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!

5 Things We Need To Stop Saying

mindset4“The mind is everything. What you think you become.” -Buddha

This is something I have really had my mind on lately! I have been working on thinking about what I am thinking about. It really makes a huge difference in my day…my attitude about what is happening for me, what I am doing, how much I am actually getting done. I work on not spending much time with what Joyce Meyer’s calls “stinkin. thinkin'” daily.

So what mindset shifts have I been working on to get things rolling so I can feel more fulfilled in my life? These can actually happen without physically changing anything in your life.

STOP Saying…

  • I will do/be (blank) once I have (blank)- We have to stop thinking that we will mindset2change once we have the results that we want. I don’t know about you but to me, that is almost backward thinking. To get the results we desire, we have to change the way we are thinking, our words, and our actions first. So we should change this statement to I need to do/be (blank) so I can have (blank). It is truly our beliefs and actions that create our circumstances, not the other way around.
  • Everything is either negative or positive- We have a habit of polarizing situations. In reality, everything is really balanced. Every situation that we experience is neither positive or negative until we attach our emotions and feelings to them. We do not want to be super negative, but we also don’t want to be overly positive either. That will make us overly naive and we can miss some warning signs, and maybe even attract negative situations to our lives in order to balance things out. I have been working out looking for the benefits and lessons, also the drawbacks in each situation and trying to understand that everything is really neutral.
  • mindset1I can’t- The quality of our lives can be determined by the quality of our questions. We need to stop looking at our skills a being limited and start framing our thought to be “how can I?”. Don’t say “I can’t afford that…”. Instead ask yourself, “How can I afford that?”. We have to work on rewiring our brains to ask how things will be possible instead of focusing on what is lacking. Speak opportunity!
  • This is happening to me- This was actually a hard one for me. I threw myself pity parties a lot in my earlier adult years and looking back, I would have been so annoyed to be around me back then. I have been to counseling a few times since then and I can remember one of them telling me to change the “to” in that phrase to “for”. This is happening FOR me! When we say it the other way, we are giving our power away and victimizing ourselves….WOW. When we change it to this is happening FOR me, we are showing gratitude for the experience (even if we do not like it) and we look for the opportunity and blessings in the experience. As soon asmindset we hear ourselves saying something that puts us in the victim role, we have to reframe our thinking about how the event is serving our well being.

These are really simple things that I am working on and I know that it is going to take some time. We have to train our minds and when we stop working on it, we will see ourselves slipping back into our old habits. We have to work daily to rewire our thought patterns. I am constantly reading books, listening to podcasts, talking to like-minded people, saying daily affirmations, and meditating to reinforce the mindset that I want to have. Work on one at a time. Knock one down and work on the next. Slow and steady wins the race. Life is not a race but a marathon; rushing through may cause you to quit before you see the real benefits.

And GO!

 

 

Happy Birthday To Me!

happybirthday

This year has been all about me trusting myself. I was really bad at doing that. I have to confess that I did not trust myself and I was a severe overthinker. I am using year 46 to trust myself and use my time doing as opposed to thinking about doing.

In other words, I am saying “F” it!

img_1584.jpgI am going to do it, say it….travel, wear, write, fly, love…do whatever it is that I am always thinking about doing.

I know that I am not the only one over here that rarely takes immediate action. No…I know better! I overthink and overthink and overthink…you probably do too!

When we overthink, we are letting ourselves know that we do not trust our gut. If we are not listening to our gut, we end up paralyzed by things we do not have or characteristics we have not developed yet, the things you have yet to win or receive, and the happiness that you have been hoping for. Overthinking makes us focus on what we do not have and what we are not. Not cool…I quit! Know what else? It leads to nothing getting done…even worse.

When I finally decided, on Christmas Day, that I was gonna say “F” it to overthinking and start listening to my gut, I pay more attention to what I can control and what I already have. I have become more positive, more grateful, and life seems so much more simple.

How am I learning to trust myself more?

First I listen to podcasts! One of my very favorites is Having it A.L.L by Michael Bivens.

IMG_2120

He recently did a Trust Challenge and I joined it. I had so much fun and it was more than an eye-opening experience. I learned so much about myself and I have been continuing on and trusting myself even more now than I ever have. Look him up! His podcast is awesome and you will not be sorry.

I am learning to act when I come up with an idea. Research something, do something that supports the idea so that it does not just sit there and fade into the background. The more time I wait, the more doubt sets in…I question myself and start to focus on what I do not have and how I fall short. Not happening anymore!!! “F” that!

