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.

 

 

Are You Living Your Best Life?

trysomethingnew1Do you feel like your life is on pause? Is this a chapter in your life that you are confused about what you want to do or frustrated about where you currently are? Do you need something new? Most of the time, we like to be comfortable. Most people just sit and wait for the next thing to come to them..or they just keep doing what they are doing and complain and/or overthink about it the whole time.

So what do we complain and/of overthink about?

  • We want more money and more financial stability
  • a great partnertrysomethingnew
  • we want to lose weight because we are sick and tired of being tired or being self-conscious all of the time
  • frustrated because we feel stuck in our jobs and we are not using our creative energy
  • we want more sex
  • we want more positive energy around us

That is just some of them. If we do not try something new to change the experiences that affect us negatively, nothing will change!

We have to occasionally introduce something new into our lives…it can be something big or small. Doing the same thing over and over again is going to get us what we have always gotten and if it is not what you want, why don’t we change it? You are not going to get a new result doing what you have always done. Do something NEW…

trysomethingnew3New things not only give us different result but we learn more and they bring us happiness, we receive change and a broader perspective and development. We never know how we will grow from that something new. When we do new things, a lot can happen to us. We can overcome fear, we learn new experiences and how to conduct ourselves in uncomfortable situations, get to know more about ourselves, grow, and maybe even meet some new people.

We have to stop spending time trying to hope and wish things into existence. Not gonna happen! We have to move! Put those thoughts into action. It may take some time and energy but if you want something you are gonna to have to put feet to it. If we don’t ever try anything new, we leave a lot out there to be discovered and enjoyed by someone else. Something that was supposed to be yours.

If you are out here feeling like your life is on pause, go do something new. Take a step toward that dream. Who wants to do the safe things all of the time? That life, I can imagine, is probably kind of boring. I mean, don’t do anything illegal, but venture off the beaten path every once in a while. Start challenging yourself, talking to people you would not normally talk to, Take the stairs, research a hobby, go find a completely different job or partner, have honest conversations with your loved ones…whatever it is, do it! If it makes you nervous…try it, within reason of course. Just try something new, something you have always wanted to do.

Ok so here is a reminder of what happens when we try new things…We

  • Meet new peopleIMG_6278
  • Learn more about ourselves
  • Expose ourselves to new ideas
  • Relieve boredom
  • Break up the routine in our lives
  • Increase our overall satisfaction
  • Give us more interesting things to talk about
  • Expands our perspective on life
  • overcome fear
  • We become more interesting people
  • Discover what we like and what we don’t like
  • Boost our overall confidence level
  • We experience more of what life has to offer

See, there are so many awesome reasons to get out there and try new things. What is holding you back? We can’t be afraid to get out of our comfort zone. You will only get to live this life once and I am sure you do not want to get to the end of it and have a lot of regrets.

trysomethingnew2This summer, why don’t you go ahead and try to become a little bit of a “yes” person! When the opportunity presents itself for you to have a new experience, challenge, or idea, go for it! Try not to make an excuse and just go for it. You will see that the benefits will more than likely outweigh the risks. Isn’t life way too short to settle for living a bland one?

So what are you going to try first?

Comfort Is For The Boring

comfort1There is nothing like a comfortable bed with lots of fluffy pillows and a nice warm blanket. I know this and I want that in my life…every night! I like my bed and other places that I sit and/or rest to comfortable, but what about my life? Just how comfortable do I want to be?

If you are presently comfortable with your life, your routine, and your relationships…I think it is time to force yourself to get uncomfortable.

Something that we need to think about is the more we sit still and be “happy”, the less we actually grow. The more we stretch beyond our comfort zone, the more we grow.

You know what is not comfortable for you, personally. Talking to people who are where you want to be in life. Going to places you want to go alone. Taking a chance on starting that business or writing that book you have been dreaming about.

When you realize that you just wash, rinse, and repeat daily, you have to throw a comfort2monkey wrench in that comfort and push yourself to do something out of your comfort zone. Start questioning yourself and your motives, saying no when you used to say yes, or yes when you always said no, go out instead of making excuses to stay in (that one used to be me….frequently!).

