Comfort Is For The Boring

comfort1There is nothing like a comfortable bed with lots of fluffy pillows and a nice warm blanket. I know this and I want that in my life…every night! I like my bed and other places that I sit and/or rest to comfortable, but what about my life? Just how comfortable do I want to be?

If you are presently comfortable with your life, your routine, and your relationships…I think it is time to force yourself to get uncomfortable.

Something that we need to think about is the more we sit still and be “happy”, the less we actually grow. The more we stretch beyond our comfort zone, the more we grow.

You know what is not comfortable for you, personally. Talking to people who are where you want to be in life. Going to places you want to go alone. Taking a chance on starting that business or writing that book you have been dreaming about.

When you realize that you just wash, rinse, and repeat daily, you have to throw a comfort2monkey wrench in that comfort and push yourself to do something out of your comfort zone. Start questioning yourself and your motives, saying no when you used to say yes, or yes when you always said no, go out instead of making excuses to stay in (that one used to be me….frequently!).

Getting out of our comfort zone is really the only way that we will see growth in this life. The more we do, the more confident we will be and the more self-assured. We may fail at times, but we will eventually fail our way to success if we learn something from the failure and take notes.

If you think you know your path and have everything you need to get there, you are way too comfortable and you may get your feelings hurt. Our thoughts cannot be set in stone about our future. God is the only one who knows and He will not let us know anything before its time. So for us, our path will never be clear, so we should just strap up our boots and enjoy the ride… and get uncomfortable. We never know how much more fully we will enjoy our lives or how truly happy we can be until we let go and face being out of our comfort zone.

comfort4So if you are living a mundane and routine life, I urge you to throw yourself a curve ball every once in a while. There is so much out there in the world to explore and learn. And what about those things that pop in your head that you want to try? Do not leave those things undiscovered if it is in your power to do them! I am sure that is not how you want to live. To do things you have never done, meet new people, have new discoveries and explore new places…that is when you will feel like you are doing more than existing.. you are LIVING and being the person you truly want to be. How do they say it? You will be “Living your best life!”

The only way to get there is just to do it! Get out of your comfort zone and see what your life can truly be. Get uncomfortable! There is nothing wrong with doing something for the first time, even at our age. We can be awkward and embarrassed while having new experiences, it’s ok. We can embrace those moments that we find ourselves in where we do not know what to do or say, oh well.

We are the only ones responsible for our lives and how we live in the end. You choosecomfort3 your emotions at the end of the day. How do you want to live this life? What attitude toward your life experiences do you want to have? Do you want to remain stagnant and “comfy” or grow while experiencing more of what life has to offer? I am learning more and more that when I open myself up to doing new things and learning from them, I feel more alive and confident in myself…the feeling is like no other!

So just do it…get uncomfortable and live your best life

 

 

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I Am Capable Of More

capable1I finally get it! I can finally see the forest before the trees…..(whatever that means right?) I do a lot of things, wear a lot of hats. I am one busy bee. But I am going to be honest with you and say, I hardly ever think that it is enough and that what I do accomplish is good enough. I am so serious….and crazy!!! I have accomplished so much and I am working on adding things to the list…I am capable of so much more than I think….so are you!

I am capable of doing anything that I want to; whatever I am looking to do in this life, I am absolutely capable of doing it, YOU are capable of doing it. Whether or not we really know what we ultimately want and what it looks like to work toward it, we can. We are capable of being happier than ever. It is more than adding the right people to our lives and eliminating those who do not add value to us. We can create the best version of ourselves and the world will be able to see the confidence, value, and purpose in us.

Attitude is everything! We have to tell ourselves every day, in everything…you are capable and there is so much more waiting for you. Then we need to honor ourselves incapable a way that shows that you know it for sure. If we really want to “grow up”, we have to get to know ourselves. One of the ways that we can do that is to release some of the BS that we allow to reside in our lives, those things that keep us from being our best. We cannot feel pressured to make commitments and hang around people that do not positively affect our lives. That is where personal boundaries come in.

