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!

I Need To Slow Down!

slowdown1I am always trying to make sure that my schedule shows me and my world that I have things going on…I need to slow it down! Really! And I do know that I am not the only one so…

Repeat after me.

Good things take time so you can slow the f%$# down! Excuse my French (shoulder shrugs)

Good things are not the only things that take time, everything takes time…life takes time.

The more I realize this, the more I have been letting go of my cluttered work schedule and telling myself that I should be in “this” place right now in my business, finances, relationships, my life period!

I am in the process of letting go of those expectations. The more I let go, the happier I amslowdown3 and I am really seeing how a person can just live…and do it without regret. I also ignore the expectations that others have on me and oh what a relief it is!

Slowing down…slowing down and trusting the timing…putting it all in God’s hands.

I am making peace with the fact that I do not know where this blogging thing is going to take me. Making peace with the fact that only God knows what is best for me. I am making peace with not everyone will like me, listen to me, that my timing is sometimes very weird, and that my life will not always meet my expectations.

slowdown2I am patient, that is definitely true. I do not mind waiting for what is truly mine. Waiting does not mean that I am not driven or hungry for what I desire. To me, it shows my strength and resilience and wisdom! Waiting can be empowering and I am sure (because it has started happening with me) that beautiful things happen while you wait for your heart’s desire. I learn something with each moment I wait. Those lessons give me more opportunities to grow. The longer I wait, the more capable I feel that I am and the more likely I will end up where I belong…..where I belong… I belong nowhere,  I belong everywhere! Anywhere! So I keep moving forward…with patience.

“You only are when you realize you belong no place- you belong every place-no place at all. The price is high. The reward is great.” Maya Angelou

So what you are not where “she” is in life, or you do not make as much money as your brother/sister/cousin/best friend. You are not behind in this life. You are not a failure! You are not lost! You are just you…and your life has its own timeline. My oldest son and Islowdown talk about this all of the time. He will be 26 this year and most of his childhood friends are married (some have been more than once) and have children. He is working, getting ready to go back to school for his Master’s and engaged to his high school sweetheart and dare I say that they are waiting until marriage before they engage in all that produces a family. He used to talk about how behind he is in life and questioned his journey. I always encourage him to not measure his life by the decisions of others in their lives. He should continue to love what is happening in his and be proud. He should understand that we all do not move in the same way, we just move forward making decisions that are hopefully good for us as individuals. Comparison is the thief of joy. Your journey is unique to you and only you.

Honestly, you have to believe that everything will come together in the end.

Sometimes we have to take a step back from our BIG picture and take a good look at the little things along the journey that we can do right now that will get us there and make us much happier, fulfilled and successful people. slowdown4

 

Tell Me How You Really Feel

howifeel4Question… What do you really think of yourself?

Do you love yourself? Do you think highly of yourself? Are you pleased with the way you think, act, speak, and look? Seriously, do you like the things that make you who you are?

I am asking because I recently had to ask myself those questions and when I thought about it, I kind of shrieked a bit! I am really big right now in getting to know myself and I was wondering if you know how important that is for us all. Yes, getting to know you is a long, drawn-out mission that is going to take you the rest of your life…it is, after all, part of the reason we are here.

How we see ourselves is a big part of what tells us how happy, frustrated, angry, or pleased we are in general.

We are complicated people, but do not give up on getting to know yourself! I mean, whohowifeel2 wants to just wake up and float through life, not standing for anything, or having a goal to push through and live out their dreams. I am all about going for and doing what you love. What is the saying? “Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life.” That is my goal. God wakes me up every morning…my dreams are what get me out of bed to chase them in order to live a beautiful life and leave a legacy for my children. If you do not know yourself, waking up is probably a chore and eventually, you will dim your inner fire, that thing that gets you out of bed.

I don’t know about you, but I wanna know myself…everything! I want to understand what makes me tick so that I can make the choices that get me to a place of happiness and I can have a fulfilled life. I am still working on getting to know myself like I said, it is going to take a lifetime. I am learning that what has been helping me grow the most has been spending time alone. It is something that I need to do more often. I know…yeah, yeah, that does sound cliche, but seriously, it’s a must-do!

howifeel1Are you even comfortable being alone?

I know a few people that cannot stand to be alone. They have to have company until they fall asleep, they have to be on the phone with someone, in a room talking with someone, almost like they can’t stand the thought of spending time with the most important person in their lives…them.

Are you comfortable with just doing your own thing? just being alone…with just you and your thoughts?  Sounds kind of dangerous depending on who you are I’m sure but alone time is BOMB! It affords you the opportunity to really get to know you, while you are being your authentic self.

When we spend time with other people, we adjust who we are. We may not realize that that is what we are doing, but we do, even if it is ever so slightly. We filter ourselves based on who we are with. This means we do not always say what we mean or mean what we say…maybe we do not end up doing what we really want to do either. We are just not always ourselves…except when we are alone. When we are alone, we are free! We think, and express ourselves just the way we want to. We take time to reflect, we think about what we love and what we do not care for and we do it without interruption.

