Tell Me How You Really Feel

howifeel4Question… What do you really think of yourself?

Do you love yourself? Do you think highly of yourself? Are you pleased with the way you think, act, speak, and look? Seriously, do you like the things that make you who you are?

I am asking because I recently had to ask myself those questions and when I thought about it, I kind of shrieked a bit! I am really big right now in getting to know myself and I was wondering if you know how important that is for us all. Yes, getting to know you is a long, drawn-out mission that is going to take you the rest of your life…it is, after all, part of the reason we are here.

How we see ourselves is a big part of what tells us how happy, frustrated, angry, or pleased we are in general.

We are complicated people, but do not give up on getting to know yourself! I mean, whohowifeel2 wants to just wake up and float through life, not standing for anything, or having a goal to push through and live out their dreams. I am all about going for and doing what you love. What is the saying? “Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life.” That is my goal. God wakes me up every morning…my dreams are what get me out of bed to chase them in order to live a beautiful life and leave a legacy for my children. If you do not know yourself, waking up is probably a chore and eventually, you will dim your inner fire, that thing that gets you out of bed.

I don’t know about you, but I wanna know myself…everything! I want to understand what makes me tick so that I can make the choices that get me to a place of happiness and I can have a fulfilled life. I am still working on getting to know myself like I said, it is going to take a lifetime. I am learning that what has been helping me grow the most has been spending time alone. It is something that I need to do more often. I know…yeah, yeah, that does sound cliche, but seriously, it’s a must-do!

howifeel1Are you even comfortable being alone?

I know a few people that cannot stand to be alone. They have to have company until they fall asleep, they have to be on the phone with someone, in a room talking with someone, almost like they can’t stand the thought of spending time with the most important person in their lives…them.

Are you comfortable with just doing your own thing? just being alone…with just you and your thoughts?  Sounds kind of dangerous depending on who you are I’m sure but alone time is BOMB! It affords you the opportunity to really get to know you, while you are being your authentic self.

When we spend time with other people, we adjust who we are. We may not realize that that is what we are doing, but we do, even if it is ever so slightly. We filter ourselves based on who we are with. This means we do not always say what we mean or mean what we say…maybe we do not end up doing what we really want to do either. We are just not always ourselves…except when we are alone. When we are alone, we are free! We think, and express ourselves just the way we want to. We take time to reflect, we think about what we love and what we do not care for and we do it without interruption.

When we spend time alone being ourselves, we gain a sense of responsibility. We carehowifeel3 for ourselves, listen to ourselves and realize that being a little selfish is not a  bad thing. We also get alerted to our own bullsh*t. When you are alone and that alarm goes off that tell you that you are not being yourself. The more time you spend alone, you can train yourself to stop filtering your thoughts…and train your brain to listen to everything and ignore nothing. Everything is important!

I am indeed a social butterfly when I want to be. I love planning trips, going to parties, have fun weekends, and going out with friends..I just know that I need to do my thing too, alone. I need that time…to do me, no pressure, no agenda.

In time, you will value that time, trust me. I used to be somewhat of an extrovert, but as time has gone on and I have gotten older (and wiser, of course), I really value time alone. Now that I have been enjoying that time alone, I have truly developed my bulls**t alarm and I pay attention to what I really need and want and adjust what I do and say.

So hang out with the ones you love but get alone every once in a while so that you can learn to hold yourself accountable for taking care of that very important person in your life…you.IMG_0227

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

 

 

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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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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I’m an Independent Thinker…My Bad

blackboard business chalkboard concept

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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.

woman wearing white off shoulder blouse

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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.

think outside of the box

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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)

Satisfied

sunset beach people sunrise

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We work hard. A lot of us go beyond our “day” jobs to look for the next big thing to work on or area to improve in our lives. This can be in our professional or in our personal lives. Does this sound like you? I believe this is a lot of us. The question is, are we going about it the right way?

img_4075Being happy and satisfied is all in the attitude. We can be in pursuit of things that make us happy, but we should also learn to be happy where we are…right now…today, at this moment.

So what do you want to do? Do you want to learn how to play the piano, learn a new language, or even write that book? Because of how our minds work, we think about these things and sometimes move on to the next thought so quickly that we do not even take the time to put a possible plan in place. If you are like me, you do not want to waste any of your days doing things that don’t get you moving in the direction of the things that mean the most to you.

Every little step we take toward our ultimate goal is one that should be celebrated. We should think about and celebrate every win. Take a moment to appreciate your effort, soak in the accomplishment. Be happy with what you have done at that moment.

If we are always looking at what’s ahead (or what we want to be/have in the future), we miss what is happening today. This means that we are not even living in the present. WeIMG_6426.JPG do not have the future yet, and the past has already come and gone. The present is what we know is guaranteed so we should want to be in that moment; enjoy and be present in this very moment. You are missing out on the beauty of today is you spend every moment thinking about the future.

