Comparison Can Bring You, Joy, Too!

goodcomparison4Sometimes we watch people “come up” and the green-eyed monster shows up on our shoulders making us wonder why they are getting the things that we have been longing for. Friends are getting new jobs, new lovers, getting engaged or married, having babies, buying nice things, becoming famous, getting promoted and/or getting recognized.

We can look at what is going on in their lives and not feel negative emotions. It’s possible! You can admire what you see happening in their lives without questioning your own success. Economists and psychologists call it downward comparison.  If you compare upward about things you can’t change, then you’re just going to feel stuck. No Bueno!

Comparing ourselves to others does not have to be an unhealthy, negative practice. It doesn’t have to be self-loathing or full of jealousy. Comparing yourself can be goodcomparisonproductive…say whaaaaaaat?!

There are pros and cons to this thing right? It is not good if we are trying to gain a sense of superiority or avoiding challenging yourself to do better. Or comparison can remind us of our own fortune…it serves as a reality check.

It can motivate us, give a different perspective, and make us appreciate our lives.  Comparison can lead to some incredible breakthroughs.

I know this sounds completely unusual. The internet and popular opinion say that we should stop comparing ourselves to others. There are so so many articles out there that tell you why you shouldn’t compare…and I agree with their points. This is just another way to look at a comparison.

goodcomparison1Honestly, we should definitely delight in the success, well-being, and growth of our loved ones. A little comparison can cause a light to go off in your head…your life and motivate you to not only aim higher but to put some action to it. Celebrating others and comparing may help us see where we are,  how far we have come and that we should be celebrated too. It can show us that we are worthy of more and push us forward.

When you see others win, you realize that you deserve more too, that you can grow as well, your time may come later but you are still worthy of your heart’s desire if it lines up with your destiny.

This is something that I have been working on for a while and it really has kept me on goodcomparison3track. I do not have envy in my life. I feel good about who I am becoming. I spend less time being self-deprecating (not all the way there yet- this will be a long journey for me) and it feels good to have less negative emotions flowing through me.

After comparing yourself, you may look yourself in the face and affirm your values, your own worth, and even bigger, what you want out of life.

In the book, Ego is the Enemy, Ryan Holidays says, “Stare at it until you can. Only then you will understand what matters and what doesn’t. Only then can you say no, can you opt out of stupid races that don’t matter, or even exist.

goodcomparison5Stare at it…

Look at it…

Soak in it…

Own your feelings! The more we look at other people and compare our movements with theirs, we will look at where we are and where we wanna be. You will understand what matters to you and what doesn’t. You will learn your worth and act accordingly…

Why Your Squad May Be Hurting You

SquadgoalsOk, so let’s talk about your squad. I am proud to say that I am an introvert but I am a timely social butterfly when life calls for it. At the same  time, I would love to have a squad like that show “Girlfriends.” They had a little bit of everything and that is what friendships are all about.

We do tend to have a wide variety of people in our lives. I have some people that I have communicated with since younger than high school days, people that I have worked with (past and present) that I still talk to, family/friends, and church associates that have squadgoals3become more. I mean, we all should have that one friend that you should never put on speakerphone (this would be me), the one that is always down to eat or shop, and the spontaneous one who is always down to do something crazy.

One thing on the list of changes that I wanna see in my life for this year was having a positive vibes only circle. I mean truthfully, we are all going to have experiences that are trying and cause not-so-positive feelings, but having a squad that you can count on to bring you out of depression and add value to your life is a gold mine.

Consider who your people are…and what you actually need. Then think about this… yousquadgoals2 are a reflection of the people that you surround yourself with.

That means you need to think about who you want to be…Do you want to be positive? Driven? An entrepreneur? A go-getter? Empowered? That means that you need to get around those that are where you want to be or are working on going in the same direction so that you can motivate each other and hold one another accountable.

