Opening Up Will Change Your Life

openingup1I used to be more outgoing in my young adult years. I wanted to be around everybody. I wanted to have get-togethers every weekend…now…not so much.

As time has gone on and my focus has been more on raising productive members of society, I have turned into somewhat of a hermit. I rarely shared my life with anyone, especially anything that I was feeling. After you have someone betray your trust, you stop giving it away so freely. I really have become a serious introvert due to past hurts.

I am definitely not saying that I am unhappy with how things are now because in these quiet days, I have learned more about myself and I have fallen in love with this woman right here. I am motivated now more than ever to see my successes and my dreams come true. I know that I deserve it…I did not always feel that way.

Opening up? Not many people want to do that. Many of us hold back…we don’t say whatopeningup2 we really feel. I am guilty of being like this. As I mature, notice I didn’t say as I get older because age hardly matters, I have begun to express myself and not hold on to it and complain to someone else about the experience.

We need to give ourselves the room to say, “I am sad…lonely…tired. I am scared of this. I am feeling insecure about that.” We need to open up! I mean, not to everyone of course. That would be crazy. I just can’t see how it will benefit you to tell everyone you know your personal business, especially if they are not a prayer warrior, encourager, or cheerleader. Everyone that is your “friend” is not always your friend. I learned that young and early. But anyway that is another blog post.

openingupWe are going to be living our own lives and we should just be who we are with no apologies. We need to live it with our whole real, authentic, kind, crazy, soft, funny, hurting. loving selves…why keep it in hiding?

Do you hide who you are because you are afraid of being hurt? Afraid of not being understood? Afraid that they will see you as overly sensitive or emotional? We need to worry less about what others are thinking and more about what will make us feel whole; happy. It is time we live our truth. I will say for myself, that it is time I live my truth…out loud! I have to take up the space that I want to without worrying about comments from the peanut gallery. You should too!

Now, you have to ask yourself how long you are willing to wait to be who you truly are. How long are you gonna stay away from the real you?

There is a plan for your life. There are people who are meant to be permanent fixtures for you, and experiences that you are meant to have and all will make you into a better person. It is true! We cannot continue to shut ourselves off from those people and experiences and miss seeing the best part of us revealed. We are not going to get to meet or get closer to those people or have those experiences if we stay comfortable. IMG_3773

With this new year approaching, I am ready to make some changes but I am not waiting for the clock to strike 12 to change them. I want to be the woman that I am meant to be. That means that opening up, loving people, being real even with the chance of rejection are risks that I will have to take. I am willing to be broken again in order to be remade and willing to lose to make room for my wins.

We should all want to get to the place where we can talk openly about what scares us, what hurt us, how we are feeling, and what can heal us. When someone asks us ‘How are you?”, we should be able to answer honestly and not just give that common answer.

When we open up, we allow ourselves to be…to change and to grow.

We all have hearts beating that let us know that we are alive. Every person or experience that we hand our heart over to is not going to return it in the condition that it was given to them. Know that! It is going to beat a little different. Whether the experience is seen as good or a bad one for you, your heart is affected and it never would have been had you not allowed yourself to experience and feel. We have to be grateful for the opportunity to feel the experience and grow from it. Use the experience for good and become a better you. It’s a beautiful thing!

We just have to allow ourselves to be ourselves. Whatever it is that you are….silly, weird, funny, loving, freaky, or quiet…be yourself!

openingup3I wonder how most people would feel if they had nothing to hide. Imagine peace…

I have to make sure that for myself, I am surrounded by people that will not be judgemental or weirded out by my realness, my past, my present situation, or where I am headed.

I hope that you can find the same peace in those around you…

 

My Top 5 Friendship Needs…

three women posing for photo

Photo by Adrienn on Pexels.com

Science says that without friends, most people will die an early death.

It’s true!

In order for us to live a long, happy life, we need each other. We need friends! What we don’t need is a bunch of fair-weathered associates. We need some well-rounded, diverse and supported people to create our circle of friends with. We need people who will be there through thick and thin; that we can share our ups and downs without fear of judgment or abandonment.

two women sitting on white bench

Photo by Elle Hughes on Pexels.com

These are the kind of friends I believe (and hope for in my life) balance out and keep us healthy…

