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.

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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…

 

 

 

4 Reasons You Should Be Picky

picky1We cannot be afraid to say no! I have learned over the years to be choosy about saying yes. You have to trust yourself. I am not saying that you have to turn down every new opportunity that comes your way. Know your comfort zone and know the difference between stepping out of it and feeding bad habits.

 

Why should you be picky?

  1. You get what you give. Think about it. If you hate your job, you won’t be productive, have a good relationship with your co-workers, you won’t care if you are on time, and you won’t be fighting for a promotion anytime soon. If you are going into something doing half-ass work, you are going to get half-ass results. If picky3you don’t want that for yourself, make the change…trust yourself! Quit…break up…or whateva! I know it sounds easy, but being picky will be to your benefit in the long run. It is not enough to want what you believe you deserve, you have to position yourself for it.
  2. You know what makes you happy. If you don’t, you better get alone with you and find out! What you DO know is what won’t make you happy so you can’t start there. If you want a banking career, it is probably not the best idea to accept a job being a teacher. Being picky about the jobs youpicky4 accept or the company you keep will impact your happiness. Think about how much time and energy those facets of your life use.
  3. You will not be satisfied with being comfortable for long.  Sometimes it is hard to determine whether you are just comfortable doing something or if it truly satisfies you. A lot of times in relationships, people settle for someone they believe has the same interests, but the person is comfortable with who they are and they do not push them to grow as a person. Those kinds of people may be good people, but not necessarily good for you if you want to grow. Just saying….don’t date down. In the end, it won’t be worth it. There is someone out there that can help make you apicky5 better person, they just aren’t easy to find. If we are talking about employment, a good salary with a few perks, but they don’t challenge you or have room for growth may work for you for a moment, but you will lose your fire and zest for climbing the latter. Stay hungry for what you want…then go get it when it reveals itself.
  4. Environment is everything! Your environment does shape you. These are your friends, family…..your people, are the ones that have a huge impact on your life. You have to hang with people that are going in the direction that you are headed. I heard it said somewhere that if you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room! If that isn’t the truth!! We don’t have to completely cut ties with people that don’t have that going on but we do have to be mindful of how much time we put into those relationships…especially if it feels like they are impeding your growth. Keep your standards high…

picky2It is never too late to start planting seeds for the future you want. We all have the power to alter what we experience in this life. That is an amazing thing!! Like I said, we are not shutting every new opportunity down, but we should be mindful and picky about what we let enter our world. Know your comfort zone and avoid feeding bad habits. Getting to know you and know what choices will keep you on track for the future you want. Trust yourself and move forward.

No Need to Feel Guilty

guiltyMy son and I had a conversation recently and he was talking about how he felt guilty for not being where he thought he should be at his age. I knew how he felt because when I sit down to think about where I could be if I had only did this, or started earlier, or not listened to so and so… I totally understand, yet now, I realize that I am right where I am supposed to be. I am content in my space and working my way toward my next one.

It really doesn’t matter how many times you have felt it, how long ago it was, the guilt sometimes still lingers. You feel bad about the setbacks, the curveballs, the failures that you bought on yourself…some of those choices may still hurt you today.

If you’re anything like me, you have tried several times to revamp your schedule, read aguilty2 lot of self-help books, blogs, and magazines. Did you think it was a great idea to start waking up an hour earlier like I did? Did you cut people and things out of your life…or maybe you started journaling, meditating, taking walks, or eating healthier. So…how is life looking for you? Pretty good right? But I am going to honest…inside, I still sometimes feel that even with all of those “checked boxes”, there is an unfinished, unchecked box that will finally put me on top.

I understand that feeling of incompleteness when you see a friend living the dream and you are not quite where they are. Especially with my blogging. It’s been over a year and I don’t quite have the traction I wanted but I have faith and I am researching and watching others work. I believe that when it is my time…it will be MY time!

guilty1Yes, you have changed so much about your life and you still feel like your life isn’t “dreamy” enough and admired by all. You haven’t gotten down to the size you wanted, wrote that book, paid off all of your bills. or still at that job you hate. I still have to work on getting up early but still getting enough sleep. I am nice to people but I have to admit that my thoughts are not always as nice. I need to work on that too! We all try our best, but we are still getting average results. This is true but we cannot stop hoping and believing that we can have what we have envisioned if it lines up.