When we put actions to our thoughts, the experience itself will trump everything else. Experience will replace the thoughts of coming up short. When you get an idea..act!! The more we practice, the more tools we gain to add to our tool belt of experience. Doing this, happybirthday1you find out how right your gut can be. I know that since I have begun this journey, I have to stop wasting time worrying and just do what I feel will add to who I am. No more limits!

I have to tell you that this season of my life had been so freeing! I am liberated and have lifted the burden of overthinking and I am in the process of being free from it. I have so much more positive energy and I absolutely love who I am becoming. I am no longer wasting time on things that I cannot control or scenarios that do not matter.

Happy Birthday to ME!!!XGJI6585

 

 

 

Trying something new! Crystals

pink gemstone

Photo by Erin Profaci on Pexels.com

So I told myself that I would be trying a lot of new things this year. I want to conquer my fears and answer some questions this year. I want to learn as many things as I can learn and stop saying the words “I’m sorry” because it’s not true (I will go into that one on another day).

Crystals have been used throughout history as a source of healing power. The ancient cultures have used crystals and precious stones for clearing and transforming energies, spirit, and physical, along with the alignment of the body. The Mayans, the Egyptians, and the Sumerians were some of the ancient cultures that used crystals as adornments for the body and buildings.

close up photo of person holding crystal stone

Photo by Deena on Pexels.com

It seems like the information about the healing properties of these crystals and stones have been forgotten by many but there has been a recent surge of interest in them again.  I am always down for a little more ancient education so this is one of the new things that I am going to try.

How do they work? Ok, so the entire universe is made up of energy. Even solid objects, like this chair I am sitting in, and the hair on our heads, at the most basic levels, are vibrations of energy. That means that crystals are made up of the same kind of energy.

Crystals are in a lot of things like our quartz watches, the components in our computers and smartphones, even in our medications! The crystals and stones are used to heal everything from migraines to anxiety and more. I read in my research that healing crystals can accelerate your medication practices, align your chakras ( we will be visiting this one soon as well) to name a few things. There is no limit to the healing you can get with the right crystal or stone and the right application.

There are 3 ways that crystals and stones can transform your energy and resolve your

accessory amethyst birthstone bright

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

imbalance

  • Clearing. This happens when the crystal absorbs and removes certain types of energies from your body.
  • Energizing. They can also push energy into your body, mind, spirit through inducing resonant frequencies, the way electricity works…except crystal healing does not cause pain and is not dangerous.
  • Balancing. Sometimes our energy is out of balance, and certain crystals help to balance out areas of energetic disharmony.

There are a few ways to use healing crystals. You can wear them, meditate with them, Sleep near them, place them in your home or car, or using something called a healing grid (I don’t know about all of that).

Now I did also read that because the crystals were somewhere absorbing energy before you received them, it is good to “cleanse their energy” and align it with yours by soaking then in purified water, salt water, or holy water. And be sure to clean your crystals after each use.

Now for some samples…..

White/clear crystals are very absorbent. They are perfect for learning and cleansing any type of energy. Examples are Quartz, Moonstone, and Selenite.

Brown crystals and stones are grounding, meaning they guide, protect, and clear. Use them when you are trying to make room in your life for a new job or relationship. Some examples are Tiger’s Eye, Halite, or Petrified wood.

accessory art beads beautiful

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Blue healing crystals are all about openness and communication. These can be used when you are looking for truth to be revealed or finding your own truth. Some examples are Sapphire, Sodalite, Angelite.

Violet is one of the most powerful colors of our color spectrum. It combines warm and cool and vibrates at a very high frequency (of course, it’s my favorite color!). Violet crystals are perfect when you need uplifting and can induce a spiritual experience or call on a higher power to guide you. Examples are Amethyst, Iolite, and Sugilite.

Pink makes us think about romance and love. It can bring about loving energy and compassion.  Pink also deflects anger, which helps to draw in romance or just cause you to feel the love.

Black is for protection. The black healing crystals deflect everything. They are strong so if you want to repel any kind of energy at all so you can use them to drive all negativepexels-photo-682952.jpeg energies away from you.

Indigo is calming and brings soothing energy your way. It will help you to cool out when you are carrying anxious, fragile energy. Some examples are Kyanite, Azurite, and Lazuli

Green is for balance. These have been used for physical healing. Too much of anything can cause illness in our bodies and green healing stones are said to redirect our energies and balance them out…hence balancing your body. Some examples are Jade, Emerald, and Malachite.

Orange is soothing and energizing. The healing stones release negative energy and clear out a room for a boost of energy. They are best used when you are feeling down. Examples are Copper, Sunstone, and Aragonite.

Yellow is great for reorganizing your energy patterns. When you are thinking about trying to instill a new habit or even breaking an unhealthy one, think of using these sunny gems. Some examples are Amber, Sulphur, or Mookaite.