  1. The Loyal Best Friend. We all need a non-judgemental friend that will still be bold enough to call us out on our BS when we need them to. One that will support us and keep our secrets. A loyal bestie is one that will know that we are a hot mess behind closed doors…know all of those deep, dark secrets and still love us thoroughly.
  2. The Brutally Honest Friend. We all need someone to have our back and be bold enough to tell us the old hard truth. He/She will let you know when it is time to stop that on again off again relationship once and for all. They will let you know that it is time to stop settling, that you have something in your nose, or maybe that you really should have looked at yourself before you came outside today. Friends are supposed to be honest with you. They are there to cheer you on and to yank those rose-colored glasses off of your eyes when need be. When you find this person, hold on to them! They are hard to come by.
  3. The Opposite. As humans, we are always looking to bond with like-minded folks. img_7363Always attempting to run in packs. I think that it challenges and grows us to have people in our lives that hold a different view than we do. When we are only associating with “our tribe”, we become detached from the rest of the world and create stereotypes about anyone outside of us. Let us open our eyes to different world views and learn to accept others. That may bring a little more peace into your world.
  4. A Friendly Neighbor. I am going to be honest with you and say that in the last neighborhood that I lived in, I did not know much of anything about the people I lived near. It is a shame because I am sure that my neighbors were probably very nice people, maybe. We are starting to vacation more and having a neighbor that we can trust would and can be life-saving. Nice neighbors that are dependable will have each other’s back and protect each other’s homes. I just recently moved and I know, at least the names for now, of all of the neighbors in my tiny little neighborhood. I actually cannot wait to learn more!
  5. people drinking liquor and talking on dining table close up photo

    Photo by Helena Lopes on Pexels.com

    The Wise One. If you have someone in your circle that is smart, encouraging, inspiring and admirable in your life, you are one lucky human! We all need a friend who inspires us to be a better person without making us feel like a child. If you are that person in your group, you may need to find another group or add someone to your group that does the same for you.

 

There are other friends that we need to make our world go around as well, but for me, these are the ones that will keep me growing and make my world crazy and beautiful all at the same time.

We also need an adventurous friend that will grab our hand and take us places and haveIMG_5537 us doing things that we never would have imagined. A funny friend to draw out our smiles when we feel like doing nothing but crying. A praying friend that doesn’t have to talk much but you know that they are praying you through your situations and celebrations. We need a work friend that can help us get through the crazy days.

Having more than one of any of these is a Blessing! I am working on revamping my friendship circle and I am loving how it feels.

 

You Don’t Have To Clap Back!

ClapbackBefore I found my Peace, I used to be a control freak. Yup, it’s true!!

For one, I sometimes do take pride in having a Type A personality. When I let that run wild, I believe that I held myself back from enjoying life and truly being happy.

Clapback1Finally, one day it hit me(over and over again) that I do not need to have complete control over everything in my life! And honestly, I have accepted that not everything in my life needs to be controlled. There…I said it. Even better than that, not everything warrants our energy or a reaction at all.

A lot of us spend plenty of time giving our energy over to things that we cannot control or if you are a Type A personality, we are reacting to things that challenge our minds. We cannot control the fact that we did not get the promotion, someone giving us an attitude, a client canceling at the last minute, or an Uber driver making the wrong turn. Those things are completely out of our control, yet we sometimes find ourselves stressing out over them. There we are getting frustrated because things didn’t go our way and BOOM we give our energy over to people and situations that don’t deserve it.

What I have come to realize is I just do not need to have a reaction for everything that happens. I do not have to react to everything and everybody that bothers me, to every situation that unfolds unfavorably in front of me or when people treat me unfairly. What did Michelle Obama say? “When they go low, we go high”….that is me…trying to live definingyourself3above it all.

Of course, I am not ok when these things happen, but it does not mean that they deserve a reaction or my valuable energy. When we react, does it ever change the outcome? Most of the time it doesn’t. It does change the energy that flows through us and changes who we are and/or are striving to be.

My desire is to be at peace. Peace is something that we should all strive for. Stop feeling like you have to react to everything. That is where we find our inner peace. Stop clapping back at life! For real!! Now that I have started, I feel like it is my superpower.

If all it takes is to stop reacting to every single thing…do that! Stop clapping back! All inner peace is, is that no matter what is going on outside of you, you have unconditional Clapback2confidence that all will be ok. When you are at peace, you still have thoughts, things still happen…you just don’t react to them. Of course, you may respond to them but responding and reacting are two different things. Don’t let things consume you. Don’t give your energy away to overthinking.

Things may frustrate you, people may annoy you, you may be disappointed in where you are in your career right now…No need to react. How you react to what happens in your life is EVERYTHING…

Life is not about knowing everything

Life is not about controlling every outcome in your life or fighting and always getting your way. It is about looking for answers and accepting what you don’t know when you don’t know it. It is about accepting that there are still things that we are in search of. IMG_0605

While we are searching, life is gonna be crazy. The twists and turns, failures, rejections and inconveniences…but know that you can still find peace if you choose to accept the moments as temporary because they are. And guess what? Temporary things do not always deserve our energy or a reaction.