Take stock. Look at your closest friends and ask yourself if they challenge you, elevate you, listen to you, hold you accountable, or add value to you. Remember that the people squadgoals4that you are spending most of your time with are the ones that will impact your mindset so you have to make sure that you are on common ground for the most part if you are ready to grow and have that positive mindset. Do not invest your time in people that drain you or drag you down. Do not listen to people that tell you that you are dreaming too big or that you cannot do something. Weed those suckers and dream-killers out of your immediate circle.

Positive Vibes Only!!!!

Sometimes it is hard for us to see the ones that are draining us. Check on yourself after you have spent a little time with your friends/family or after a phone conversation. How do you feel? Are you drained, sad, worrying? If they are one of those people that you roll your eyes at when their name comes across your phone..they are one of THEM!

squadgoals1We have to stop allowing negative thoughts to set up camp in our brains. They are going to come but that does not mean they can stay. And that means the negative people as well! If it or they are not going to add to you and help you be your best self…they need to keep their distance. Spend less time with them! Don’t answer every call, especially when you are having an excellent day. Do not get me wrong, none of us is perfect, but we can work toward having what we need in order to be who we desire to be. Paying attention to who is surrounding us is an act of self-love and self-care so do not feel guilty for creating a space between you and them.  We want to spend most of our time with people who inspire us, encourage us and enrich our lives.

IMG_2120I need a squad around me that consistently build me up and add value to me. I deserve that because that is the kind of friend that I am. I truly want to be surrounded by a bunch of beautiful badass women! There are so many of you out there and you deserve the same. Choose wisely. There is no rush. Where you are going, not every friend you presently have is equipped to go, know that. And that is ok!

You should want your friends to be whole and happy and they should want the same for you. You should want those same friends to not be afraid to call you out on your BS because you would give them the same. They should be ready to celebrate with you, mourn with you, and push you when you get lazy. When you have friends that support you and check on you, and even tell you when you are being an ass, you have everything…Congratulations!

Taking This and Leaving That!

2019We are here…standing right at the end of our year, 2018. It was an interesting year, that is for sure. It did bring a lot of heartaches, but it also brought some of the most beautiful moments of my life. I have learned so much from so many new “friends” and experiences and…I am so thankful for the additions and subtractions of 2018.

I know a lot of people are making New Year resolutions, but I stopped doing that to myself years ago. I do not want to keep promising myself things and breaking the promise at the next available moment. It is important to me that something changes every year; that I grow in some way toward being a much better woman. 20192

Our homes are full of things that we have collected over time. Whether we brought those things in, or someone stopped by and dropped them off, our homes are full or both what we need and what we can live without.  Just like our hearts and minds…full of things we can use going forward and those other things that need to be discarded in order to be lighter on our feet going into the new year.

There are so many treasures in your “home”. Think about it, the happy endings, the belly laughs, the new relationships/friendships, the sweet intentions you had for others and others have had for you…all of the YESSES! You have had times when you were kind to yourself, fought and stood up for yourself, have shown your strength and tenacity and have attempted with success to be good to many people. When you think about those things, these are the things that you should take with you into the new year.

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On the other hand, we have a whole lot of mess in our “homes”. We have the things that are obvious and those things that we have swept under the rug. No matter how much we have swept and dusted the common areas that everyone can see when they come in, we have clutter!! Clutter that we hide in the closet, under the beds, in some dark corner or attic. Let me jog your memory…Do you remember all of the negative things that you have said to yourself this year? What about the ugly things you have done to yourself or you allowed others to do…you ate some bad food, over-worked, under-slept, and you allowed people to treat you like less than you are worth and/or be toxic toward you in your personal space. Let’s leave these things behind and move onward and upward!!

20194Now, I am not saying completely clean it all out because we don’t want to get rid of the lessons that came with all of those negative things, We have some memories that we are now fond of, qualities and characteristics that were earned the hard way, and plenty of lessons we need going forward. We have to take our time and sort through, think through it all and keep what will be beneficial.

It is time to face this new year with excitement and motivation. Sure, you can make a new year resolution or two….or twenty. Just make a promise to yourself that you can work with daily, for a long period of time. Take it one day at a time and put you first every once in a while. After that “home” of yours is cleaned up, it will feel bigger and will have room for what 2019 is going to bring. Be aware of everything and live with intention. Try not to miss a thing!!!

