Life’s Short Lessons: Best. Christmas. Ever.

Feeding the Homless

Life’s Short Lessons:  Best. Christmas. Ever.

Several years ago, the sudden turn of the economy pulled the rug out from under us financially. Some of our greatest hardships and greatest blessings came from what happened next.

Scott closed up his concrete construction company of three decades, we place our home up for sale and he took an out-of-state job managing a flood and fire disaster company. The plan was that when our home sold, we would join him in Wyoming. Scott was only home on the weekends and I’ll tell you, we made the very most of the short couple of days he was home with the family. Money was slim pickings; one-by-one we sold our animals and any belongings that we thought would help make ends meet.

Daily we counted our blessings of the many things

that money cannot buy…. Family!

When our home did not sell, another a job opportunity presented itself that would bring Scott back to our home seven days a week. Yeah!  It was a time for tears of joy and a time of celebration.

However, Christmas was fast approaching, and Scott and I knew we did not have the funds to buy Christmas gifts. We thought about what we could do for our family that would make it a memorable and special Christmas without store-bought gifts.

Realizing Christmas that year fell on a Sunday, and knowing the Eagle Ranch Ministries fed the homeless in downtown Salt Lake City every Sunday, it was a no-brainer.  Our family, including our married children and spouses, woke up at 5am, not to see if Santa left a surprise under the tree, but to bundle up and go into the city to prepare the food for the homeless. We were not alone. About thirty others showed up, ready to serve. After five hours of sorting, cutting, peeling, dicing and cooking, the meal was finally ready.

As lunch time neared, the line began to form. Within a short amount of time, the line stretched to a hundred and fifty plus homeless, many with young children. They were so grateful for the warm meal and showed their appreciation with smiles of gratitude and a “Merry Christmas.”

Feeding the Homeless

It was our family that was most grateful - grateful for the opportunity to serve others who were down on their luck; it certainly put things in perspective. We had a house to go home to – they did not. We had a refrigerator and a pantry full of food – they did not. Never again were we to feel sorry for not having money to purchase gifts.

 That day we received the best gift ever –

the gift that only love and service can bring.

It was a Christmas our family will always cherish and remember. And now we also seek to do things every Christmas that bring that kind of meaning.

 

 

The Uninvited Guest: Depression

Depression. There is hope.

Is mental illness sabotaging your life?  Get your life back!

The Uninvited Guest: Depression.

My heart sank as I read a recent blog post by a friend and mentor Dino Watt, entitled “There is hope in the darkness!“.  With heartfelt love, Dino paid tribute to a beautiful and talented friend Kaila, who sadly lost her fight with mental illness.

The ugly disease and uninvited guest who calls himself “Depression”, crept in, unpacked and staked it’s claim as a permanent resident until the vibrant, young, talented, smart and beautiful girl could take it no more.  

Mental Illness does not discriminate between sex, nationality, or religion.  It does not care if you have a family, a job or a college degree. 

Dino describes Kaila’s plight; “She struggled with a brain that was both brilliant and confused. Full of inspirational light and depressing darkness.”

No one is to judge.  No one is to blame.

Unfortunately the tragic ending to Kaila’s story is not unique. I didn’t personally know Kaila, only from what Dino shared, he revealed that her family knew of her tough battle, her family loved her, her family sought support and help for her, but ultimately the bottom-line is “As it is with everything in life, the ultimate choice for our actions is with us, no matter how much others want to help.” ~Dino Watt

No one is to judge. No one is to blame.

Myself having struggled with uninvited bought’s of depression since the spring of 2011, I emphasize with and have compassion for those who live with this challenge on a daily basis.  Until recently I was not ready to introduce my obnoxious guest to my family or friends for fear of seeming weak, therefore I kept him as hidden as possible.  I’d tell myself to just “snap out of it”,  but as time went on I began to worry that my guest was really intending to make me his new permanent resident.

Then one morning I said,  ”Enough IS Enough! I want my life back!”

I blogged about depression for the first time, six months ago, entitled, “The Big Dark Elephant In The Room:  Dealing with Depression and Mental Illness“.  I decided it was time to be REAL in hope to help others who also fight the fight.  I opened up a little bit about my battle, NOT wanting to be too vulnerable, but enough to let the cat out of the bag. I’m a positive outgoing person who looks for the good in every experience and situation, therefore to talk about depression and how it personally effects me is out of my comfort zone, but a much needed stretch.