When we spend time alone being ourselves, we gain a sense of responsibility. We carehowifeel3 for ourselves, listen to ourselves and realize that being a little selfish is not a  bad thing. We also get alerted to our own bullsh*t. When you are alone and that alarm goes off that tell you that you are not being yourself. The more time you spend alone, you can train yourself to stop filtering your thoughts…and train your brain to listen to everything and ignore nothing. Everything is important!

I am indeed a social butterfly when I want to be. I love planning trips, going to parties, have fun weekends, and going out with friends..I just know that I need to do my thing too, alone. I need that time…to do me, no pressure, no agenda.

In time, you will value that time, trust me. I used to be somewhat of an extrovert, but as time has gone on and I have gotten older (and wiser, of course), I really value time alone. Now that I have been enjoying that time alone, I have truly developed my bulls**t alarm and I pay attention to what I really need and want and adjust what I do and say.

So hang out with the ones you love but get alone every once in a while so that you can learn to hold yourself accountable for taking care of that very important person in your life…you.IMG_0227

I Am Capable Of More

capable1I finally get it! I can finally see the forest before the trees…..(whatever that means right?) I do a lot of things, wear a lot of hats. I am one busy bee. But I am going to be honest with you and say, I hardly ever think that it is enough and that what I do accomplish is good enough. I am so serious….and crazy!!! I have accomplished so much and I am working on adding things to the list…I am capable of so much more than I think….so are you!

I am capable of doing anything that I want to; whatever I am looking to do in this life, I am absolutely capable of doing it, YOU are capable of doing it. Whether or not we really know what we ultimately want and what it looks like to work toward it, we can. We are capable of being happier than ever. It is more than adding the right people to our lives and eliminating those who do not add value to us. We can create the best version of ourselves and the world will be able to see the confidence, value, and purpose in us.

Attitude is everything! We have to tell ourselves every day, in everything…you are capable and there is so much more waiting for you. Then we need to honor ourselves incapable a way that shows that you know it for sure. If we really want to “grow up”, we have to get to know ourselves. One of the ways that we can do that is to release some of the BS that we allow to reside in our lives, those things that keep us from being our best. We cannot feel pressured to make commitments and hang around people that do not positively affect our lives. That is where personal boundaries come in.

Let me be honest about some of the things that I have allowed in my life that have distracted me when it comes to me getting to where I want to be. I have let the needs and happiness of others supersede my own, I was really extra on the people pleasing, I have held onto past relationships and frustrations, and I tolerated people that drained the life and energy out of me. That was too much and I had to do something in order to finally make ME a priority.

Boundaries!

capable2The biggest thing for me was saying “no”. It was rarely part of my vocabulary and my nerves suffered for it. NO is not a negative word, not at all. We can not feel guilty for wanting to choose ourselves over others occasionally. I used to feel guilty for not wanting to help someone, then I thought about how easy it was for others to tell me no and not blink an eye. I speak my truth now! I say no (not always that blunt) with a quickness and I do not feel guilty for not being there…this time. There may be another time where I will help but if I am not feeling, I do not do it.

And I do not give a reason why I am saying no….For what? I owe no one an excuse for choosing to do what I planned, even if it is nothing, over doing for someone else. I love helping every and anyone but if I do not feel Peace about it, I am going to skip it. There is so much power and freedom in the word NO!!

The word “no” establishes a boundary and that is so powerful. You’re telling your truthcapable3 and standing up for yourself. You are showing yourself that you can be trusted to take care of you too. You are a human being and you are choosing to live your life on your terms. Boundaries support the life you want for yourself and show others what you will and will not allow in your life. Having personal boundaries in place shows you have the courage  to love yourself even at the chance of disappointing others.

I am doing it more and more everyday and you can too. Say no! Go ahead! Do not do another thing that you are going to complain about later or feel uncomfortable doing because you are a people-pleaser.  You can be sweet about it, “I am sorry, but I will not be able to help you with that this time.”, “no, I do not have the extra money to loan you.”…whatever they ask, you have the power to say no if you do not want to be there. Start off small and stay consistent, you will eventually be a pro and feel better about having the time to do those things you are capable of that will lead you to personal happiness and fulfillment.

capable4

Satisfied

sunset beach people sunrise

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

We work hard. A lot of us go beyond our “day” jobs to look for the next big thing to work on or area to improve in our lives. This can be in our professional or in our personal lives. Does this sound like you? I believe this is a lot of us. The question is, are we going about it the right way?

img_4075Being happy and satisfied is all in the attitude. We can be in pursuit of things that make us happy, but we should also learn to be happy where we are…right now…today, at this moment.

So what do you want to do? Do you want to learn how to play the piano, learn a new language, or even write that book? Because of how our minds work, we think about these things and sometimes move on to the next thought so quickly that we do not even take the time to put a possible plan in place. If you are like me, you do not want to waste any of your days doing things that don’t get you moving in the direction of the things that mean the most to you.

Every little step we take toward our ultimate goal is one that should be celebrated. We should think about and celebrate every win. Take a moment to appreciate your effort, soak in the accomplishment. Be happy with what you have done at that moment.