Blessings to you and Happy New Year!!

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What NO SLAVE November taught me.

noslavenovember2Don’t be jealous, but I only worked one week in November. I did not have to run around for the boys and home or slave over a hot stove cooking meals…. all of November!!! Ok, you should be jealous.

Anyway, I was out there in the deep blue sea taking time to recharge and to also plan. On my vacations I do want to rest, but I also take time to do something I have never done each day and I have my quiet time to think and plan my next moves, or think about what changes I would like to see in my home and within myself.  I am also a people watcher. Observing others help me to sometimes see myself and what I do not like about me that should change.

noslavenovember3We have to be honest with ourselves. No one wants to waste time, money, and energy while we make our mistakes. That is why it is important that we make an effort to learn from our mistakes. Of course, learning from our mistakes takes time. Some of us have to bump our heads on the same rock before we realize how much it really hurt right? On my vacations, I think about the past a lot; not to beat myself up but for reflection on the lessons and to pat myself on the back for getting through it all.

Sooooo….Some things that I have learned from my mistakes……

  • You do not know eerrrything!!!!! I know that this comes to a shock from some but it is true. We truly need to listen to the people that are smarter than us. We know who they are but we do not want to admit it. There are things that you want to achieve and many have come before you so be humble and surround yourself with those that can help. They say no man is an island…it’s true! Life is about fulfilling your destiny, collaborating with like minds and experiencing good while doing it.
  • Stop blaming others! I am so tired of hearing people blame others even for the smallest of things. I was at Red Lobster the other day and the girl never brought out my biscuits. At the end of my meal when she was bringing a box I asked her if I can get some biscuits since she never bought any out at all. We are at the end of the meal and she says “I am still waiting for them to bring some out of the oven.” Meanwhile, she had given some to her other to nearby tables. Just say you forgot and own your shit!! This is a small example and people do it on a much bigger scale at times….come on. Just own your part and move on!!!
  • Love is not what you think it is. A lot of us have a twisted way of thinking when it noslavenovember1comes to love. When others do not live up to those expectations, we flip out or leave. I don’t know whether you see it or not but that is called conditional love and a lot of people are guilty of it and protest when it is given to us. This is a hard lesson to learn and I am still learning it now. We have to let go of our expectations about love. We have to take the time to learn the person you want to love and love them the way they need it, not to your specifications. You will be a lot happier if you just cut people a break and teach them how to love you and learn how to love them.
  • You don’t have as much time as you think. When you were a teenager or younger, you thought that time was endless. You can do what you want, go wherever…..then BOOM, you’re 40! How much time have you wasted on things and people that did not matter? Do you like your job? The people in your life? You have to think about what you are doing with your time. We do not like when other people waste our time so why do we do it to ourselves?
  • Doing the hard things give me more pleasure in the end. I can say that I truly am NoSlaveNovemberin the mood to be quite lazy right now. At the same time I am thinking about focusing on my health, saving money, investing time on my blog and business…and in my relationships. These are all hard for me but my plan is to get on it! When we do the “hard” things, we end up feeling really good about them when accomplished. Tired after the gym….hugs from friends and family….feedback on the blog….money in my account from my business….I always feel a sense of accomplishment and it feels really good. I feel like I am doing more than existing…I am alive.
  • Every little decision we make affects the bigger things. We have to put some thought into what we are thinking. Thinking about that extra piece of pie, sleeping in later, skipping the gym, spending on the credit card to get that new Iphone or laptop. How is this decision going to affect your future? Will the outcome be favorable for your future? Remember that your life is the way it is because of a series of your smaller decisions. We are what we do daily…think about that and adjust accordingly.
  • Never Stop learning. We all know this. We have to keep learning or get left behind in this world of technology that we live in. We want to continue to learn more and develop more as a person. When you are not learning, you begin to feel stuck. It’s time to learn something, a hobby, read a new book, do something! We should push ourselves to learn something often, maybe even daily, no matter how small. noslavenovember4