Change is not going to happen overnight for many of us. There are steps we are going to have to take and it may get messy. There isn’t much that another person can tell you to guilty3do because your moves happen in your power…not theirs. Things can and will get better, in time. Maybe not in the timing you would like, but they will. You will walk in the dark, over the hills and in the valleys…but as long as you continue to go forward, you end up miles away from the guilt you felt for not being there already. And celebrate every mile because there are times when just taking one step will take a lot out of you. You will only get to your next stop when you are ready. Getting there may mean letting go of the comforts of where you are. Piece by piece, step by step, mile by mile…just move forward… and move without forcing yourself…when you are ready.

You woke up this morning and you planned to do the best you can. You are taking one step at a time. You are strong, your heart is beating. Just by being alive, you are making someone’s day! They are smiling and at peace because they have access to you. Your brain is functioning and you have passion. Your passion says a lot about you even when you have nothing to say.

Guilt may be chasing after you but look at you! You are still moving forward! Guilt has been whispering in your ear that you are hopeless and helpless but there you are, helping others. Your life means something. You are doing enough….you are enough!

guilty5Don’t let guilt ruin how you feel. You don’t need a certain “checklist” to look at to see if you are living a meaningful life. You are doing what you “should” be doing. Do the things that matter the most at that moment. You will accomplish what you ultimately want to …in time. You are not behind! You are on the path that was fashioned for you. You may not be the greatest, richest, smartest, or sexiest person in the world, but you are the greatest at being YOU! Your life is not perfect, but it is yours and it is not the catastrophe that you sometimes tell yourself that it is.

Speak life into your situations. Search for the good and forget about feeling guilty for where you are. If you focus on that, you cannot see the light on the other side of the tunnel. You are more than the titles you have, your degrees and other accomplishments. You are more than what people or your past says about you.guilty4

Think about what you have done, what you have been through. You are a survivor, a warrior, a lover, you are adventurous, a teacher, an influencer…you are a beautiful soul that is open to everything, you are ever-changing, winning…and you are NOT a quitter! You are who you are. You are exactly where you are supposed to be.

I Want MORE!

iwantmore1We have all heard the saying, “less is more”, right? When it is said, the person is most likely referring to getting rid of things in life. Decreasing items, activities, people or just doing less. Maybe throwing away clothes or excess things you own, maybe even removing habits that you see as negatives in your life and they do not serve the good in you.

I am all for it! Actually, I am working on ridding myself of some material things in my home that I am not using but they are taking up space. After seeing how much cleaner my home is getting, for some reason it makes me feel better and I want MORE!!!! I am all for that minimalist movement. I feel like not only does it make my surroundings lookIMG_2071 good, but I feel like I can think more clearly. I wonder if that happens to everyone…

The “Less is more” mentality is used on every part of our day. We focus on having less anxiety, having less debt, not over-thinking, living with less regret, and having fewer friends to name a few. Everyone wants fewer of all of those things, but what if we focused on the “MORE” in our lives?

Putting all of our focus on what we don’t want does not help us get what we do want. If we are doing this, we are giving all of our time and energy on the removal of people, things and our mindset. This is pretty negative to me! This is us thinking about the “take away”. Concentrating on the subtractions…I do not want to give too much time to that. Remember what you focus on, grows!

I spent a lot of time in my younger years focusing on what I did not want in my life, and honestly, those things became monsters! They were bigger than anything I wanted to have.  I had to stop focusing on things that would keep me where I was, or drew me back in life, even if it’s was to remove them…That is giving it energy…life.

