Are You Living Your Best Life?

trysomethingnew1Do you feel like your life is on pause? Is this a chapter in your life that you are confused about what you want to do or frustrated about where you currently are? Do you need something new? Most of the time, we like to be comfortable. Most people just sit and wait for the next thing to come to them..or they just keep doing what they are doing and complain and/or overthink about it the whole time.

So what do we complain and/of overthink about?

  • We want more money and more financial stability
  • a great partnertrysomethingnew
  • we want to lose weight because we are sick and tired of being tired or being self-conscious all of the time
  • frustrated because we feel stuck in our jobs and we are not using our creative energy
  • we want more sex
  • we want more positive energy around us

That is just some of them. If we do not try something new to change the experiences that affect us negatively, nothing will change!

We have to occasionally introduce something new into our lives…it can be something big or small. Doing the same thing over and over again is going to get us what we have always gotten and if it is not what you want, why don’t we change it? You are not going to get a new result doing what you have always done. Do something NEW…

trysomethingnew3New things not only give us different result but we learn more and they bring us happiness, we receive change and a broader perspective and development. We never know how we will grow from that something new. When we do new things, a lot can happen to us. We can overcome fear, we learn new experiences and how to conduct ourselves in uncomfortable situations, get to know more about ourselves, grow, and maybe even meet some new people.

We have to stop spending time trying to hope and wish things into existence. Not gonna happen! We have to move! Put those thoughts into action. It may take some time and energy but if you want something you are gonna to have to put feet to it. If we don’t ever try anything new, we leave a lot out there to be discovered and enjoyed by someone else. Something that was supposed to be yours.

If you are out here feeling like your life is on pause, go do something new. Take a step toward that dream. Who wants to do the safe things all of the time? That life, I can imagine, is probably kind of boring. I mean, don’t do anything illegal, but venture off the beaten path every once in a while. Start challenging yourself, talking to people you would not normally talk to, Take the stairs, research a hobby, go find a completely different job or partner, have honest conversations with your loved ones…whatever it is, do it! If it makes you nervous…try it, within reason of course. Just try something new, something you have always wanted to do.

Ok so here is a reminder of what happens when we try new things…We

  • Meet new peopleIMG_6278
  • Learn more about ourselves
  • Expose ourselves to new ideas
  • Relieve boredom
  • Break up the routine in our lives
  • Increase our overall satisfaction
  • Give us more interesting things to talk about
  • Expands our perspective on life
  • overcome fear
  • We become more interesting people
  • Discover what we like and what we don’t like
  • Boost our overall confidence level
  • We experience more of what life has to offer

See, there are so many awesome reasons to get out there and try new things. What is holding you back? We can’t be afraid to get out of our comfort zone. You will only get to live this life once and I am sure you do not want to get to the end of it and have a lot of regrets.

trysomethingnew2This summer, why don’t you go ahead and try to become a little bit of a “yes” person! When the opportunity presents itself for you to have a new experience, challenge, or idea, go for it! Try not to make an excuse and just go for it. You will see that the benefits will more than likely outweigh the risks. Isn’t life way too short to settle for living a bland one?

So what are you going to try first?

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!

The Hulu Original Shrill

ShrillOh My Goodness!!! So I ran into this show browsing through HULU. Now I was definitely not expecting it to be so good but I started with episode 1 and did not stop until the last episode. There were so many funny moments and unexpected ones as well. What I really LOVE about the show is the main character, Annie. She wants to change things in her life but her body is not one of them. She is a plus-size woman that is trying to start her career and has to deal with a perfectionist boss. Meanwhile, she has a sick parent, she’s juggling a few bad lovers, and all the while trying to embrace her size and love the skin she is in.

This show made me smile, cringe, cheer, and drop a tear or two because it is so relatable. We now live in a time where we are beginning to Shrill3acknowledge the plus size community and this show is confronting all of the bad blood that was so present in the past…even still today. 

This show definitely reminded me that although I am not picture perfect to everyone, I definitely belong in the place and space I am in. I still struggle with being completely comfortable in my skin but when I saw Annie “get free” in the pool scene, I saw myself. Sometimes we Shrill2just have to say, F$%k it!!!! This summer I am coming out of my thoughts and rocking my clothes. You know, the ones we buy, try on at home, but never wear them outside because we are worried about the judgement of petty people. The dresses and swimsuits are coming out of hiding! 

Shrill will bring you out of your shell and let you see that you are perfect just the way you are. We all want to get to the point where are comfortable in our own skin, not wishing that we had someone else’s.

Shrill1

If you have ever felt unattractive or have had someone insult you about your size, you will absolutely love this show. Annie is a hero that speaks up boldly and honestly and touches the heart of all who is listening. This show is hilarious, brave, sad, and triumphant as it takes on culturally sensitive topics like casual sex, birth control, body shaming…even abortion. It is refreshing and honest and I cannot wait to watch season 2!