Let me be honest about some of the things that I have allowed in my life that have distracted me when it comes to me getting to where I want to be. I have let the needs and happiness of others supersede my own, I was really extra on the people pleasing, I have held onto past relationships and frustrations, and I tolerated people that drained the life and energy out of me. That was too much and I had to do something in order to finally make ME a priority.

Boundaries!

capable2The biggest thing for me was saying “no”. It was rarely part of my vocabulary and my nerves suffered for it. NO is not a negative word, not at all. We can not feel guilty for wanting to choose ourselves over others occasionally. I used to feel guilty for not wanting to help someone, then I thought about how easy it was for others to tell me no and not blink an eye. I speak my truth now! I say no (not always that blunt) with a quickness and I do not feel guilty for not being there…this time. There may be another time where I will help but if I am not feeling, I do not do it.

And I do not give a reason why I am saying no….For what? I owe no one an excuse for choosing to do what I planned, even if it is nothing, over doing for someone else. I love helping every and anyone but if I do not feel Peace about it, I am going to skip it. There is so much power and freedom in the word NO!!

The word “no” establishes a boundary and that is so powerful. You’re telling your truthcapable3 and standing up for yourself. You are showing yourself that you can be trusted to take care of you too. You are a human being and you are choosing to live your life on your terms. Boundaries support the life you want for yourself and show others what you will and will not allow in your life. Having personal boundaries in place shows you have the courage  to love yourself even at the chance of disappointing others.

I am doing it more and more everyday and you can too. Say no! Go ahead! Do not do another thing that you are going to complain about later or feel uncomfortable doing because you are a people-pleaser.  You can be sweet about it, “I am sorry, but I will not be able to help you with that this time.”, “no, I do not have the extra money to loan you.”…whatever they ask, you have the power to say no if you do not want to be there. Start off small and stay consistent, you will eventually be a pro and feel better about having the time to do those things you are capable of that will lead you to personal happiness and fulfillment.

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5 Ways To Tell If Someone is Manipulating You

manipulationI used to be a super gullible person. I really always believed that people are good…even after they have shown me a million times that they didn’t care about my feelings at all. I always try to give people a chance and believe that most people mean well and are sincere. I mean, if you are always good to people, listen, and help them out when they need it, why would they ever want to hurt you deliberately? But I have grown up and now more than ever, I realize that people are going to do what feels good to them and they want you to do the same for them….forget about how you feel in the midst of it.

I was naive then but we cannot believe that everyone in our lives is on our side. It is hard to believe but they are not! Not all of them anyway and we need to see that and change how we respond to them to keep peace in our own lives. I have had my feelings hurt manipulation1many times by people who claimed to love me but the love came with conditions. We are all going to run into fake and manipulative people every now and then so we have to keep our eyes peeled. We have to protect ourselves…that is what they are doing. After all.

So in my experience, I have seen a few things and realized that I was being taken on a ride and either changed the dynamics of our relationship or dissolved the relationships altogether. I have read a few books as well that have helped me to spot a person that does not have my best interests at heart.

If they have ever……try to demean you or undermine your confidence

Emotional abuse is one of the most common tactics of manipulators. They try to leave you emotionally weak and feeling insecure. They know that you will cling to them more and it will make them feel stronger. They may also make you believe in them and become more intimate so that they can get you to open up to them and give them information. They will use it against you at some point to benefit themselves, believe that.

They pressure you into making decisions that you don’t wanna make.manipulation2

They make you feel like you have to hurry to make decisions and you feel like you don’t have time to see if the decision will benefit you or not. They start off with small favors and slowly work their way toward sometimes very unreasonable demands. This is so that it does not raise suspicion.

They act dumb and unknowingly. Some of us tend to trust people that seem to be unknowing and well, for lack of a better word, dumb. They can see that and use it to get you to do what they want you to do. They feign weakness but they are really smart and dangerous in that way…..think Machiavelli.

