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.

 

 

Have You Heard Of Smudging?

smudgingHave you heard of smudging? It is becoming more popular as of late but Native Americans and indigenous people have burned sage for centuries as a part of a spiritual ritual to cleanse a person or space of negative energy, and to promote healing and wisdom. It has been used since Roman times to treat digestive issues, memory problems, and sore throats. The name sage comes from the Latin word “salvia”. It means “to feel healthy”.

The practice of “smudging” has become more popular in other cultures as well. Recently at the makeshift memorial of Nipsey Hustle, a young lady burned sage to rid the area of any negative energy.

It is said that sage “metaphysically un-clings the things that cling to us that are no longer needed–spiritually, mentally, and physically…almost the way a sponge does.” The medical benefits have not officially been well- studied.

Sage comes in different varieties. Most healers and herbalist use white sage. The white sage is used for purifying and protection. There are others like lavender sage, black sage, smudging3common sage, and blue sage, which is used for cleansing and healing. They all have their own unique qualities.

You can harvest sage yourself or buy it in bundles at a health food store, farmer’s market, or on the internet of course. Just make sure whether you grow it or purchase it, it was harvested sustainably and responsibly.

How do you burn sage? 

You light the end of the bundle and let the smoke waft into the air. If you are cleansing a room, you walk around the space with it. You can also just place it in a shell to catch ashes as it burns and just let it sit in the room.

smudging1Sage is a flavonoid–plant compound that has medicinal properties; lavender is in the same family. Some of these compounds appear to improve brain health and guard against diseases like Alzheimer’s. In some studies, sage helped against depression and anxiety, digestive problems and soothing upset stomachs. It is calming to the gut and mind in the same way that lavender is.

Be careful burning the sage because although there are no studies on the risk, it is just like burning incense and that has shown to give some people allergies or lung issues with prolonged burning. Burning for a short period of time should not cause any issues but if you have asthma or lung issues, I would consult a physician and get their opinion.

If you are worried about burning the sage, you can always try essential oils as ansmudging2 alternative.

Have you tried smudging before? Do you do it as a regular practice? I would love to hear about your experience and how you feel about the practice.

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.

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