Goals… and What Universe Has in Store For You

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There’s a fine line between having goals and going with the flow of the universe.  I used to drive myself crazy worrying about the future, planning, and ultimately beating myself up if life didn’t go the way I “thought” it “should” go.

There was a long period of time where I ignored my intuition and stopped following my heart in order to fit in with the world around me.  That only got me right back where I started: at the drawing board.  Perhaps I am much more of a square peg in a round hole than I thought, because I can only fake who I am for a very short period of time before I find myself irritable and discontent.

Over the past year, I’ve taken baby steps to be honest with myself and others- even when it feels extremely uncomfortable.

It’s been ten years since I graduated from college, and over this past decade I’ve lived in a handful of cities and worked a variety of jobs.  However, my heart has always guided me back to writing, creative endeavors, and entrepreneurial ventures.  Of course, we all need to find ways to make money, but my calling was never to go to school to obtain a certain degree or license to perform specific job duties.  I’ve always been a free spirit.  My degree, entrepreneurship, has left my options extremely open, which has caused me to run in circles, wondering which option to choose.

All I truly want is help people, write, and bring good to the world.

Just the other day, someone asked me where I see myself in ten years.  I answered as honestly as possible: “I see myself as a published author with a little house on the beach.”

Do I see myself climbing the corporate ladder?  No, I never did.  Do I have still have aspirations of being a fashion marketer in New York City, an attorney, or an editor for someone else’s publication?  Not anymore.

I suppose what I’m trying to say is that if you keep doing the same thing over and over, you’ll keep getting the same results.  It’s time for me to do something different.  I am just not sure where to begin: so I’ll leave it to the universe.  

I’m sure she has something even better in store for me than what I could ever imagine.

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Quit Hiding Your Magic

The coffee’s brewing and the sun is shining- it’s time for another work week. After three days of reading, reflecting and relaxation I gave some thought to my life here in Boston and how different it is compared to just a few months ago. I spent most of the long weekend in my new home, snuggling with Clarissa the cat, indulging in Netflix and writing- but most importantly, enjoying each moment. It was nice enjoying me time to recharge.

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Although I have always beat to my own drum, I have actually lived my life looking over my shoulder, always wondering what everyone else had to say about what I was doing. Despite bold moves, impulsive behavior and living a pseudo-nomad lifestyle, I still sought approval from those around me. What a waste of time.

I’ve begun to wonder how I have subconsciously allowed people to hold me back from true happiness- from fulfilling my purpose because I was scared.

I have shied away from opportunities because I was fearful of failure or what others would say about my work. I’ve listened to naysayers who told me that my dreams were too big or that I would never make it. I also wondered, “what do I want?”  Everyone’s version of success is different, whether your dreams are to become a doctor, a parent, an actress or an athlete- if your dream is to travel, to write, to create art… that’s wonderful, too. There’s magic all around us… what is yours?

Variety is the spice of life- so quit hiding your magic. Now is your time.

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Seven Steps to Being More Mindful at Work

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The practice of mindfulness is not only beneficial to mental and physical health, but also increases productivity thanks to improved concentration and energy. Since making meditation and mindfulness habits in my everyday life, I have enjoyed coming into work each day, use my time more efficiently and have been able to work better.

Being mindful improves focus and awareness, so following these tips can result in being much more creative and effective in the workplace.

1. Be Present

Focusing on one assignment or project at a time is crucial to being mindful in the workplace. When your attention shifts from one distraction to another, it’s important to remember to go back to where you left off and become present in the task at hand.

2. Make Lists

Start your day with a list of “to-dos” to accomplish. Working on one project at a time will help you increase productivity and stay organized. Re-prioritize your list throughout the day if necessary.

3. Mindful Reminders

Write cheerleading statements on post-it note and stick them on your desk. These simple reminders will motivate you and help to stay in the moment. Don’t know how to get started? Begin with simple statements such as “This is only temporary” or “I can do it!”

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4. Take a Breather

Step away from the desk and enjoy a walk around the neighborhood or short break to re-group. Give yourself time and space to re-energize throughout your day to improve concentration and overall productivity. I always take a few minutes during lunch to grab a coffee, walk down to the harbor or take photos of downtown Boston. Enjoy the beauty around you!

5. Radical Acceptance

This is one of my favorite DBT skills.  Radical acceptance doesn’t mean you have to like everyone or each situation, but it does mean you must accept things for how they are. While you don’t have to agree with someone, it’s important to validate them by acknowledging their thoughts or opinions.

6. Gratitude

Interrupt anxiety with gratitude! It’s so easy to fall into a negative mindset when something doesn’t go your way. Instead of focusing on your triggers, shift your focus to your blessings. Remember: you’re working, you’re fulfilling a purpose, and you’re needed. Try and focus on the positives and have gratitude for your position, opportunity, coworkers or work output.

7. Mindfulness Exercises

There are a variety of mindfulness exercises you can do at your desk to keep yourself balanced throughout your day. The Harvard Business Review gives tips and a guided breathing exercise to keep you present. According to HBR, “Mindfulness helps increase effectiveness, decrease mistakes, and even enhances creativity.”

Learn more about mindfulness at work at Mindful.org.

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Enjoying my lunchtime stroll!