Getting out of our comfort zone is really the only way that we will see growth in this life. The more we do, the more confident we will be and the more self-assured. We may fail at times, but we will eventually fail our way to success if we learn something from the failure and take notes.

If you think you know your path and have everything you need to get there, you are way too comfortable and you may get your feelings hurt. Our thoughts cannot be set in stone about our future. God is the only one who knows and He will not let us know anything before its time. So for us, our path will never be clear, so we should just strap up our boots and enjoy the ride… and get uncomfortable. We never know how much more fully we will enjoy our lives or how truly happy we can be until we let go and face being out of our comfort zone.

comfort4So if you are living a mundane and routine life, I urge you to throw yourself a curve ball every once in a while. There is so much out there in the world to explore and learn. And what about those things that pop in your head that you want to try? Do not leave those things undiscovered if it is in your power to do them! I am sure that is not how you want to live. To do things you have never done, meet new people, have new discoveries and explore new places…that is when you will feel like you are doing more than existing.. you are LIVING and being the person you truly want to be. How do they say it? You will be “Living your best life!”

The only way to get there is just to do it! Get out of your comfort zone and see what your life can truly be. Get uncomfortable! There is nothing wrong with doing something for the first time, even at our age. We can be awkward and embarrassed while having new experiences, it’s ok. We can embrace those moments that we find ourselves in where we do not know what to do or say, oh well.

We are the only ones responsible for our lives and how we live in the end. You choosecomfort3 your emotions at the end of the day. How do you want to live this life? What attitude toward your life experiences do you want to have? Do you want to remain stagnant and “comfy” or grow while experiencing more of what life has to offer? I am learning more and more that when I open myself up to doing new things and learning from them, I feel more alive and confident in myself…the feeling is like no other!

So just do it…get uncomfortable and live your best life

 

 

I’m an Independent Thinker…My Bad

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From the earliest times that I can remember, I have always been very independent in my thoughts. That is probably why I was never part of a clique. I like everyone and didn’t mind having friends from different cliques. I am the same way today. I attempt to get along well with everyone for the most part. Not all of the people I talked to like each other but that is not something that I worry about. I am only concerned with keeping balance in my life and when an individual no longer fits into my journey, they fade…that’s it. I don’t love someone because someone I know loves them, nor do I hate someone because someone I love hates them. I have so many other things going on in my life and that seems like something that I do not have time to keep up with.

Like I said, I have always been an independent thinker, but there were times when I was younger that I relied on the opinion of others when I wanted to do something. As I got older and realized that I had been living other people’s lives and not my own; I have been retraining my brain so that I could rely on me ( and my God, of course) to act in my best interest and follow the dreams that I have for me.

woman wearing white off shoulder blouse

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One thing that I have started to do was to let go of the beliefs that others have that I decided to adopt solely because they did. I think rationally and stay away from believing out of emotion. Our parents and grandparents…and other family and friends have pretty much taught us our reality, but that does not mean that it is right. I live for myself now. I read self-help and thought-provoking books. I even read history and some philosophy…whatever I feel like learning more about. The more we know, the more insightful our opinions and thoughts shared will be. Along with that, we have to question everything! Just because something is done one way, and it always has been, does not mean you should not ask why it is done that way. When we question why things are the way they are, it helps us to become aware of the hypocrisy that surrounds us and others. What do you REALLY know?

You also have to surround yourself with intelligent people with similar values. What’s that saying? “If you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room.” When I heard that the first time, I walked away from the podcast that I was listening to. I had no idea that I had been doing this the wrong way all of this time. I am a helper by nature and I always felt drained after that kind of get-together because I spent so much time and energy pouring out. Then what?! Who is replenishing this woman? I had to do it alone! That is when I found out how much of an introvert I really am…and how much I truly love my own company. If we are pursuing knowledge, we should search out those on the same journey. These are the people who will listen to us as much as we will listen to them.

