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empowerment self discovery

Dream Big, Darling

As 2017 comes to a close, I’ve smudged away old regrets, lost dreams, and looked toward everything the future has to offer.  I’m ready to take on 2018… are you?

It’s easy to dwell on the past, old mistakes, or missed opportunities.  For years I didn’t even realize I was settling for less!  Instead of following my heart, I listened to the opinions of people who weren’t in alignment with me, questioned my abilities, or stayed quiet in fear of being misunderstood.  It took several years, a lot of lessons, and some encouragement to discover I didn’t need to believe in anything but myself. 

I hid my talents and creativity for years because I was afraid of being criticized.  It didn’t even occur to me that I may get positive feedback!  As a child, any recognition wasn’t worth the hurtful things I may have heard (keyword: may).  At seven years old I wrote and illustrated an entire collection of children’s stories called “Suey and Friends.”  Suey was a chipmunk who went on all sorts of adventures with her crew.  Each character had a unique personality, often based on dreams I had or friends of my own.  My mom still has those old pieces of paper somewhere back in Michigan… she believed in me and encouraged me to continue creating.  Although it was just a hobby to me, she always insisted we send them to agents or publishers.  Being the shy and insecure girl I was, I never agreed to it.

It’s been 25 years since my last Suey story, but if there’s one takeaway from this all, it’s that life is too short to hold back.

Today I would rather be criticized than miss an opportunity.

2018 is right around the corner, and I’m ready to take on the next steps of my life- whatever they may be.  2017 was an amazing year to focus on myself, develop a solid foundation, and decide what I truly wanted.  Big dreams no longer scare me, and hard work has become second nature.  The key to hard work is to follow your heart and do something you love.

Since moving on from Suey and friends, there’s a long list of things I have done as a middle finger to the people who hurt or second guessed me.  Although I didn’t do anything deliberately mean, I did my best to succeed, stand out, or surpass any doubts or negativity they threw my way.  I called off my engagement with a controlling engineer and moved to San Francisco, started a style blog in my hometown of people who bullied me, and pursued a marketing career in New York.  Things definitely didn’t go as planned, but that’s okay.  Although I am glad the anger and pain inspired my creativity, I learned one important lesson:

You don’t need to prove yourself to anyone but you.

When your intentions are pure, everything falls in place.  My life often fell apart because it wasn’t acting in alignment with my soul: I was simply doing things out of ego.  I no longer hold those old resentments or fear… and I can thank my spiritual practice and support system for giving me the strength to live my life with more love and compassion.

As you reflect on your goals for the future, remember to follow your heart; it will certainly take you a lot further than acting on ego or fear.  When you set your mind to it, you can have anything you want out of this crazy and beautiful life.  Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t.

Categories
self discovery

What’s holding you back?

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Today I started my Sunday with coffee, conversation and a dose of Gabby Bernstein. She has been an inspiration to me through her spiritual teachings and explanations of energy, the universe and overall perspective.

Gabby put on a free New Year Breakthrough webinar to start 2017 off on the right foot, but more importantly, to help us make permanent changes to help manifest the amazing year we want to live.

She explained how the only New Year’s Resolution you need is to discover the root of the behavior or bad habit you want to change– and work on changing that behavior or attitude. Without acknowledging the “why” to the bad behavior, it’s impossible to consistently make improvements and change.

Gabby explained the five steps to healing, ultimately resulting in a true change in both your thoughts and behaviors. I took notes of what my own attitudes and behaviors were while she went through the steps:

1- What is the core belief or wound behind the bad habit?

Abandonment and rejection.

2- Look closely at the behavior behind the feeling or habit. What are your bad behaviors?

Since I’m afraid of abandonment and rejection, I find myself pushing people away, quitting activities or jobs, procrastinating, treating my body poorly and judging myself or others. Since I have these fears, I haven’t 1) reached my full potential 2) developed a meaningful romantic relationship or 3) found my niche in the workplace.

3- Become willing to heal.

In order to make changes, you first have to want it and be willing. If I consider asking for guidance, I’m taking a crucial step in radical self-forgiveness, healing and change. Letting go of ego, a defense mechanism for fear, is a huge part of my path to recovery- I have to let the negative thoughts go. I continue to run to avoid failure, which is blocking my path to healing.

4- Tapping method- tap on the struggle or behavior.

Gabby explained the Tapping Method, which is an Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). Doing a conscious “tapping” on our body will help to focus our energy on our current stress and acknowledge our willingness and capability to change.

More here:

5- Forgive who we were and accept who we are today!

Sure, 2016 was rough- but it’s a brand new year! We must remember that we have to be forgiving of ourselves, know that we did the best we could for the situation that was handed to us, and act differently in the future.

We must remember it is safe to let go of the past and to give it over. If we carry resentments today, we can’t receive the gifts of tomorrow.

“I forgive myself, I accept myself, I release who I used to be. I am new.” -Gabby Bernstein

In case you missed it, you can still check out Gabby’s webinar today at 4PM EST, 10PM EST or get a full replay.

Categories
self discovery

Pick yourself up

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The holiday season has come and gone and a new year is upon us.

As December came to a close, I thought, “2016 wasn’t so bad.” I sat back for a moment and remembered the ups and downs; the times I felt lost, helpless and confused- but also how I felt when I picked myself back up.

This wasn’t a typical holiday season for me. I spent December 1st flying to Boston, my first week in Massachusetts interviewing for jobs, and my second week starting a new full-time role. While other people were busy preparing for Christmas, I was simply trying to get my life in order. Buying gifts, making holiday plans and traveling were the last things on my mind.

“I chose this life,” I kept reminding myself.