Red healing crystals have a lot of energy. I guess if you think about red warning signs or stop signs. The color red invokes a surge

red candle

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

of energy. SO when you need a pick me up, reach for your red gem instead of that caffeine.

 

I don’t know which ones I am going to try first but I definitely want to find out how well they work. If you have already tried them or are currently using them, please leave a comment on your experience and I welcome any opinions of course about the practice. I can’t wait to find out how this ancient practice can help this girl and her mind, body, and soul get lined up…….

to be continued………

 

 

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

 

 

A Simpler Me

SimplemeI used to think that I had to fill up every moment of my day with “stuff”. Didn’t matter what it was, but to feel like I had something to do, I would stretch myself and fill my schedule just so I can look busy. Now that my boys are older…I am older, I truly crave a simple life. I think we all should look to do that. Our children and parents will be older and we will look back and wish that we had spent more time loving and less time working and looking busy.

Simplifying my life is gonna mean that I have to say no to some things and people so that I have space to breathe. I am going to have to do less. I have learned that having a bunch of things to do does not make me any happier…just more tired and sometimes irritated. This year, I am looking forward to finding joy in the simple things like a walk by the lake or enjoying a cup of tea in the backyard. I am normally pretty content with solitude, quiet and just being in a moment…I just need to do more of that.

simpleme1Life is going to bring frustrations, disappointments, and stress with all of the busyness we have going on but we should learn to let go of what we cannot change, take a deep breath and relax. Release some of the things that we tend to that are not truly our “business” so that we have time to live a less complicated life.

 

A simple life. This does not mean that we sell everything we own and move into a tiny house or move to some far away land. We have to think about what we are thinking about. Does it serve you? Will it make you better? Those things that our minds are fixated on that just give us more to do and less time to love and appreciate ourselves…yeah, that can go!

How can we do this?

We have to think about the fact that a lot of times, we create our own struggles. We have simpleme2to say no every once in a while and take the time we would have given away to someone else and just take a walk, a bath, read a book, or absolutely nothing at all. We also have to work on losing our attachment to stuff! (and sometimes people). We are all getting our homes ready for a new year. Throwing away things that we really don’t need to take with us forward. If you are attached to living a certain way, sentimental items, or doing things all of the time, you will not be able to clear the way for the things you really need to enter your life. Make room for what will serve you by getting rid for some of those comforts.

I am going to leave some gaps between things I do as well. I think if I add a little padding, and not cram as much into my day, it will feel less stressful. Because I try to get as many things done as I can do in one day, I hardly leave time for regular maintenance like preparing dinner and putting on clothes so my day feels rushed from the beginning and nothing gets my full attention…and now I am upset because I do not have the time I thought that I did to do it all. Creating space is going to allow me some time to do things I need to do without the rushed feel. I may even get to have a meal between clients! On top of that, not giving so much of my time to distractions (like my phone) will help open up some time that I can use to just be quiet and create a new mental habit.

simpleme4I have read a few articles and blogs about mindfulness and it is something that I have been practicing for months. I love it! It truly works and has helped to make people feel important in my presence. Ok, so imagine that no matter what you are doing, you are doing it in full-screen mode. That means, like on your cell phone, you do not have 5 pages open at the same time, switching between them all. You are full- screen mode washing those dishes or reading that book, having dinner with the family….sounds hard right? It is really not though. It does have to be practiced because we are so used to doing 100 things at a time, especially as a mom. Just do that one thing…ONLY… at a time. It definitely feels less stressful and more memorable. Things get your full attention and get completed with a little more love. You can actually savor the moment! Try it with the ones you love as well. Those moments feel so much more meaningful when your full attention is on them.

What would my life really be like when I decide to do less and try to enjoy it more? I would have time to really enjoy what I love doing, the people that I love being around.

What do I love to do? I love reading/writing, walking, taking nature pictures, meditating, spending quality time with the ones I love, shopping, and vacationing. Most of that cost nothing but time! That makes things even simpler. No wallet required!

So practice doing nothing….and get good at it! I know that technically we are always simpleme4doing something but you know what I mean. Just sit there and do nothing. Don’t accomplish a thing! Do not take care of anything or anybody…nothing. No planning, reading, watching anything, no chores, eating..not a thing. Feels good right? I know you are itching to move but don’t. We are exposing our mental habits and that a good thing too. Think about what you are thinking about. Let go of what complicates things. We are going to have to practice this and things are going to be so much more simple then.

I am sure that there are tons more ways to make life simpler and I will be searching for more. I want my later years to be much better than my younger years. The more we practice being still, the more time we will have to find the beauty in ourselves and our world.