There is peace in that alone. I found some. Hope you find yours.

I’ve Got Good Intentions

intention1I remember a time in my life when I was just existing. I had no real intentions at all, I was just going with the flow. At this time in my life, I am growing and living my life with intention….how about you?

Some intention? Maybe just a little?

We have to have some intention, even if it’s just a little! I am not saying that you have to have the rest of your life planned out, vision boards and a 5-year plan…every single moment, just an intention. I am guilty of having a vision board and a mission statement. I have them because when I get too busy doing nothing or begin to wonder why I am doing what I am doing at all, I can look back and see that I once had “these” intentions and I need to get back to my mission.

I talk to a lot of people daily and a lot of them are just existing, they have no intentions intention3right now. Existing…floating…blowing with the wind, excepting that “it is what it is”. We need to have some kind of intention, any kind. Whatever intention that will give definition to what you are about right now…and we know that intention will change at some point…but right now, its your intention…own it and do something!

Don’t be a “I wonder what I should do for my birthday” kind of person. Be more like, ” Alright, I am calling up the girls and we are going out to celebrate” kind of person.

Be the one who states what their intentions are and gets out there and lives it…out loud!

Make an intention, a selfish one. One that is all about you and what you know is best for you at this time in your life. We have to stop living with ambiguity when it comes to what we want in our lives right now.

Say what you want! and say it with your CHEST!!

intention2Are you not interesting in dating right now? Say it!

Are you focused on your passion right now? Or finding a genuine connection? Say it!

Are you more focused on traveling? Making new friends? Making positive changes in your life? Say it!

And after you tell yourself those things, whatever they are, live it..live with those intentions. Sometimes we have to tell ourselves those things out loud so that we can hear them. I am an over-thinker so if I don’t say some things out loud they just get lost in the shuffle of the many things I tell myself…… (oooook they may have been too much but, anyway…)

You know what happens when we speak things out loud? We are more responsible for them, accountable to them and the universe hears you loud and clear! The Universe and God hear you loud and clear… and reacts to the words you speak…SO watch what you say! Mean what you say!

Right now I am back to wanting to be healthier on the inside so I am declaring out loudintention that I want to make better choices with the foods I eat, what I watch and the people that I communicate with. My insides just need a whole makeover…but I am not just thinking it…I am saying it out loud. NOW, I am holding myself accountable and so is the Universe. I now have more awareness of what I am putting in my body, soul and mind because I repeat it to myself; it is no longer just a thought in my head.

I believe that part of living this life is doing it with some intention. We should have a life where we have intention- that is personal, selfish, and just for YOU…and then go out there and live it. If you don’t, you’re just talking, lost in the wind, taking whatever is given to you.

Go out there and live your life on purpose, with intention. If you think that it is cuffing season, go on out there and cuff away! If you are passionate about music, fitness, traveling, reading, swimming, or art,  get out there and find a space to enjoy it!

IMG_5122Say what your intentions are and do your thing. It will bring so much clarity to the way you do things and you will have a “why” to go along with that. Once it comes out of your mouth, you will have things and people put in front of you that support what you’ve said. Again, watch what you say because that is the good and the bad, believe me!

It seems like a small thing, but making my intentions known out loud has changed how I do things, whether someone was there to hear me or not.

So say it! Then go do it…

 

 

 

Just Blessed

blessed1We spend so much time thinking about what we don’t have…it is time to really take a look at what we do have.

The truth is, we are truly BLESSED

I wake up every morning and see the sun and feel the fan blowing on my skin and I think to myself…He isn’t through with me yet! I am alive, I am well, I am loved, I am Blessed!

We sometimes take advantage of the fact that we have made it to the next day. Every day is a gift and we need to honor that by living…truly living that day at our best and on purpose. We wake up and know that our heart is beating…that is a reminder of a blessing and we should take care of our heart so it can continue to take care of us.

Take your time acknowledging your body when you wake…

Your eyes let you know that you still have a vision. You can see what is possible and youblessed4 have the ability to go places, not just the places you physically go every day, but the places that you have only dreamed of going. Our legs move us and if yours are working today, you can get up and go…you can leave! You can go in any direction you choose. Our lungs are filling with air and they remind us that we are alive and breathing…growing! Think of who you are. You are funny, talented, you love hard, you work hard, you have a great imagination and creativity, you are empathetic, and have great insight. You add value to others and you work on you every day…right? Having all of that brings good people and unique experiences into your life.