They are always playing the victim. They make it look like they are the ones being used, abused, hurt, and harassed so that they can get the pressure off of themselves and you will feel sorry for them and give them what they want.

manipulation3They invoke the silent treatment to get you to talk or do what they want. First of all, this is a very immature behavior….and I am guilty of this at one time in my life!!! When I noticed it, I was upset with myself because although it was subtle, I was still doing it and I really did not want that to be part of who I was. I was doing it to avoid confrontation and drama but, it is really telling the person that you do not feel like working things out, therefore you are choosing to punish them by withholding love. Mature people know how to use their words to settle an issue or fix a problem. They also do not avoid having a difficult conversation. This is me now…Thank God!

Once you notice these people around, you have to set boundaries in order to protect yourself. Stand your ground! You have to let people know what you will tolerate and what is not going to work for you. Some of them will still try you but most will just leave you alone. Remember who you are and the fact that you should always be treated with the utmost respect.

There is nothing wrong with doing it alone

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In the past few years, I have taken the initiative to start doing things on my own and frankly, my experiences have been amazing! I spent a lot of time (and money) asking people to go with me places because I thought I would look weird hanging out alone. I mean, I admit, the first few times, I was uncomfortable and felt weird but once I got past all of that BS, I enjoy every moment I am hanging out with me!

I believe that I enjoy it more now because I have been spending so much time alone getting to know me. My boys are older and have their own things going on now so I have time to spend with myself learning what I really enjoy (and do not like at all) and trying new experiences which have been absolutely amazing. I look back on the time I spend with me and I smile because I was able to truly be me, listen to me and be in the moment with myself. There is nothing like listening to your own heart so that you can take care of and love yourself more fully.

DoingitaloneI take myself to lunch, I have done movies, shopping, spa visits, beach trips, and a host of other things by myself and I enjoy it. I meet people and talk… even those experiences are fun and entertaining. I do not think there is anything wrong with getting “alone” with you to do something you enjoy or even to try a new thing. If you can’t stand to be alone with yourself then you may need to take a look at some changes you may need to make.

Are you afraid to be alone? Is that out of your comfort zone?

I think being able to be and go places alone is something that really shows you how independent you REALLY are. As far as my personal growth is concerned, my solo experiences are where I really get to see how far I have come because there are no distractions and no one to convince me of anything. In order to grow, we have to come out of our comfort zone. We should all take time to date ourselves. I have built up so much confidence the more I spend time with myself doing things. I get so much out of it but the most important thing is I get to see who I am and fall in love with me more and more as I grow.

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I love people so it was so easy for me to rely on others to do something with me and I

would work around their schedule when looking at my social life. What?! Yes, I did. If they could not go, I would not go. That got me to the point where I did not do anything but work and go home. That is when I took the time to look at me and what I wanted for my life and I took the plunge to start going out alone and I have had so many experiences since.

 

And guess what? You do not have to be a bold, confident, and independent person to do things alone. You can be an insecure person…just like the rest of us. You just have to make the decision to LIVE…on your own terms and timing. You have to ignore that little voice in your head that tells you to be afraid or worry about what someone else will think about it.

 

doingitalone1The more you hang out with yourself, the more you will want to hang out with yourself! You will get to know you better…your likes and dislikes. You may even build up the confidence to only allow what’s good to enter into your space. When you learn how to love you thoroughly, you can show others how and your other relationships benefit from you spending time alone.

 

Now I am not saying that you should ONLY spend time alone. Like I said, I love being around people. I really have just learned to value that time I spend alone to get refreshed and filled up so that I can be my best around the people I choose to spend time with.

 

img_1108We should not sit around and wait for people to choose to help us fill our social calendar up with fun things to do. You need to take control of your days. If you follow me on my social pages, you see that I go do things and I have no one with me …I just go and live! I work hard and I am loving me (most days) so I challenge myself. I look at what is going on around town (or out of town) that I may be interested in and I explore. Hanging with me has never been a boring time and I find out more and more about myself each time. More of me to love…..or change……growth ……

 

Unique gifts for him

We are just days away from love day…are you ready?NoSlaveNovember

I didn’t want to buy anything common so I was trolling for some things that were unique and customized for a particular loved one. I found some pretty cool things, some may not make it for Valentine’s Day but we can keep it in our back pockets for birthdays and other special occasions.