Being Yourself Changes Everything

SelfloveshipsWhether it is a friendship, relationship, or situationship, we should always strive to be ourselves no matter what. There are people that no matter what we do, we feel like “ourselves” goes right out the window when we are in their presence. We go into these “ships” with everything we have…impressing them, drinking and searching for everything we have in common, second-guessing ourselves…and we are shocked if we are rejected.

selfloveships3Meeting new people can be so much fun and exciting, but it can also bring out our fears and vulnerabilities. I mean think about it; we are basically putting ourselves on the buffet table…and they are more than likely going to judge us. When we choose to go on that lunch date, or to that club, or event with said person, we are so excited that we sometimes interrupt our reasonable thinking around this person. We “get to know” a lot of people and sort out who is going to serve good to our lives and finally, we think that THIS person comes close to someone who may add to our life.

We cannot forget that we are trying to ADD this person to our lives. That means we have to know a little something about ourselves. Our likes and dislikes, our boundaries, and how we need and want to be loved are important when we are choosing a person to be in our lives. When we meet people, we should be doing it from a place of self-love so that we are our authentic selves and we don’t have to risk making a bad choice because we were not who we really are in the first place.  Keep these things in mind….

  1. You are hoping that this person can add to you, not just impress you. No one should selfloveships1be trying to impress the other. It is not a job interview, after all. Be yourself and don’t embellish. They are going to remember what you said and eventually you will have to cash that check that you wrote.
  2. Remember your values, then see if they match. You don’t need to do everything together. I believe that you should at least have similar core values, they generally stay the same. Our interests are gonna change as we grow. Have more than a surface conversation and find out what he/she believes in. What will they fight for? What issues are close to their heart? Shared values make for better conversations and bring you together when times get tough.
  3. DO not perform! When we meet people, we sometimes give them a filtered version of who we really are. We are afraid that they may think we are boring, weird, or even stupid. We really do want people in our lives that “get” us, truth be told. That means that we have to actually BE us to weed out those that can’t love the real us. It is good to find out early that this person cannot love the real you. Save yourself a whole lot of heartache and pain later on. Real people fall in love with real people.
  4. selfloveships4Both of you should be having fun. Who is great and making people comfortable? Relaxed? Laugh and have fun? (Hands raised). In doing all of that you cannot forget that you have to have fun too! Everyone has a role to play in our lives. Fall back a little and see if you are being asked questions, listened to, or engaged in conversation on the same or similar level of effort that you are putting in. Is that going well for you? You find out early and quick if this person is someone you can spent any length of time with and actually enjoy it.
  5. It should be easy. Relationships…friendships…situationships do not need to constantly be “worked on”. If you have to, I bet that is not a good one. We all have ups and downs, misunderstandings, but ultimately if you don’t like that person’s company..if you cannot rely on that person….you are wasting time. The best “ships” are fairly easy. If its hard when nothing hard is happening, what is going to happen when it gets hard? If you’re around this person and it is uncomfortable, combative, awkward, and pressure-filled, you feel bad about yourself, or the other person is trying to control you, find the door and exit stage left!

When we are meeting new people to add to our lives, we need to do it from a place of selfloveships2self-love. We have to know that we are worthy of being cared for just the way we are. It is not just about being loved….it is about being you and loving someone else. Coming from this place will cause the person to experience nothing but the real you showing kindness, self-respect, and vulnerability. If they reject you, it just means that is not your “person” and you can walk away knowing that you were being your authentic self and they were not a good fit. You do not want to find that out after you have invested more of yourself than you should have. You deserve to be surrounded by amazing people, be you and you will find them!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alone And Not Mad About It

black and white black and white depressed depression

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When you are an introvert, people think something is wrong with you. Everyone loves a person that can work a crowd. Most people think to work in groups or on teams is the only way to find an answer to a problem. Are two heads really better than one? Is collaboration the only way of the future?