Being in the moment isn’t saying that learning new things is unnecessary or telling you not to look forward to your future, because you really should.  I am just saying that if we forget that we are living life right now, not too many things can change in the future. Who wants to spend all of their time just chasing something better? That means you will never be happy and “happiness” will always be a moving target for you.

What have you really worked hard for recently? Once you had that achievement under your belt, did it feel as good as you thought it would? Is it because you were already working on the next step and did not pause to celebrate your accomplishment? We should be happy with what we have at this moment while we are working toward what we ultimately want.

Those small wins may not seem too important because they are a means to an end but we should make an effort to appreciate those steps toward our ultimate goals. When negative things occur, we should try to see the lessons, not blame ourselves or others, img_6031and find ways to succeed at that thing the next time.

We have to do some self-evaluations. We should take time before our day really starts to think about what would make “this” day perfect. (note to self..and you…do not let the opinions of others matter too much with this though). Write down what you are working on that is a step in the directions of your goals. How do you spend your day and who do you spend it with? What truly can you say makes you feel content/satisfied?

Every year I sit down and evaluate my year. I do not make resolutions but I do look at my life and how I spent my time. Just like you balance your bank account, we need balance in our lives. We can see what/who is adding to our accounts (emotional, physical, spiritual, mental), what is taking away. You can ask yourself what you need to do more of, less of, completely stop or add something totally different to increase your happiness and satisfaction.

However you decide to balance your life, do it for yourself. Yes, self-awareness and how others see us is important to our growth….we also had to make sure that we do not do things to make others like us or be accepted in a circle. Work on you because you really want to see you in a different light. While you are working on improving, make sure to stop and enjoy the sunshine on your face….today. Be satisfied with what this moment has for you.

woman stands on mountain over field under cloudy sky at sunrise

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Two-Faced

twofacedI have to admit, some years ago, I changed up who I was depending on where I was….. two-faced. When I say two-faced, I do not mean that I smiled in someone’s face, then talked about them behind their backs…that’s not me at all. I mean that I was a different person when I was at work than I was at home or church or out with the girls. I put on a front, or as we say it now, filter so that I can seem more professional and capable.  I was managing so there had to be a certain “air” about me so that the clients and employees would take me seriously and things would get done.

twofaced3I learned quickly that not being my authentic self was boring me and the people that I worked with. I learned that showing my employees that it is ok to laugh and joke at work and be who they truly are (to a degree of course) was the best thing that could happen in a work environment. This helps to accelerate personal development because it breaks down the walls and awkwardness, then everyone is open to striving to be more successful. So…lighten up!

I believe we should laugh and joke more…in general. At work, we need to because we have enough reasons to NOT smile. With all of the pressure on you to meet deadlines and please this person and that one, laughing and joking a little can lighten things up as you get these things accomplished.

Now, I know that you have heard the saying, “laughter is the best medicine.”…I think it is img_7173so true. I recently saw a show on Discovery Channel that talked about a woman who started a laughing yoga class and it has become a very successful business. I thought that it was strange when I first saw it but when you think about it, just the sound of someone else laughing can put you in a good mood.

I go to stores and restaurants and there are so many people that are at work and they do not want to be there. I say QUIT…or make the day go by smiling and laughing and joking a little. I cannot stand being served by someone who hates their job but can’t leave. They make my food taste bad, clothes a little tighter (joking), you know what I mean; everything just feels wrong. Do us all a favor, know your “why” and adjust your attitude or leave!

Joke around, smile, and be goofy sometimes, even at work. You can be the same person that you are in and out of work. I believe that when you are your authentic self all of the time, it draws people in and creates a connection. That gives you an opportunity for growth personally and you never know what other opportunities will come.

Just be YOU!

twofaced2And don’t feel bad about it. And poke fun at yourself as well. We spend over 2000 hours a year at work. That is a lot of time to hate work. Use that time to build character and relationships, and opportunities for personal growth and smile a little. Forget the work filters and be who you are when you are at home.

Ever since I realized how boring being extra serious all day at work could be, I stopped! I try to create a more comfortable environment where I can get things done and laugh while working. Work feels less like work when you can laugh and joke around while producing.

Be who you are all of the time! Why not? It is freeing for one and the work day goes by much faster. When you spend your day at work miserable, it spills over into what times you are not at work. Who has time for that?!

So don’t be two-faced! Be you, all of the time. If you are funny, goofy, or silly, let your co-workers see that side of you. You never know who may need to see that to brighten up their day and make life seem a little easier to bear. Don’t go crazy and do it when you are supposed to be a little more serious, but do not deny yourself a smile or a little laughter and make yourself uncomfortable in your own body. Be you, release yourself from the filter and take the pressure off of everyone else. If you are a naturally quiet and serious person, you should probably try to lighten up too! twofaced1