  2. Commit to it.
  3. Do the next thing on the path that you think will get you to your goal.
  4. Take action despite your feelings… you will have negative emotion, but it is not a sign to quit. (This is where mindset work comes in.)
  5. Evaluate.
  6. Repeat steps 3-6.

Each of these steps is much more nuanced than what I can outline in one blog post, but if you follow these steps, coaching yourself around your emotions as you go along, you will be able to be productive and feel good while you do it. In fact your emotions will FUEL your action instead of your action DRAINING you.

If you want to get out of the Productivity Trap and into Positive Productivity, schedule a free consultation with me. My program will help you feel better so you can get stuff done without exhaustion or doubt to create the life you really want.

The Missing Link

Feelings. Emotions.

What do you think about them?

How do you feel about your feelings?

So often in our American culture, emotions are frowned upon. Feelings are some kind of weakness.

Unless, of course, you are feeling positive emotion.

But what about anger, frustration, despair, sadness, grief, overwhelm, fear, insecurity, embarrassment….?

Are those “bad?”

Ironically, when we block ourselves from feeling negative emotion by resisting, reacting or avoiding them, we also block ourselves from feeling positive emotion too.

So often— maybe 98% of the time?– I see people who are struggling and feelings are the missing link.

We are self-aware about our thoughts.

We know what we want the results in our lives.

But we don’t know how to take action. We don’t know how to get there.

I think feeling is the how.

Let yourself feel whatever emotion you are experiencing right now.

What is it?

Where is it in your body?

Tell me more. What specific sensations? Hot? Cold? Sharp? Dull? Big? Small? Tight? Loose? Open? Closed? Heavy? Light? Does it have a color? A shape?

Get creative with those adjectives.

The only way to stop feeling your negative emotions (and to start feeling the positive ones) is through the emotion.

You will gain peace when you are ok with feeling exactly the way you are feeling right now.

Denita Bremer is a life coach who is on a mission to help Latter-day Saint women feel happier and more fulfilled so they can more effectively do their personal work in the world. If you are interested in a free life coaching session, sign up here.

Shame is my default

One of my earliest memories, if not THE earliest, is of my Dad carrying my mom to the shower and throwing her in.

Looking back at it now, I think he was probably trying to sober her up.

But at the time, it just scared me. I loved my mom so much. I was thoroughly devoted to her. In my 2-3 year old mind, I didn’t understand why my Dad was trying to hurt her.

Being already pre-disposed to shyness and fear, I learned to be afraid of my Dad. He was big and mean and loud.

Don’t get me wrong—I know he loved me. We had lots of great times together. But his relationship with my mom was confusing to young child me. They were supposed to love each other! Why were they always hurting each other?

But I digress.

Today when I am afraid, I know that is my default thinking. From such a young age, I was afraid of everything. I couldn’t even trust my own parents who were supposed to give me an atmosphere of love and safety. The whole world was scary.

Our brains want an explanation for everything. It wants to place blame so that it can then solve the problem. For many people, they so desperately don’t want to be the one to blame that they blame everyone around them.

But for me, blaming others doesn’t seem to come as naturally and I wondered why. My default was blaming myself.

I think this is why:

I can control myself. I can change myself.

Everyone outside of me was unpredictable bordering on volatile.

So it makes sense to me that even as a young child my brain found refuge in blaming me. It felt more safe. If I could just stay quiet and unnoticeable, they everything would be ok.

But that no longer serves me. In order to serve the people around me I have to be willing to be seen and heard. I can’t blend in.

The interesting thing is that there really is nobody to blame. My brain is to blame. And not even really to blame. My brain is responsible. Responsible for keeping me safe as a child and now for keeping me small.

In order to overcome it, I have to be willing to feel the discomfort of feeling vulnerable so that I can do my work in the world.

From Love Instead of For Love

Do you ever get frustrated because you can’t seem to DO the things you want to accomplish? I am right there with you!

Gretchen Rubin might call you an obliger, a personality who puts your own expectations last on your to-do list. Your personal goals or resolutions never come to fruition because you don’t stick to your plan. Then you get frustrated or discouraged and give up. But inevitably your drive to always be improving and striving leads you to restart those goals or new ones. And the cycle continues.