See, you are Blessed!

blessed3Ok, I know that there are other things happening in our lives though, I know, trust me. We have to believe that even in our hard times, even when you feel there is no hope, even when we cannot see our way through a thing…we are STILL blessed.

These trials are lessons for us. The failures and disappointments, the lost loves, frustrations, confusion, and the diagnosis…all lessons. Without lessons, where would we be? Would we have conviction, values, vision or emotion? We are blessed to have lessons that remind us of who we are…they also shape us into who we are to be. We also get to see who we do not want to be. We are blessed to have lessons. We get to realize our bad habits and to see when we have lost our empathy for others. Our lessons are also teaching us when we should walk away from bad habits, people and situations that do not serve us. We cannot grow without lessons!

Lessons heal us!!

When we receive those lessons, no matter how long it takes, they show us that we can come back from anything. We can find our footing and those hardened hearts can be made soft again. We can see the beauty in others and in ourselves again as well as the experiences we have going forward. All of the cracks that were found in our lives and blessed2believed to be too big can be fixed.

This morning when I woke up, I saw light..the sun, I immediately thank God for another opportunity to get it right. That was before I touched my phone, to-do list or the tv…just to be present with myself and my God and make sure that all was right within my heart. Just being alive at that moment meant everything to me. Every day begins the same for me.  I don’t spend time thinking about what I have to do, people I have to see or talk to, I don’t judge myself…nothing like that. I just BE…in the moment.

I work on keeping my mind on my blessing throughout the day. Of course, life does jump in there and put other things on my mind but we can find our blessing in every moment if we just stop and think about what we are thinking about. (repeat that one to yourself)

Just in case you do not see the blessings…

  • You have a roof over your head
  • You have enough money to supply your needs.
  • You have people that love you. There are people out there that you haven’t met yet that are going to love you and open your heart even more.
  • You have your health, even if it’s not optimal. You can always work on improving what you have the ability to improve. Thank all of your body parts for working to the best of their ability to keep you going.
  • You have hobbies, passions, and interests that can fill your heart with joy.

blessedThe best one is the witness of the first breath that we are aware of each morning and the sunshine to light the day. Be aware of it when things are good, but make sure you really pay attention when you are feeling down or going through. When you do, all of the things that you are worried about, all of the weight that you are carrying, the failures, the disappointments…those things will seem distant when you are reflecting on the abundance around you.

 

10 Reasons to Vacation Right Now!

 

IMG_0300Now more than ever I love traveling! My boys are older so I am more inclined to get up and go, with or without them to get away from home and get some downtime. We all need it. We need to be able to remove ourselves from the “every day” and refill our tanks. Even if we take a day off, I don’t know about you, but that day off from work is just a day off from work. I can find a trillion things to do at home that will make me think I should have just gone to work.

vacation1I have been taking yearly vacations now for about 6 years and I need it! It is like breathing for me now. And at least one vacation is a cruise. Actually, I will be going on one soon and I cannot wait!! I love seeing new places, trying new dishes that I never would have tried at home, and getting to know a foreign culture. Now that I started this, I do not know how I did life before. I have a wanderlust spirit now and it gets stronger with every new adventure I take.

Here are some reasons why you should take at least one big vacation a year…

  1. You will get to know yourself better. You get a chance to think in your quiet times and the opportunity to see how you react when you are in different situations. I journal during my vacation to check in on my feelings and think about my life. I also record things that happen that I may forget when I return home to the craziness.
  2. You become smarter. Going to all of these different places helps you to gain moreIMG_6276 knowledge about the world, maps, geography, cultures, and languages. I definitely have a better sense of direction after all of my travels so far.
  3. You get to experience something new. Nothing can really surprise you about where you live. It is different when you get out there and travel. There will be plenty of culture shocks…and it is a  beautiful thing. Staying in one spot for me is boring…might as well travel and get out of that.
  4. You make wonderful memories. Nothing compares to that! Collecting special moments will always be better than collecting things. I mean, after a while, where will you put all of that stuff? If you spend your life in one place, every day seems the same.
  5. You may just find out what the meaning of life is. I believe the meaning of life is a little different for all of us because we are called to different things and we have different gifts. While I travel, I spend time with me and think…write…pray. I always think about my purpose and the things I want to work on or change about me and my life while I am away. Almost looking for a fresh start in some areas.
  6. vacation2You sometimes get to see places that you have only seen in pictures. When you step into a foreign land that you have looked at on Google or Pinterest, it seems so magical. It is such a gorgeous feeling to actually BE in the places that you have dreamed of being in, knocking things off of your bucket list.
  7. You will inspire others to travel. Even though traveling is not a hard thing, it can be hard for someone to begin doing it. When you decide to get out there and make your dreams come true, you will inspire others to go and do the same.
  8. You will have exciting stories to tell. Our passports tell some exciting stories! When you have gone out there and experienced other places, you will have hundreds of stories to tell. Each day of travel brings something spectacular to your life.
  9. You meet some amazing people.
  10. vacation3 Every person on vacation has a beautiful and unforgettable story. You learn and you are reminded of the fragility and the intensity of life. I will never forget the awesome people that I have met on vacation, some of them are now great friends of mine and we plan to travel together in the future.
  11. You will become a better person. When I travel, I see a different perspective on life. Since I have been learning these new cultures, I feel like it is easier to be more tolerant. I am more compassionate, understanding, forgiving, and definitely more at peace.