 

6 Reasons Why It Is Important To Laugh

laughter2There are so many events happening in the world that can stop us in our tracks and wipe the smile off of our faces. From weather events, school shootings, terrorist threats, and domestic violence (there are plenty more to name, right?), our world can be a sad place. We need to laugh! We need to hear a joke or something that takes us away from the pain of experiencing lack and heartbreak.

SO…why should we laugh?

  • Humor is one of the 24 characteristics related to well-being, according to the VIA Survey of Signature Strengths. It reflects on the ability of people to connect with one another and improving on it can show improvement in your overall happiness.
  • Laughing at yourself can improve your self-esteem. If you are someone who takes yourself very seriously, you probably cannot laugh at yourself. Even just a little playfulness with regard to how you see yourself can help you see and celebrate how unique you are. IT may even stop you from comparing yourself to others, which is not very funny at all. I know that I feel better in my skin when laughter has a chance to relieve some of my self-imposed pressure.
  • Having a sense of humor helps to reduce stress by helping us to trust our instincts. It is so important that we feel like we can trust ourselves when it comes to the curveballs that come our way. A lot of us are prone to anxiety and worry so at times, we just get swept away by all of the “what ifs” of this life. When we can see the comedy in our experiences, we can move through them quickly, with calmness and efficacy.
  • Smiling has its benefits! Smiling alone can improve health and longevity. Imagine iflaughter3 you put smiling and laughter into the same moment….we will more than likely see an improvement in our social relationships too!
  • Humor improves our likeability. It is human nature to want to be like, although we should not go out of our way to impress people, that is dangerous and unhealthy. People love to be around people that make them feel good and have a solid sense of humor. They say that social relationships are one of the highest indicators of happiness, being more playful can amp up your likeability, and therefore your overall well-being.
  • Lightening up helps you solve problems. I am a mom, and when they were little, I had to get on their level in order to get things done. Being creative and playful will helped us come up with games to get everyone to work together and get things done. It may also help with minimizing embarrassment around others when we talk about the same things happening to us in a light-hearted way.

How can we improve our sense of humor?

  • laughter1Smile more. They make people feel good and you never know what people are going through. That smile can be a healer.
  • Get silly. Children are always willing to be goofy. My boys have me on guard all day long because I never know what will be said to have me bent over laughing until I cry.
  • Get some perspective. I have so many things happen in a day sometimes that I just wanna scream! I have to take a deep breath and think about things…look at the bigger picture, then laugh at myself. Yes, they may have been embarrassing but now that I survived it, it was funny as heck!
  • Listen to music. Music is such a huge therapist for me. Every Sunday after church, laughteryou can find this girl playing music and dancing in the kitchen. I have mini-concerts in my car, larger ones in the shower … I mean Grammy-worthy (sorry not sorry). Music is such great medicine.
  • Think about a comedian or person in your life that seems to take things lightly. When things get difficult, think about what that person would do in your situation. Taking a cur from someone you admire can make you become more approachable and relatable…

And more human!

We have a choice in how we want to see our lives. We can choose to be uber-serious or we can see our experiences as assignments that will eventually help someone else when we survive it. While we know that there are some things we will never be able to laugh at, as often as we can, we should remind ourselves that everything is not to be taken so seriously. And we will know what those things are.

laughter4

 

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

 

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

I Finally Tried It…Dia& Co

IMG_4512I have been stalking Dia & Co for a few months; watching different influencers unveil their goods and loving most of what they tried on. I had a lot of questions and doubts but I eventually got on board, just to see if I would have the same luck.

IMG_4503I went to the site and signed up. The questionaire to find out my size and preferences was easy to navigate and they assigned my a stylist. I could not wait to receive y first box! When I finally did, I felt like the wind had been let out of my sails….I was not happy. The only thing I did keep was a super cute clutch and I use it very often. I sent back the rest (postage paid) and tried to decide if I was going to give it another try.

I did! I tell you what…I am so happy that I did. I filled out the opinion info and told the reasons why I sent the piece back. I was so afraid to get another box like that, I think IMG_4511that I even said that maybe this stylist wan’t feeling me and requested another.  SO I did do another box and low and behold, this stylist got me! She listened to me and sent some HOT pieces that I started rocking right away. I have had her send me two boxes so far and I am in LOVE. I am happy that I did not give up on the whole thing. The styles were great, affordable (they do inquire about your budget), and the fit was perfect! She really understands what I want to feel when I step out of the house. I look forward to working with her some more and sharing the treasures my stylist finds for me.

Dia & Co….Yay!!!!!!