I found something that is great for the sports fan in your life. It is called a Fan Chest and you can find them at FanChest.com. Sports fans love anything that has their team’s logo on it and here you will find it all. They have boxes that are full of licensed memorabilia for NHL, NFL, and NCAA teams and the prices are reasonable.

I love Amazon so when I saw this, I knew it would be a great gift for any man. It is a smart USB car charger with Alexa! The device will charge his phone and answer a few questions for him at the same time. Alexa, what is the weather? Alexa, give me a traffic update….whatever he needs. She will save you some time and headaches and keep your man safe.

Massages feel so good and they are the gift that keeps on giving for us ladies. So why not give the same gift to your man? I am sure that as much and as hard as he works, he would really appreciate a professional massage for an hour or so.  If you are anything like me, a few minutes in….my hands are cramping and I am ready to stop. That’s bad I know so I am so thankful that I can pay a licensed professional to do what she (or he– even though most men are not having it!) get paid to do.

I know there are plenty of statistics out there that say that men are not readers, not many of them anyway. There are men out there that love to read. When I am on the go and do not want to carry too many things, I have my Kindle and plenty of books on it for me in between times. Even if you read a chapter a day, eventually you will finish that book. The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite is excellent for the man who loves to read. AND it is now waterproof, as well as it being thinner, lighter and you can store twice as many books.

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If you are short on funds but still want to show your honey a great evening, you can cook his favorite meal…in his favorite “outfit” (if the children aren’t home) and make it a romantic evening at home. You can have a sweet dinner by candlelight, a beautiful bouquet of flowers and his favorite wine with his favorite woman…..nothing better than that…unless you do some of his favorite things when its time for dessert.

 

Click the links to see the Amazon products!!

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6 Ways To Say I Love You To Her This Valentine’s Day

valentinesdayforher1It comes every year and yet some men still wait until the last minute to scape the almost empty shelves for something your wife/significant other isn’t going to eat, use, or want to smell like. You can ruin the whole day if you do not put a little time and effort into your gift giving. I am not much of a Valentine’s Day person because I did not get to celebrate many of them as a military spouse. I also believe that I would rather be loved eloquently the whole year than have a quick shower on one day. But anywho…

wantsneeds1I think if you are going to spoil your lady on Valentine’s Day, you should show some thoughtfulness and class. One thing you can do that she would appreciate is planning ahead, somewhat. We can tell when you have put some thought into your gift-giving as opposed to you running to the gas station or those people on the side of the road with the teddy bear inside of a giant balloon… what are you supposed to do with those anyway? Whether you are doing something with the whole family or just her alone, put some thought and preparation into it for goodness sakes….or even surprise her! It truly matters and it is the thought that counts.

  • Do something leading up to Valentine’s Day. Planning something special for her like a dinner, massage, buy her a dress for the upcoming dinner even… make it extra loving. Get her excited and have her anticipating the day. Just do not forget to have something for her to expect on February 14. Even if we say we do not want anything…we do!
  • It is not about how much you spend! Why go out there buying teddy bears, chocolates and flowers that are expensive when you can do something for her that can last the whole day long. Let her lock herself up in the room for a day while you take care of the home, errands, and the children. Peace and quiet (and a nap) is always a lovely gift for a hard-working mommy.
  • Write her a letter. I still remember a love letter that I received that was straightvalentinesdayforher3 from the heart and full of his personality. When we see that you sat down and took the time to share your heart, it means the world to us. It is rare to have a man that gets completely “naked” about his feelings and trust you with them. As long as you are being honest about it and not copying from some Hallmark card or Google, it would be much appreciated it and you are sure to have a good night.
  • Cook dinner at home for her and set up a nice scene. Cooking is not a hard thing to do. You just have to follow directions which may be the hardest part if it is something that you have never cooked before. Just send the children to grandma’s house, plan and make a menu, flowers on the table, dessert…..and dessert (hmm). Pull out the stops for her…and do not let her clean up afterward PLEASE!
  • You can start early in the day by going to have breakfast or lunch, or even just coffee. You may have to be creative because most of us have families and jobs but it is just one day if you have to put off something to give her your attention, she will see it and appreciate the effort. Sometimes things like this mean more to us than the pricey things.
  • valentinesdayforher2Put friendly reminders of your love where she can find them. Your wedding photos by her makeup, pictures of you on your first date, a few sexy pictures sent to her phone throughout the day, love notes in her purse, in her car, her desk at work. Speak to her with love on your mind and the little things will be huge, trust me.