IMG_6233These are just some of the benefits of travel. Every time I pack my bags, I am deciding to create another adventure and leave my mark in those special places. I am no longer afraid to step out of my own little world and see what is out there. Memories and excitement are out there waiting for us…I am actually getting ready for my next vacation as I write and I can’t wait. See you out there.

 

 

Why Have Boundaries?

boundaries1No matter how much I have accomplished in this life, I know that I am capable of achieving so much more. I am capable of finding what it is that I am looking for…even if I am not quite sure what exactly that looks like right now. I am definitely capable of being happier than I am now, capable of having the right people around me that add value to me. I am learning myself and understand me more thoroughly and I am capable of being the best version of myself, the one that hides nothing, whose confidence glows and she who exudes beauty, empathy, and purpose. That is my mission…what I am adopting as my philosophy. I wake up like this…with this on my brain.

Now this took a lot of work, and I am honestly not fully living this way, but I am working on it, intentionally. It took me what seemed like forever to realize that if I really wanted this I would have to honor and respect myself in a way that reflects this. I mean, if I really wanted to grow in this way, learn about myself, and create the ideal version ofboundaries2 myself, I have to behave in a way that allows me to do so. I had to get to a point where I would be free of expectations, the pressure of commitments that make no sense and negative people.

This is why I needed some boundaries REALLY bad! Setting personal boundaries is so huge for someone that is looking to become who they are truly capable of being. Without boundaries, there was so much drama…

 

 

  • I was a horrible people pleaser. It was so hard for me to tell people “no” and I suffered and complained but still said yes.
  • I took on everyone’s needs, wants and desires as my own and before my own.
  • It was hard for me to let go of dead relationships or relationships that did not add to me
  • I let people stay in my inner circle too long, family and friends, that drained my energy and all of my good vibes.
  • I let other people’s needs outweigh mine. I mean where I barely acknowledged my own needs at all.

boundaries3

I spent many years like this and as a result, I had lost my sense of self and the relationships, especially the one with myself, suffered anyway. Because I was letting all of that occupy space in my life, it took on a life of its own.

Boundaries!!!

Setting boundaries reminds you to say no to bad habits and things that are not serving good to you…mind, body, or soul. This is not just from others, but from yourself; you do not want to be influenced to do anything or be anyone outside of who you want to be or what you want to do. “No” is not a negative word….not at all! boundaries

Saying no, to someone, something, or yourself, just shows that you are being authentic and clear about what you want in your life. You are loving yourself! Doing something just for you…something you don’t have to feel guilty about or apologize for. You should never feel guilty for wanting to better yourself. We should NEVER feel shame when we are living and speaking our truth.

When we say no for our own personal reasons, there is so much power in that…the biggest thing is your truth. And you don’t need an excuse to live it. No explanation needed! That is a boundary…that is your truth. You are putting out into the world what controlyourself2your truth is…and how you want to live it.

At the end of the day, you are human and you have a vision for who you wanna be and how you want to live this life. There are things that you are not going to stand for, nothing less than what feeds your personal best.

A boundary is you having the courage to love on yourself, even at the risk of disappointing someone else. The sooner we see that the sooner we can get on with truly being happy…having joy.

Easy Peasy…just like that. Say no….stop putting up with things, people and thoughts that do not serve you. You know what is not healthy for you; what is not going to help you get to where you wanna be…yeah that….boundaries!

boundaries4I started small and just showing that little power has affected me in some big ways. Boundaries are powerful and you will grow more consistent and aggressive with them.

Things have gotten so much easier with boundaries. Once you put up one small boundary, you will see the effect it has on your life as a whole. It will give you room to add the things that will bring nothing but goodness in and push you toward being your best you…