I mentioned it above…I also listen to podcasts…like every day! There are so many out there. I will list my favorites so far at the end. Whatever you have an interest in and do not have the time to read about, there is probably a podcast out there for you to listen to.

think outside of the box

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On the way to work, dropping kids off at school, on lunch breaks, anywhere, I am trying to gain more knowledge on how to live life in a way that helps me be my best and protect my peace.

We have to make sure that before we share our thoughts, we have done some research that will enable us to have an educated and informative conversation. We should always try to be fair in our judgment of a subject or thought of another. We can have great conversations where we can all sharpen each other and healthy debates that can have us laughing, crying, and learning. For some of us, that is what we call a good night with friends.

Another thing that has helped me become a more independent thinker is all of the travel I do. We have to get out of our little space in the world and see things that we do not see every day. You get a different perspective on life and love. You get to see the other people live and see how privileged you really may be. Just because we are used to seeing and living a certain way, does not mean that it is that way for everyone and we won’t find that out unless we venture out.dsc_2694

Those podcasts I currently listen to….

  • Having it A.L.L. with Matthew Bivens
  • The Overwhelmed Brain with Paul Colaianni
  • The Lifecoach School Podcast with Brooke Castillo
  • The Potter’s Touch with Bishop T.D Jakes
  • Elevation with Steven Furtick
  • Cocktails and Confidence with CeCe Olisa and Chastity Garner (Cofounders of the CurvyCon)

What NO SLAVE November taught me.

noslavenovember2Don’t be jealous, but I only worked one week in November. I did not have to run around for the boys and home or slave over a hot stove cooking meals…. all of November!!! Ok, you should be jealous.

Anyway, I was out there in the deep blue sea taking time to recharge and to also plan. On my vacations I do want to rest, but I also take time to do something I have never done each day and I have my quiet time to think and plan my next moves, or think about what changes I would like to see in my home and within myself.  I am also a people watcher. Observing others help me to sometimes see myself and what I do not like about me that should change.

noslavenovember3We have to be honest with ourselves. No one wants to waste time, money, and energy while we make our mistakes. That is why it is important that we make an effort to learn from our mistakes. Of course, learning from our mistakes takes time. Some of us have to bump our heads on the same rock before we realize how much it really hurt right? On my vacations, I think about the past a lot; not to beat myself up but for reflection on the lessons and to pat myself on the back for getting through it all.

Sooooo….Some things that I have learned from my mistakes……

  • You do not know eerrrything!!!!! I know that this comes to a shock from some but it is true. We truly need to listen to the people that are smarter than us. We know who they are but we do not want to admit it. There are things that you want to achieve and many have come before you so be humble and surround yourself with those that can help. They say no man is an island…it’s true! Life is about fulfilling your destiny, collaborating with like minds and experiencing good while doing it.
  • Stop blaming others! I am so tired of hearing people blame others even for the smallest of things. I was at Red Lobster the other day and the girl never brought out my biscuits. At the end of my meal when she was bringing a box I asked her if I can get some biscuits since she never bought any out at all. We are at the end of the meal and she says “I am still waiting for them to bring some out of the oven.” Meanwhile, she had given some to her other to nearby tables. Just say you forgot and own your shit!! This is a small example and people do it on a much bigger scale at times….come on. Just own your part and move on!!!
  • Love is not what you think it is. A lot of us have a twisted way of thinking when it noslavenovember1comes to love. When others do not live up to those expectations, we flip out or leave. I don’t know whether you see it or not but that is called conditional love and a lot of people are guilty of it and protest when it is given to us. This is a hard lesson to learn and I am still learning it now. We have to let go of our expectations about love. We have to take the time to learn the person you want to love and love them the way they need it, not to your specifications. You will be a lot happier if you just cut people a break and teach them how to love you and learn how to love them.
  • You don’t have as much time as you think. When you were a teenager or younger, you thought that time was endless. You can do what you want, go wherever…..then BOOM, you’re 40! How much time have you wasted on things and people that did not matter? Do you like your job? The people in your life? You have to think about what you are doing with your time. We do not like when other people waste our time so why do we do it to ourselves?
  • Doing the hard things give me more pleasure in the end. I can say that I truly am NoSlaveNovemberin the mood to be quite lazy right now. At the same time I am thinking about focusing on my health, saving money, investing time on my blog and business…and in my relationships. These are all hard for me but my plan is to get on it! When we do the “hard” things, we end up feeling really good about them when accomplished. Tired after the gym….hugs from friends and family….feedback on the blog….money in my account from my business….I always feel a sense of accomplishment and it feels really good. I feel like I am doing more than existing…I am alive.
  • Every little decision we make affects the bigger things. We have to put some thought into what we are thinking. Thinking about that extra piece of pie, sleeping in later, skipping the gym, spending on the credit card to get that new Iphone or laptop. How is this decision going to affect your future? Will the outcome be favorable for your future? Remember that your life is the way it is because of a series of your smaller decisions. We are what we do daily…think about that and adjust accordingly.
  • Never Stop learning. We all know this. We have to keep learning or get left behind in this world of technology that we live in. We want to continue to learn more and develop more as a person. When you are not learning, you begin to feel stuck. It’s time to learn something, a hobby, read a new book, do something! We should push ourselves to learn something often, maybe even daily, no matter how small. noslavenovember4