If we are always looking at what’s ahead (or what we want to be/have in the future), we miss what is happening today. This means that we are not even living in the present. WeIMG_6426.JPG do not have the future yet, and the past has already come and gone. The present is what we know is guaranteed so we should want to be in that moment; enjoy and be present in this very moment. You are missing out on the beauty of today is you spend every moment thinking about the future.

Being in the moment isn’t saying that learning new things is unnecessary or telling you not to look forward to your future, because you really should.  I am just saying that if we forget that we are living life right now, not too many things can change in the future. Who wants to spend all of their time just chasing something better? That means you will never be happy and “happiness” will always be a moving target for you.

What have you really worked hard for recently? Once you had that achievement under your belt, did it feel as good as you thought it would? Is it because you were already working on the next step and did not pause to celebrate your accomplishment? We should be happy with what we have at this moment while we are working toward what we ultimately want.

Those small wins may not seem too important because they are a means to an end but we should make an effort to appreciate those steps toward our ultimate goals. When negative things occur, we should try to see the lessons, not blame ourselves or others, img_6031and find ways to succeed at that thing the next time.

We have to do some self-evaluations. We should take time before our day really starts to think about what would make “this” day perfect. (note to self..and you…do not let the opinions of others matter too much with this though). Write down what you are working on that is a step in the directions of your goals. How do you spend your day and who do you spend it with? What truly can you say makes you feel content/satisfied?

Every year I sit down and evaluate my year. I do not make resolutions but I do look at my life and how I spent my time. Just like you balance your bank account, we need balance in our lives. We can see what/who is adding to our accounts (emotional, physical, spiritual, mental), what is taking away. You can ask yourself what you need to do more of, less of, completely stop or add something totally different to increase your happiness and satisfaction.

However you decide to balance your life, do it for yourself. Yes, self-awareness and how others see us is important to our growth….we also had to make sure that we do not do things to make others like us or be accepted in a circle. Work on you because you really want to see you in a different light. While you are working on improving, make sure to stop and enjoy the sunshine on your face….today. Be satisfied with what this moment has for you.

woman stands on mountain over field under cloudy sky at sunrise

Photo by Victor Freitas on Pexels.com

Two-Faced

twofacedI have to admit, some years ago, I changed up who I was depending on where I was….. two-faced. When I say two-faced, I do not mean that I smiled in someone’s face, then talked about them behind their backs…that’s not me at all. I mean that I was a different person when I was at work than I was at home or church or out with the girls. I put on a front, or as we say it now, filter so that I can seem more professional and capable.  I was managing so there had to be a certain “air” about me so that the clients and employees would take me seriously and things would get done.

twofaced3I learned quickly that not being my authentic self was boring me and the people that I worked with. I learned that showing my employees that it is ok to laugh and joke at work and be who they truly are (to a degree of course) was the best thing that could happen in a work environment. This helps to accelerate personal development because it breaks down the walls and awkwardness, then everyone is open to striving to be more successful. So…lighten up!

I believe we should laugh and joke more…in general. At work, we need to because we have enough reasons to NOT smile. With all of the pressure on you to meet deadlines and please this person and that one, laughing and joking a little can lighten things up as you get these things accomplished.

Now, I know that you have heard the saying, “laughter is the best medicine.”…I think it is img_7173so true. I recently saw a show on Discovery Channel that talked about a woman who started a laughing yoga class and it has become a very successful business. I thought that it was strange when I first saw it but when you think about it, just the sound of someone else laughing can put you in a good mood.

I go to stores and restaurants and there are so many people that are at work and they do not want to be there. I say QUIT…or make the day go by smiling and laughing and joking a little. I cannot stand being served by someone who hates their job but can’t leave. They make my food taste bad, clothes a little tighter (joking), you know what I mean; everything just feels wrong. Do us all a favor, know your “why” and adjust your attitude or leave!

Joke around, smile, and be goofy sometimes, even at work. You can be the same person that you are in and out of work. I believe that when you are your authentic self all of the time, it draws people in and creates a connection. That gives you an opportunity for growth personally and you never know what other opportunities will come.

Just be YOU!

twofaced2And don’t feel bad about it. And poke fun at yourself as well. We spend over 2000 hours a year at work. That is a lot of time to hate work. Use that time to build character and relationships, and opportunities for personal growth and smile a little. Forget the work filters and be who you are when you are at home.

Ever since I realized how boring being extra serious all day at work could be, I stopped! I try to create a more comfortable environment where I can get things done and laugh while working. Work feels less like work when you can laugh and joke around while producing.

Be who you are all of the time! Why not? It is freeing for one and the work day goes by much faster. When you spend your day at work miserable, it spills over into what times you are not at work. Who has time for that?!

So don’t be two-faced! Be you, all of the time. If you are funny, goofy, or silly, let your co-workers see that side of you. You never know who may need to see that to brighten up their day and make life seem a little easier to bear. Don’t go crazy and do it when you are supposed to be a little more serious, but do not deny yourself a smile or a little laughter and make yourself uncomfortable in your own body. Be you, release yourself from the filter and take the pressure off of everyone else. If you are a naturally quiet and serious person, you should probably try to lighten up too! twofaced1

 

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.