No Doubt

nodoubt1Everyone has been on a “positive vibes” kick as of late. Most of us are pursuing a more positive life. We want more welcoming and optimistic people and experiences in our lives. ( both hands raised)…

I am going to admit that, yes, I do want all things good in my life, yet I know I have to have balance. I have this very annoying voice that is attached to a big mouth in my head sometimes though… it sounds like “yeah, but” or “I hear you but”…or maybe ” sounds good but”. Am I the only one?

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I am going to finally start my blog…yeah but what if no one reads it

I am going to have my own salon business…I hear you but if no one comes, you won’t make any money

 

I am going to homeschool my son…sounds good but how will you socialize him? what will your family say?

Has anyone else gone through this? Maybe not the same scenarios but you know what I mean. Have you found yourself trying to talk yourself out of your dreams? We can have all of the positive intent we can muster up and the doubt will always creep into the vision. We have to deal with this and still make the most of our positive vibes and smoke out the doubt.

nodoubt2If you allow doubt to win in your head; if you allow that voice to be so loud, there will always be a negative outcome waiting to happen in your life. You feed the negativity, it just gets bigger and spreads like the plague.

On the other hand, If I do what I can to ignore that ugly little voice, I will see positive outcomes more and more. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy….for real!

We have to start replacing our “buts” with “what if” and do it very optimistically.

I am going to start my blog. What if it takes off and people love it?

I am going to have my own salon business…what if you are so booked up you don’t have time for a walk-in?

I am going to homeschool my son… what if he excels and you get to spend more quality time together?

That is so much better!! In the long run, for me, the “what ifs” there are what really nodoubt3matter to me. Approaching life with more positive “what ifs” than doubt will train your brain to return to a positive place more often. You will be more positive when you have decisions to make, problems to solve and opportunities offered to you.

It is a big deal to start out with a positive outlook on life. Being positive gives you a positive baseline expectation. It is the reality that you are choosing to see in your world. How we see people and things that we experience in our world matters tremendously. We attract the things that we perceive so we have to work to set the baseline.

When we expect positive outcomes and rewarding experiences, we usually get exactly what we saw in our mind.

As a man thinketh…

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Just Blessed

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

The truth is, we are truly BLESSED

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

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

Take your time acknowledging your body when you wake…

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

See, you are Blessed!

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

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

Lessons heal us!!

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

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

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

Just in case you do not see the blessings…

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

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

 

6 Ways to Become a More Independent Thinker

independentthinker4Do you find yourself relying on the opinions of others instead of thinking for yourself? I know that I have found myself listening to others in order to make decisions about my own life. When I hear myself say it, it doesn’t make sense, but I did it…a lot! Most of the time, the advice was ill-advised and I was left wishing that I would have just done what I was telling myself. Learning how to become an independent thinker takes some retraining of your brain…THAT takes time and energy, and a whole lot of patience. Ok, so I have a few steps that you (and I) can take to start thinking for yourself.

  1. independentthinkerLet go of your preconceptions. As an independent thinker, all of the things that were “instilled” in you or that you were indoctrinated into believing have to go. These are things that were given to you by people who you trust and you adopted the thinking. Sit down and think rationally and keep an open mind. Have you ever thought that those things that you were taught and now make up your reality may be wrong? Think about them…do this thinking without emotion and see what you come up with.
  2. Question all things! DO not just accept everything that you are told. Ask yourself WHY every once in a while. You don’t have to think the way the rest of them think or do what everyone else is doing. Just because things are being done one way now, does not mean that it will be done that way forever. Try to become more aware of independentthinker1all of the hypocrisy in your life and the lives of those close to you.
  3. Watch/listen to educational material. I am a reader and definitely listen to podcasts often, if not daily. Free education is everywhere. Take advantage of it in your free time. You won’t be sorry. And do your own research. Take your time looking for information that will help you make a fair judgment about things you have an opinion about. If you enjoy debates, you need to have information to back up your opinions. This way you can also form opinions using logic and not emotions…things get heated for no reason that way.
  4. Travel more! This is my ultimate favorite of course. For a change in perspective, we have to get out of our neighborhoods and see what things are like out there. Seeing independentthinker2the way other people live makes you realize that the environment that you live in is just a bubble, and there other ways to do things. Things are a certain way for each of us, but we should know that it is not going to be the same way for others. Get out there and see a different perspective so that you can learn more about yourself as well.
  5. Watch the company you keep. “If you are the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room”. DO you know that saying? I LOVE that saying because, for me, it is driving me to find people that are where I want to be. I mean, we all know something that we can teach to others and we should fill our lives with people who have knowledge that we are pursuing. It is especially rewarding to find others that are on the same journey or close to it. This way you all can expose each other to new ideas and lend a hand or two along the way.independentthinker3
  6. Read more! Honestly, there is nothing like curling up on the couch with a good book and escaping reality…if only for a couple of hours. Libraries are one of my favorite places, along with the book store. All of the knowledge that is waiting for us to grab! We need to continue to enlighten our minds. Reading makes us more well-rounded and insightful and The more we know, the more thought-provoking and solid our conversations, opinions, and stance will be.

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.