Being Yourself Changes Everything

SelfloveshipsWhether it is a friendship, relationship, or situationship, we should always strive to be ourselves no matter what. There are people that no matter what we do, we feel like “ourselves” goes right out the window when we are in their presence. We go into these “ships” with everything we have…impressing them, drinking and searching for everything we have in common, second-guessing ourselves…and we are shocked if we are rejected.

selfloveships3Meeting new people can be so much fun and exciting, but it can also bring out our fears and vulnerabilities. I mean think about it; we are basically putting ourselves on the buffet table…and they are more than likely going to judge us. When we choose to go on that lunch date, or to that club, or event with said person, we are so excited that we sometimes interrupt our reasonable thinking around this person. We “get to know” a lot of people and sort out who is going to serve good to our lives and finally, we think that THIS person comes close to someone who may add to our life.

We cannot forget that we are trying to ADD this person to our lives. That means we have to know a little something about ourselves. Our likes and dislikes, our boundaries, and how we need and want to be loved are important when we are choosing a person to be in our lives. When we meet people, we should be doing it from a place of self-love so that we are our authentic selves and we don’t have to risk making a bad choice because we were not who we really are in the first place.  Keep these things in mind….

  1. You are hoping that this person can add to you, not just impress you. No one should selfloveships1be trying to impress the other. It is not a job interview, after all. Be yourself and don’t embellish. They are going to remember what you said and eventually you will have to cash that check that you wrote.
  2. Remember your values, then see if they match. You don’t need to do everything together. I believe that you should at least have similar core values, they generally stay the same. Our interests are gonna change as we grow. Have more than a surface conversation and find out what he/she believes in. What will they fight for? What issues are close to their heart? Shared values make for better conversations and bring you together when times get tough.
  3. DO not perform! When we meet people, we sometimes give them a filtered version of who we really are. We are afraid that they may think we are boring, weird, or even stupid. We really do want people in our lives that “get” us, truth be told. That means that we have to actually BE us to weed out those that can’t love the real us. It is good to find out early that this person cannot love the real you. Save yourself a whole lot of heartache and pain later on. Real people fall in love with real people.
  4. selfloveships4Both of you should be having fun. Who is great and making people comfortable? Relaxed? Laugh and have fun? (Hands raised). In doing all of that you cannot forget that you have to have fun too! Everyone has a role to play in our lives. Fall back a little and see if you are being asked questions, listened to, or engaged in conversation on the same or similar level of effort that you are putting in. Is that going well for you? You find out early and quick if this person is someone you can spent any length of time with and actually enjoy it.
  5. It should be easy. Relationships…friendships…situationships do not need to constantly be “worked on”. If you have to, I bet that is not a good one. We all have ups and downs, misunderstandings, but ultimately if you don’t like that person’s company..if you cannot rely on that person….you are wasting time. The best “ships” are fairly easy. If its hard when nothing hard is happening, what is going to happen when it gets hard? If you’re around this person and it is uncomfortable, combative, awkward, and pressure-filled, you feel bad about yourself, or the other person is trying to control you, find the door and exit stage left!