Moving to Boston was a gift in itself; after a hectic year I was ready for a fresh start. I’ve never been conventional, either. Traditions always gave me anxiety and social pressures made me avoid celebrations altogether. It’s not rare for me to spend the holidays away from my family… over the past eight years I’ve lived all over the country, far from the old traditions I grew up with.

That’s kind of how my whole life has been- an adventure and often a mystery. I’ve been searching for stability for the past few years, hoping to find my “niche” and place that feels like home. I have continually sought out people, places and things; but after things haven’t turn out how I’d hoped, I’ve learned to go with the flow.

I’ve also learned to be my own best friend.

As I am learning to be more mindful, I’ve come to realize the importance in staying positive and knowing that everything happens for a reason. Although I was lonely during the holidays, I used my free time to write and do the things I enjoyed. That time was used to make me stronger, prepare for the new year and learn that my own company is enough. Even after all the cross-country moves and times I have “started over,” it still takes time to accept that I won’t have a community overnight.

No matter what challenges you face, pick yourself back up and know that the best is yet to com. Even though I don’t know what 2017 has in store, I can’t wait to find out.

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Categories
self discovery

Live the life you want

Another year has passed; a year of memories, ups and downs. As we put 2016 behind us and reflect on the past, we visualize the upcoming year and the life we hope to live.

In order to manifest your desires in the New Year, putting positive energy out to the universe is the first step to achieving a happy and prosperous 2017. So, how do you materialize your hopes and dreams?

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Write it Down

Make a plan! When you write down exactly what you’re working towards, you’re one step closer to making it happen. Be sure to be specific- before moving to Boston, I made a four-page plan listing what type of career I wanted, where I wanted to live, and even drew pictures to create visuals. My plan soon became a “to-do” list, complete with objectives, dates, and check-boxes.

Set Goals

Once you’ve written down what you want, set goals! There’s no need to rush, so start small- give yourself a time frame to meet your goals and focus on one thing at a time. Be realistic with yourself!

Make a Vision Board

Grab a stack of old magazines, scissors, poster board, markers and glue to create your dream year! I made this vision board on New Year’s Eve to focus on my priorities for 2017, which include mindfulness, self-care, learning and being content in the present moment. Keep your vision board somewhere you will see it each day as a reminder that you’re one day closer to the life you want.

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Post-It Notes

Write down positive affirmations to stick on your mirror or desk. A message as simple as “I am beautiful” or “I can do it!” can act as motivation to get your through the day or to start your morning off on the right foot.

Simple Reminders

I love jewelry that has meaning; particularly my Alex and Ani “What’s for you will not pass you” bracelet. It’s a wonderful reminder to slow down and to stay aware of your surroundings; since I can’t control everything, I will make the most of what I have at this moment.

If you want to have an amazing year, it starts with a positive attitude! The more you believe that good things are on their way, the sooner you’ll be aware of them.

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Categories
self discovery

Minimalism in the New Year

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As 2016 comes to a close, I’ve reflected on my year and starting to think about how I want to start the next. Minimalism has intrigued me over the past several months, and after a few moves from apartment to apartment and city to city, I’ve appreciated the obvious benefit: more manageability.

Organization is an amazing feeling; it helps you remain mindful, in control and more at peace. The lack of clutter around my home (and in my life in general) has helped me stay on top of tasks, decreased my anxiety and be more productive. I’ve focused on purchasing quality items over quantity- instead of owning 30 purses (or more) like I used to, I now have 5 classic ones instead. Instead of keeping clothes I’ve had for years (yet never wear) I donate or consign them at stores like Buffalo Exchange or Crossroads.

Minimalism helps to stay organized, more mindful and less stressed, but it also has other benefits that make big differences in your life.

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Save time

When you’re not running around the house looking for something, it’s amazing how much time you will save. I used to forget where I would place things- simply because I had SO MUCH. Now I have a place for everything and know exactly where to go to find it. Simple things, like organizing all my art supplies in one place, color coordinating my closet, investing in jewelry organizers or labeling my paperwork / bills make a big difference. When you own less, it’s easier to keep everything together, too.

Do what you love

Do possessions truly matter? So many feel the need to “keep up” with their peers and society by owning the newest, best thing; a gadget, home, handbag or car. Whatever it is, it’s important to remember to invest your time in what YOU love- choose a career that fits the lifestyle you wish you lead. When you do what you love, it opens doors to live the life that you want. Set goals and invest in you- whether it’s a new car, a tropical vacation or a relaxing day in your own thoughts.

Better for the environment

This is another obvious benefit: less stuff, less trash. People would also be more mindful of what they recycle, and purchase higher quality items opposed to disposable ones. Another aspect of minimalism is choosing to walk, bike or take public transportation instead of driving a car. I sold my beloved Mini Cooper in early 2014 before moving to NYC and haven’t gotten behind the wheel since. I stay healthy (physically and mentally) by walking at least 5-10 miles a day, riding the train or taking an Uber.

Letting go of the past

I had a huge purge this past summer in-between moves. I used to be a big pack rat, keeping old cards, tickets, trinkets and memories from old boyfriends, only to bring up both good and bad feelings of the past. Unless it was extremely sentimental or made me feel happy, I got rid of a lot of things that were merely taking up space. I only keep what I need and what I love; and avoid letting bad vibes back into my life.

Be happier

When you’re content with what you have and where you’re at in life, it’s so much easier to be happy. Keep items that bring back good memories; frame a card from a family member, keep useful sentiments that remind you of experiences, invest in a quality journal and write down your daily gratitudes. Doing these simple things each day not only helps you stay mindful, but builds for a happier tomorrow.

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