This has been the story of my life, and I just recently realized WHY. Another coach showed me how the root of this problem is that I don’t trust myself. I blame or deflect all results to something outside of me. I’m always looking for answers outside of myself. I don’t trust myself to make real decisions or know the answers… because if I fail, well then it would be my fault and THAT would feel like shame.

I’m constantly using willpower to accomplish what does get done. These tasks are usually fueled by a sense of obligation, not love or joy.

All of this because I can’t trust myself, because (let’s face it) I don’t much LIKE myself. I’m always trying to prove my worth by PERFORMING, but I can’t fully perform because I don’t trust myself to do what’s “right.” I’m on a mission to heal my trust with myself. I want to invite you to join me on this mission if any of this resonates with you.

What if— all this time— you have always been totally, completely enough… and there is nothing to prove? What if everything you do could be FROM love instead of FOR love? Imagine how much you would accomplish when there is no self-loathing. What would you spend your time on instead? We would be able to do our true work in the world instead of always overcoming ourselves!

👆🏻👆🏻👆🏻
I am ALL IN on that! Are you?

Everything in Life is an Exchange

We pay money, we get a product or a service. We devote time and in exchange get a relationship or knowledge. We give effort and in exchange become someone new.

Tonight my almost-teenager was frustrated about her growing acne even though she washes her face twice a day. (Poor girl!) I told her it might be because of something she’s eating… like sugar. She looked at me and said, “I’d rather have pimples and eat sweets than not eat sweets and have no acne.” As long as she knows she’s making that exchange.

Awareness of these life exchanges is where all your power lies. Sometimes it doesn’t seem like an exchange but a choice. For example, I want to get a new job, but I’m scared I’ll feel stressed all the time. But right now I need money. So do you want to feel stress or in bondage to your money? It’s just an example, but might help you make difficult decisions.

Just remember that it’s always an exchange. You are almost never giving something for nothing.

Your sex life ebbs and flows– and why that’s good news.

Hello blog people! Let me tell you– building a business is not for the faint of heart! I have been doing big things behind the scenes and writing kinda…. fell away for a while. It has been on my mind and my heart for many weeks now, so here I am.

One thing I want to remind you is that your sex life is just one slice of your life.

I want to remind you that everything in life ebbs and flows. It’s not a check box. You don’t arrive at a “good sex life.” It comes, it goes. Just like the seasons.

There are a couple reasons why this is such good news. First of all, without any effort at all- just the passing of the seasons- your sex life may take a turn for the better. Sometimes time heals. And secondly, if you have been feeling like Something Has Gone Wrong… consider the idea that nothing has gone wrong, you just haven’t figure it out yet.

Sex is a skill. It is one of the best thoughts I can teach you. You can get better at it. Or you can just decide you are already good at it (it’s just your lower brain trying to convince you otherwise.)

Because really? What difference does it make if you ARE good at sex, or if you just think you are? Thinking you are good at something will make it so, at least with practice.

Thirdly, if sex is a flow, it relinquishes you from thinking that it is all up to you. Just like you can’t make a plant grow, you can’t control all the factors that pop up between two people in a relationship. You can only do your part. You plant the seed, and water it, and make sure it gets good sunlight, and hopefully it grows. If it doesn’t grow, it doesn’t mean that you’ve done anything wrong. Maybe it just wasn’t meant to be. Maybe you are missing a critical piece of information. But you are not at fault. And the seed is not at fault either.

I think the easiest way to love your sex life is to just decide to love it however it currently is. Nothing has gone wrong and it is beautiful. I promise that will get you closer to a “good” sex life than any action advice I could propose.

All of this seems pretty simple. Just decide! But it is not easy.

If you are ready to love your sex life, I can help with that. Join me for a free consultation call where I will show you why you aren’t loving it now and what to do about it. Awareness is crucial! You can’t change anything you don’t understand! I will teach you why your brain would rather you just stay the same and how to overcome that.

I know I can help you. The question is: Are you ready?