In my blog post I also shared, with permission, a story of a friend who also battles this fight, knowing her story would be a light to others.  I also, introduced a product, a natural remedy called EMPower Plus Q96, that I had researched, personally tried and experienced relief.  But for unexplained reasons I had not continued using the product.  Months later the darkness got so bad that I knew I had to do something ASAP.

I called a friend and ordered Q96 in hope it would clear my mind,  lift the darkness and let light in.

In deep gratitude.  

To my pleasant surprise within 24 hours of placing my order – it was delivered to my door and in my hands.  Within a week I undoubtely noticed a difference in my thoughts, clarity, focus and the much sought after light.

Now, eight weeks on the product I’m very pleased to report, I feel like myself once again – healthy and happy, therefore I share and urge others who battle mental illness to not let this uninvited visitor make himself a permanent resident in your life.  Seek help if you haven’t already done so, open up to someone for support, do your research, speak to your physician and most of all – pray for guidance.  You don’t have to live in darkness. There is hope. There is light.

My heart goes out to those mourning the loss of beautiful Kaila.  I plead with those that battle depression and other forms of mental illness; Do not let this be your ending – BE the conquer. WIN the fight!  

With love and gratitude,

Becky Mack:)
Speaker, Author, Mom, Life Coach

 

 

 

 

 

Making Things Happen!

MAKING THINGS HAPPEN!

photo 1 copy 13

Baseball legend, Tommy Lasorda said, “There are three kinds of people in this world:  people who make it happen, people who watch what happens and people who wonder what happened.”

I am grateful for the trials, challenges and triumphs that make up who I am.  I am grateful for my family, friends and acquaintances that support, encourage and teach me to be better and do better.  I am grateful for goals met and goals yet to fulfill.  I am grateful for….

Making Things Happen!

I’ve had the pleasure of working for and with Kevin Hall and Chad Hymas, members of the National Speakers Association (NSA), but to actually BECOME a MEMBER of the NSA and to ATTEND and SPEAK at the Perform 2014 NSA Convention in San Diego is a DREAM come true.

YES, that’s me and Scott on the stage in the Seaport Ballroom of the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego! BUT don’t be fooled. YES we attended, YES we are members, YES we stood on the stage, YES we spoke, BUT only to the staff who were setting up the room for an evening of comedy and entertainment by Jason Hewlett!  But that’s okay! I’m sure the room would have been packed had anyone known! (Big Smiley Face)

…….AND BY-THE-WAY WE WERE AMAZING!  We gave a heck-of-an-inspiring and motivational speech AND wish you could have been there!

It begins with a THOUGHT, a BELIEF and a DESIRE, then it takes ACTION – the “Getting your hands dirty to get things done” in order to REACH your Goal!  AND that’s where we are NOW…

Taking ACTION!

How about YOU?  Where are you on your journey to achieving your goals? And how can Scott and I best serve you to take ACTION?

With an emphasis on strengthening relationships Scott and I speak, train and coach audiences to:

1. Put the FUN, PASSION and EXCITEMENT back into life!

2. Turn obstacles into incredible opportunities.

3. Harness the power of CHANGE and rise above to progress.

4. Learn to COMMUNICATE effectively: The KEY to connecting.

5. Tap into unseen personal POWER and inner POTENTIAL to become an influencial LEADER in your home and workplace.

Please don’t hesitate to let us know how we can best serve you!

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Click below to watch a short video recap of our experience at convention!

Scott and Becky Mackintosh at Perform 2014 National Speakers Association Convention

 

What Your Teenager is REALLY Saying When They Say I HATE YOU!

angry teenager

Do you have an unruly teenager that says the “H” word?  Do you want to know what your teenager is REALLY saying when they say I HATE you?

Besides the obvious, “My emotions have come to a head and I don’t know a better way to express myself.”  What you really want to know is what is BEHIND all that built up emotion. Right?

If you are a parent, you know that raising kids, especially getting through those teenage years is a journey, perhaps a roller-coaster better describes it!  I’m not a therapist or a counselor just a REAL parent talking about the joys and the nitty-gritty PAINS of parenting, the stuff that keeps parents awake at night!

Growing up I couldn’t wait to be a mother!  I loved kids!  In fact, I wanted TEN children – I thought how hard could raising TEN children be? I was certain all I had to do was “love” them and be the “cool” mom and have great communication with my children and they would grow up without a hitch.  That was my plan!