Take things back to the beginning. Where you met, why you fell in love, how you really feel when you think about her and what makes her so beautiful to you. If you are going to celebrate Valentine’s Day, make it a sweet and thoughtful one….then continue to show your love and appreciation every day. These are things that you can do often to show her that you are Blessed to be able to call her your own.

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I’m an Independent Thinker…My Bad

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From the earliest times that I can remember, I have always been very independent in my thoughts. That is probably why I was never part of a clique. I like everyone and didn’t mind having friends from different cliques. I am the same way today. I attempt to get along well with everyone for the most part. Not all of the people I talked to like each other but that is not something that I worry about. I am only concerned with keeping balance in my life and when an individual no longer fits into my journey, they fade…that’s it. I don’t love someone because someone I know loves them, nor do I hate someone because someone I love hates them. I have so many other things going on in my life and that seems like something that I do not have time to keep up with.

Like I said, I have always been an independent thinker, but there were times when I was younger that I relied on the opinion of others when I wanted to do something. As I got older and realized that I had been living other people’s lives and not my own; I have been retraining my brain so that I could rely on me ( and my God, of course) to act in my best interest and follow the dreams that I have for me.

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One thing that I have started to do was to let go of the beliefs that others have that I decided to adopt solely because they did. I think rationally and stay away from believing out of emotion. Our parents and grandparents…and other family and friends have pretty much taught us our reality, but that does not mean that it is right. I live for myself now. I read self-help and thought-provoking books. I even read history and some philosophy…whatever I feel like learning more about. The more we know, the more insightful our opinions and thoughts shared will be. Along with that, we have to question everything! Just because something is done one way, and it always has been, does not mean you should not ask why it is done that way. When we question why things are the way they are, it helps us to become aware of the hypocrisy that surrounds us and others. What do you REALLY know?

You also have to surround yourself with intelligent people with similar values. What’s that saying? “If you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room.” When I heard that the first time, I walked away from the podcast that I was listening to. I had no idea that I had been doing this the wrong way all of this time. I am a helper by nature and I always felt drained after that kind of get-together because I spent so much time and energy pouring out. Then what?! Who is replenishing this woman? I had to do it alone! That is when I found out how much of an introvert I really am…and how much I truly love my own company. If we are pursuing knowledge, we should search out those on the same journey. These are the people who will listen to us as much as we will listen to them.

I mentioned it above…I also listen to podcasts…like every day! There are so many out there. I will list my favorites so far at the end. Whatever you have an interest in and do not have the time to read about, there is probably a podcast out there for you to listen to.

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On the way to work, dropping kids off at school, on lunch breaks, anywhere, I am trying to gain more knowledge on how to live life in a way that helps me be my best and protect my peace.

We have to make sure that before we share our thoughts, we have done some research that will enable us to have an educated and informative conversation. We should always try to be fair in our judgment of a subject or thought of another. We can have great conversations where we can all sharpen each other and healthy debates that can have us laughing, crying, and learning. For some of us, that is what we call a good night with friends.

Another thing that has helped me become a more independent thinker is all of the travel I do. We have to get out of our little space in the world and see things that we do not see every day. You get a different perspective on life and love. You get to see the other people live and see how privileged you really may be. Just because we are used to seeing and living a certain way, does not mean that it is that way for everyone and we won’t find that out unless we venture out.dsc_2694

Those podcasts I currently listen to….

  • Having it A.L.L. with Matthew Bivens
  • The Overwhelmed Brain with Paul Colaianni
  • The Lifecoach School Podcast with Brooke Castillo
  • The Potter’s Touch with Bishop T.D Jakes
  • Elevation with Steven Furtick
  • Cocktails and Confidence with CeCe Olisa and Chastity Garner (Cofounders of the CurvyCon)