The more people that I talk to, the more I realize that there are a lot of people just like me. Sometimes I just don’t feel like going out to a party, or being the center of attention. My friends are always going out somewhere or hanging out over someone else’s house and I wonder why I just want to chill at home. Work in groups? Mostly, I would rather work alone! There is nothing wrong with me or many others. I read an article that says about 50% of the world feels the same way that I do.

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Now don’t get me wrong, I like going out, having friends, or occasionally being the center of attention. It’s just that being with people is not where I get the most value from my life. Being around others, even on social media is fun for me, but I can only take small doses. I always try to have space in my day to be alone so that I can recharge because being around certain people for too long can be draining for me.

Working with people, I usually sit back and let them do all of the talking. I may add something here and there but I will leave it all up to the talkers to run the meeting. Leave me to work alone, you will be surprised at what I come up with. When going out with my friends, I like going to quiet places where we can talk. When I can talk to you and get to know who you are, I can get the most value out of the relationship.

I am an avid reader and a podcast girl and some things that I have learned recently have really helped to add value to my life for sure. I am not saying that an extrovert could not use these same tips, I just know that as an introvert, I have really been able to enjoy my time a whole lot more knowing this information……

  • Learn to be an observer. Just doing something as simple as taking a walk through
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    the park and watching people interact gives you a chance to learn how people operate when they think no one is watching. Learn to look at ordinary situations in new ways.

  • Close your eyes in a dark room and enjoy silence. If you had read a few of my posts, you know that I am into meditation. My world is so busy that if I don’t take a moment to step away from it, I would probably lose my mind. We learn more about ourselves in the moments when we are least busy; when nothing is distracting us from the thoughts and feelings we have about ourselves and our day.
  • Learn how to talk to yourself. It’s perfectly normal!! I promise. You’re only crazy if you have dialogue with yourself. We all have an inner voice that talks to us. If your inner voice is negative, you may need to distance yourself from it the way you would if it was any other negative person. We have to learn to kind to ourselves and stay positive.
  • Avoid mindless consumption. When I am by myself, it gives me time to think clearly about my life and the direction that I would like to go. Our surroundings are filled with so much noise, it is good to take advantage of quiet time to reaffirm the path your life is on. Mindless consumption? Things like too much TV, binging on Netflix, randomly surfing the internet…Facebook! We are all guilty at some point but think about an occasional change…you can never devote enough attention to coming to a clear answer.
  • Volunteer your time. Contribute something positive to the world. Being a loner does not mean that you have decided to sequester yourself from the world, it just means that you can surround yourself with people and not depend on them for your happiness. Volunteer your time to a cause you believe in…contribute.
  • Understand that you are good enough all by yourself. You have to know your worth. You are priceless…valuable! You do not need the approval of anyone else for that to
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    be a fact. When I am alone, it is because I choose to be. It is easy to find someone to spend your time with, but when your standards are high when it comes to who is in your life, you hold off until you know this person is a great fit for you.

  • Value other’s opinions, but value yours more. I do not ask anyone for advice unless I truly need it. The more time I spend with myself, the less input I need from others. Learn to trust yourself.  Not everyone has good intentions for the information that you are sharing and you know yourself better than anyone….trust yourself to solve your problem. When you trust yourself, you become stronger and more confident, which means that you will take on more challenges and accomplish things that you may have thought were impossible before.  You can, then, share your victory with your people and feel even better about your accomplishment.

Loving/Accepting Yourself..for real

curiosity5I don’t think a day goes by where I do not say things like, “I want to lose 20 more pounds…then I will be happy.” “If my waist was a little more snatched, I could wear that dress.” Anyone else?

I have been struggling with this for what feels like forever–always wanting to change something about myself. I keep telling myself that once I hit this goal, or accomplish that change, I will finally be happy. Now, I have hit many of my goals, but honestly, I felt nothing most of the time after I did. I was making it to the goal and not feeling any happier…but why?!