My husband Scott and I were mostly on the same page in how to raise our children, at least we had the same end goal, which was to raise our children into responsible, independent and productive adults.

We had our first five children in six and a half years – now that alone accounted for some craziness in our home – especially when I blinked and realized all FIVE were TEENAGERS at the same time!!  Double yikes!  ….and three were GIRLS! Triple yikes!  Yes, I wanted TEN children, but when number seven was born it felt like ten and our family felt complete, so we named him Skye, cause sky’s the limit.  And that youngest son just turned 18!  Another YIKES!  They grow up too fast.

It didn’t take long after becoming a mother before REALITY set in and I realized every child was born with their own unique and distinct personality, and I discovered what worked for one child did NOT work for the next.

It’s no secret that children come into our homes without a “How to properly raise me instruction guide.” – it’s a learn as you go process.  And just when you think you have it figured out they hit puberty and you are back to square one!

What was suppose to be a straight line from A to Z turned out to be all loop-de-looped and squiggly.

As rough as it may sound, there is a lot of JOY in raising kids, yes even TEENAGERS!  In fact, my husband Scott says,

“If you are not having fun then you are doing something wrong!”

But when you are in the midst of a trial it is rough! There is a reason I color my hair and have bags under my eyes and calluses on my knees from the many long pleading prayers with God over a child – especially during those teen years.  Don’t get me wrong – the TEEN years were and are some of my favorite years!

NOW back to the question of the day….

What your teenager is REALLY saying when they say I HATE you?

If you are a parent, you too have had episodes of getting upset, during which you lose all logical and reasoning brain cells and say something you wish we had NOT said.

One thing about kids is that they don’t hide their feeling.  You know when they are happy – you know when they are sad, mad etc…  They don’t leave it up to you to guess their mood – they show it!  They whine, they suddenly strike out at a sibling, they scream I HATE you!  Their feelings and moods can change on a dime.  Their emotions come to a head and they don’t know any better way than to shout out what they are feeling.

Do you remember the first time your teenager said “I HATE you”?   Perhaps you were like me, livid, you couldn’t believe what you had just heard – you their parent, their provider, their nurturer was being told “I HATE you!”   I wanted to give them something to really hate me about.  But as a parent and an adult, I restrained my initial thought to lash out, and I replied as calmly as I could muster, “I’m sorry you feel that way, but you are not exactly at the top of my like list right now.”

Sometimes the hardest parenting task is keeping your own emotions in check.

The top 3 parenting tips to dealing with an unruly teenager:

#1 Keep your cool - Don’t get too worked up when your teenager says they hate you.  If means you are doing your job!  You are being their parent which trumps being their friend.  Don’t get me wrong, you want to be their friend too, but being their parent comes FIRST and far most.   Wait until things have calmed down then talk about it.  It doesn’t do any good to try to resolve a conflict when emotions are running high.

#2 Get to the root of the problem - What is behind the built up emotion?  Every situation is different.  Sometimes what’s behind the anger is obvious, other times you are completely BAFFLED and clueless.  LISTEN and LOOK for the hidden clues – the non-verbal clues – their body language.  The words “I hate you” may be the outlet from having a bad day and you just got the brunt of it OR it may be masking something more serious. 

Asking questions, once they have cooled down, is a good way to find out what’s bothering them. Getting to the root of what is making them feel so angry and frustrated is key to resolving conflict – this is not always easy and sometimes it’s like peeling an onion.

#3  Love UNCONDITIONALLY with no BUT’s. Look for the good and sincerely tell them how much you appreciate them and love them.  Rather than only praising your child’s accomplishments, encourage and praise effort.  Teens love to know they are appreciated and needed.

As I have traveled the world speaking and coaching as far away as India.  I’ve yet to meet anyone, especially a teenager that does NOT want to “fit in” to feel loved, safe, trusted, respected, appreciated and valued for who they are.  Most important at the end of the day is that your teenager knows you LOVE them, both in words and in action.  It’s as simple as an “I love you” and a heartfelt hug.

What your teenager is REALLY saying when they say I HATE you….   

“You’re doing your job as a parent and I don’t like it.  But keep loving me – I need to know I’m valued and needed.”

 

Becky Mack’s Life Lesson:  See past, through and beyond the “I hate you.”

Put the FUN back in parenting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Happens Next?

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