IMG_3009I am working on freeing myself from that way of thinking and focusing on what I want MORE of. I mean, how can we expect to create the life we want or become the person we imagine if we only focus on what we don’t like? Or what we don’t want? I am putting my focus on what and who I want to add to life. Doing that, I am acknowledging what I want to subtract but I am not feeding “the monster” by giving it all of my focus. I am also making a choice to add experiences and enjoying them rather than focusing on the negative. Being open to what we can have will be more enjoyable than focusing on what we don’t.

That has been a mind-blowing shift in my life so far…I feel so much lighter! There are fewer should’ve, would’ve, could’ve times when we focus on what we would like MORE of. Don’t pray for another job, another lover, or to live somewhere else. Look at where you are and how far you have come…embrace this space! Smile while you think about the good qualities you have…just focus on what you can do to add MORE into the life you have now. What is supposed to be yours, will be yours if you and it lines up with your given destiny so why stress?

When we spend time thinking about subtracting, it closes us off to MORE and makes ustrysomethingnew think small. If we focus on the things we want to add, we are focusing on the upside, on the current and possible growth in our lives. I am not saying acknowledging the negative is bad. We have to be open to seeing it and growing from it. Focusing on it will not help us grow or give us feel-good feelings so we should not dwell there. More positive leads to less and less negative.

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We are still going to get hurt by a person, relationship or life experience. Instead of looking at this and living in the hurt or pain, focus on the lessons, the good that did happen, focusing on bringing the right people that will bring the right energy into your life. Are you still having negative thoughts? Do not try to suppress them! I just think MORE about the positive things that I see and feel and the things that I am grateful for. 

Because I am a plus-size beauty, I get anxiety when it is time to purchase clothes….yes I do! But instead of staying with the feeling, I am talking to myself MORE (not answering back though 😉 ) about the parts of me that I love and reassuring myself that the rest of me is just as beautiful. I am not the most confident woman when it comes to the physical me and I am working on not focusing on the parts of me that I feel aren’t so sexy or the insecurity of all that thinking. I am a work in progress trying to be MORE accepting of me…all of me. There is more to my “sexy” than meets the eye.

That is where I wanna put my focus…

iwantmore

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…

Health Minute: Celery

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When my babies were smaller, I used to love making “ants on a log” …that was their celery4favorite snack. “Ants on a log” is easy to make and is a tasty and healthy snack. All you need is celery, peanut butter, and raisins. BOOM! They didn’t even know how healthy that was..hehehehehe

Now that they are older, unless celery is in a recipe, I do not even purchase it very often…not until recently when I was refreshed on its benefits and how it can change your body.

They say that celery is made up of mostly water and holds no nutritional value. This iscelery2 not true! Celery provides us with a few health benefits.

Now, celery is made up of 95% water, that’s true but it is a vegetable that is very high in fiber,  which aids in digestion and promotes regular movement (we all need that!). When you eat it in combination with whole foods that are high in fat and protein (hello peanut butter, hummus), it is said to help you lose and maintain weight because it helps to keep you feeling fuller longer…..hello!

Celery has phytonutrients, which have anti-inflammatory properties. I usually looked to turmeric for this but that is a bonus. Phytonutrients are good for your liver function as well.  It’s also packed with essential vitamins and minerals including folate, vitamin B6, potassium, vitamin K, and vitamin C.

celeryIf it is gonna benefit you like this, why not reintroduce it into your diet, I am! I actually wanna try it with hummus…I have never tried that because I can’t get past the look and the fact that I am a mom who nursed all of her children (baby poop)…but I am going to give it a go and see what happens.

Don’t forget that because it is made up of mostly water, it is a good source for hydration. We have to drink lots of water, especially during the summer. Staying hydrated is going to give us energy, keep our skin looking good, rids the body of toxins, and keep us from passing out in this heat because of dehydration.

So give celery another try….Here are some other benefits….

  • Lowers inflammation
  • reduces high cholesterolcelery1
  • treats high blood pressure
  • fights infection
  • cures bloating and improve digestion
  • reduces the risk of UTIs
  • boosts your immune system
  • improves your mood
  • fights cramps
  • reduces blood sugar
  • improves eye health
  • boosts energy and brain health

let’s go!!