Eventually, I managed to completely confuse myself. I went from starving myself, to eating my feelings, back to starving myself in order to soothe that “unhappy ache”. It worked alright. I saw my weight go crazy and managed to cause some damage to my health. If I wasn’t obsessed with counting calories, I was obsessed with wings!!! Every single day! When I hit my goals and heard the compliments, I still could not shake the feeling that I was not enough. Still saw myself as unattractive and ugly.

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In the past couple of years, I have been listening to podcasts and reading a lot. I wanted to find tools to build myself up and encourage me to keep dreaming and reaching for my goals….I honestly got fed up with myself and decided NO MORE! I needed to heal my emotions because I was acting out of my feelings and that is dangerous. I have been really digging in to find what works for me and how to put boundaries up where they needed to be. That is definitely still a struggle for me.  I am happy to say that I really have been digging in and confronting my issues, meaning the eating, yes, but also some deep-seeded feelings like anger, and hurt, along with the body issues. I now journal heavily and meditate daily and found out where they were coming from and boy has that made a difference in my life. Addressing my emotions was a lot of work and I have made a tremendous amount of progress. One thing that has changed everything for me was learning that happiness is internal, not external. When you believe that you can be happy because of something external, you get into a bad cycle of desiring external validation, and you will feel up and down so you will continuously depend on achieving and receiving validation externally. Even when you do receive it, you will not feel any different, nor will you feel any more fulfilled….you will continue to search for more.

We just have to learn to accept ourselves….TODAY! Just the way we are…just like this. With that head of hair, that belly, those lips, that education. Just like this. If you don’t, it becomes impossible for us to accept ourselves when things change. If you do lose the weight or get the boob job, you will still be the “you” that you were on the inside. If you weren’t happy then, you will not be any happier when the change comes. You making more money? Still you. If you learn to accept the “today” you, you will be able to have better outcomes and create lasting change for yourself.

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When we accept ourselves……..

  • Happiness–this is what we all want. If we are always thinking about what we need to change, it is kind of a challenge to actually ever feel happy. Happiness is an experience, not a destination. Attempt to let go of all of the things you feel you need to change, and just enjoy you. Just as you are today. There are so many beautiful, funny, quirky, wonderful things to love about you today. Guess what? There is no amount of money, no certain weight or body type, particular car or house, that is going to make you happier. Look at the recent celebrity suicides that have occurred. They could buy any of those things and still didn’t find themselves “happy”.
  • Freedom. Accepting yourself helps you to find peace with who you are and where you are in your journey. You are free from the suffocation of self-judgement and public expectations. There will still be things that you want to change, but you have made peace with yourself and you can assess whether those changes are things you really want to improve or not.
  • Empowerment. Knowing who you are and accepting that person is your first step to self-empowerment. We are unique, yes! Knowing that stops the comparisons and you free yourself up to make changes that last and equip yourself with the power to do it.

So what have I been working on to get to true acceptance?

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  1. Let go! You have to let go of anything that does not serve your highest good. Every habit, relationship, friendships….all of it! Get rid of anything that doesn’t help you grow. You may feel lonely at times afterwards, but that feeling will subside. Replace the people and the habits with good/better people and habits.
  2. Mindfulness. Living in the present moment and appreciating it…that is mindfulness. A lot of times, we are so focused on the future and how things will be then, we missed focusing on what we have and do now.
  3. Gratitude. We have to be grateful for what we have. We must also be grateful for our abilities. We do ourselves a favor when we stop focusing on our shortcomings and be grateful for what we can do and what we do have. This will help us move closer to our goals.
  4. Control that inner voice. You hear him\her telling you that you are not good enough, that you won’t succeed, or that you suck. You need to reel that in and replace what is being said with positive words. “As a man thinketh….” Change your thinking! It is not simple, you have to be consistent, but it is possible for sure.
  5. Surround yourself with good….good people, good things….DO things that you enjoy, find joy! My grandma, recently, told me that I should not be around people who just like me. That I should be around people who love me, accept me just as I am. The more I get that, the more I will see….YOU will see that you don’t have to change to be happy with yourself at all.