When we are meeting new people to add to our lives, we need to do it from a place of selfloveships2self-love. We have to know that we are worthy of being cared for just the way we are. It is not just about being loved….it is about being you and loving someone else. Coming from this place will cause the person to experience nothing but the real you showing kindness, self-respect, and vulnerability. If they reject you, it just means that is not your “person” and you can walk away knowing that you were being your authentic self and they were not a good fit. You do not want to find that out after you have invested more of yourself than you should have. You deserve to be surrounded by amazing people, be you and you will find them!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time to Hit the Road….(or the sea, train or friendly skies)

road sky clouds cloudy

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Finally, we are leaving the cold winter behind! I have to say that this felt like the longest winter ever. I was still hoping for Spring to stay longer but that was just a dream. Summer is pretty much here and travel season has begun! I love to travel and I want to do it more this year than I previously have. Some of us are just born with wanderlust and look for opportunities to have a new experience in a new place. I try to have at least one big vacation a year, normally a cruise, and enjoy some weekend trips just to explore some different destinations.

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Everyone has different reasons why they need vacations. If your job allowed, I bet most people would take 3-5 of them a year. To me, vacations should happen away from home. “Staycations” are cool to just take a break from work, but you tend to still stay connected to the workplace when you are right there. It used to be hard for me to stay away from work even when I was away before I started working for myself. Now that I run my own business, vacations are everything they need to be for me and more. I leave work at work and make no apologies for it.

So why do we need vacations/breaks?

  • You get a break from working. When I am away from work, I try to forget about it altogether and be in my moment. Unplugging completely is very helpful. Maybe check your emails in the morning, but detach yourself as much as you can. If you trained someone else to take care of things while you are gone, trust them. It will be good for you, and make them feel important as well. They want to impress you so let them. Plus some of my best ideas come to me when I am not at the shop.
  • You have more time to think and find yourself again (if you think that you were
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    lost, that is). When I travel, I like to take as much time as I can doing absolutely nothing! Finding a quiet place to just sit and reflect, nap, read, or just bask in the sun. Take time to let your mind wander, meditate or dream. This is a time where you can have a revelation about changes you want to make in and for your life when you get back home. Out in the world, you have time to see things in a new light. New surroundings bring inspiration and/or insight. We can be inspired to paint again, begin that book, or renew your interest in entrepreneurship again.

  •  You get to play! Being a mother of 3 growing young men (homeschooling one of them), running a household while running a salon business, getting an event planning and travel business off of the ground and getting this blog going…phew…I have far too little time to play if I am home. Travel helps me to channel my inner little girl and see the world with fresh eyes. I try to do things that I have never done, or have not done in a while, on each trip. Laughter and smiles on vacation definitely help to melt the stress away.
  • Quality time with your loved ones. Busy busy busy!! That is my middle name. Being  able to have some quality interactions without the pressure of time is an important part of making family memories. When we travel together, it allows us to share and enjoy experiences together and you get to create memories that will be talked about over and over again for years to come. My boys are clowns so there is nothing but side-splitting laughter happening around them. And make sure you take pictures of everything!!! We age and our minds go but pictures bring us back to those times that can get crowded out by everyday life, the good and the bad.
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    You get to relax and reconnect with nature. Most people spend a lot of time indoors. Travel gets us all out of the house and breathing fresh air. Nature’s fresh air brings restorative and calming qualities to us and brings on the relaxation! When we get away from the everyday stresses, our bodies and minds are restored. We are open to new experiences when we get away from the day-to-day problems. When we take time to concentrate on new sights, smells, tastes, and sounds, we are refreshed and renewed. That restoration takes us to our lives fresh and energized (even though we would rather stay on vacation).

The vacation that you choose to take does not have to be long or even an expensive one. From going to a different country or just spending the day at the beach, you can touch on most if not all of the benefits of travel. To be sure that you do receive all of the benefits, it is better to plan your vacation. Just planning it and imagining where you would like to go, will begin to make you happy before the vacation even begins.

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