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Creating a Life…with just Five Things a Day!

words and thoughts from my journey

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Inspiration, Motivation, Thoughts, and Chatter

Feel It, Relish It, Then Let It Go.

       I take pride in being the happy and always optimistic one in the bunch. So much pride that I find myself not allowing myself to feel hurt, feel sad, or to feel angry. But being optimistic doesn’t mean we shouldn’t feel other emotions. Being optimistic means seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, it means knowing fully in your heart that it will be okay, no matter what you’re facing. We need to feel all of our emotions. We need to allow them to process, to run their course, and to pass through us. Each emotion has its purpose. Each part of our mind’s, our heart’s, our soul’s healing. If we skip moving through them the process cannot ever fully complete. Being sad or being angry doesn’t mean I am a downer, it doesn’t mean I’ve lost hope, it’s just what I’m feeling.  Relish each emotion in its moment, feel it deeply in your soul, and then let it go. Let it drift off and away. And as you travel through each emotion, remind yourself, “Everything is temporary. This shall too pass”, and then everything will be okay.

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Sit in your room and scream, let the tears roll  down your face, laugh so hard your stomach hurts, whatever it is, just let it out. And then breathe and be free.

 

Why Decluttering Your Physical Space is Important for Decluttering Your Mind

       This morning I awoke with a cluttered mind, filled with worry and muddled thoughts. I fought to clear my mind, to push all my racing thoughts away. A huge part of me just wanted to stay in bed today. We all have those days, and some of those days it’s best to just stay in bed, today wasn’t one of those. I knew I needed to get up and do something to help organize my thoughts. I’ve found that sometimes the only way we can start to declutter our mind is to declutter our physical space. This creates more breathable space for ourselves, it starts a process of thinking that we need to be in. So I set to work on my shelves, my dresser, and my many stacks of mail and papers. As I moved through each stack of items I found myself becoming calmer, my thoughts slowing down. Maybe it was my refocus or maybe it was the physical activity of clearing through things but it was transforming into a therapy for me. I needed to create space for my creativity to flow and for my mind to find a peaceful spot. An organized space helps us feel more in control, it empties out physical areas of chaos allowing our minds to transform that energy inward. 

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       I was able to make this space mine again and in doing that it presented satisfaction and power back to me. This power gave me the opportunity to take control of my thoughts. I spent the rest of the day sketching, painting, and coloring allowing my emotions to flow out of me through artistry. This helped me remain calm throughout the day, even though I had worries floating in my mind, it gave me time to process my racing thoughts. We can many times find ourselves overwhelmed with thoughts, stress, and worry and we in turn result to ‘stuck mode’, this is how I felt when I woke today. I didn’t know what to do with everything that was on my mind. I needed to find a way to work through it physically and to make myself move. Productivity can be therapeutic. For me today was about clearing space. Since I was struggling to clear my mind, I started by clearing my physical space creating an environment to move forward in. Sometimes we need to start on the outside to work towards inner peace. 

“Clutter is not just the stuff on your floor – It’s anything that stands between you and the life you want to be living.” ~ Peter Walsh

How To Recognize When You’re Doing Too Much

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I found myself on my vacation day in bed sick, stuffy nose, achy, and exhausted. Darn, I had so many plans! I wanted to catch up more on office work, get more forms organized for my Blog, write more Blog posts, finish some paintings for upcoming art shows, start some new paintings, needed to do laundry, had some research topics to tackle, clean and organize my room, post some new items in my Poshmark Closet…the list was forever long (geez I’m tired just typing some of my goals for my vacation day!). Well my day rounded up with me in bed watching Law & Order all day.

I needed to come to the realization that I had worn myself down. Maybe I picked up a virus somewhere too but I had worn myself out with late nights, early mornings, skipped meals, and a go-go-go attitude…and that was really why I was sick. I needed a down day and my body was telling me so, screaming it at me making it very obvious that my focus was to be to rest for the day.

       We all do it, we get so excited,  or so inundated with a super long to-do list that we fall into just go do it and don’t stop until it’s done mode, and then we crash. We find ourselves so drained that we end up out of commission for a bit…and then we are at a stall, a stall in working towards our goals, a delay in life. We want so much out of life and we want to have it all done now that we push ourselves so much that we end up not functioning at all. We keep saying to ourselves “I got this”, and “Just push through” to stay pumped but are we doing too much? So how do we get it all done and not crash? We learn to recognize when we are doing too much, and then we shift, we re-adjust. To name a few, ones that I had to teach myself to be aware of:

  1. If you are finding yourself making silly mistakes – forgetting to turn the coffee pot on or put the K-Cup in the Kuerig before hitting brew, or you are making little slips during the like bad simple math solving or forgetting words frequently – then you are doing too much. Our brain starts having hiccups when it’s over-worked.
  2. If you are waking up in the morning feeling drained then you are doing too much. When I’m super busy I hate getting up in the mornings but when I’m on key I pop out of bed early happy to take on the morning.
  3. If you’re finding yourself having frequent negative thoughts or starting to dislike your daily activities. When you are over-exhausted you start to lose your passion, your drive.
  4. When you’re feeling cranky a lot or catch yourself snapping about things.
  5. When you feel so overwhelmed or so worried about meeting deadlines or completing tasks it’s keeping you awake at night then there’s too much on your mind.

So now what? How do we slow down? Each of us will have our own things, our own habits to put in place, that will work best but here’s my tips:

  • Schedule a lazy day at least once a month. A day with nothing on the schedule, let the day lead you. If it turns out you curl up on the couch and watch a tv marathon then so be it. It’s okay to have days like this, it’s good to have days like this, not every day but a day here and there is healthy. Whether it’s once a week or once a month is going to be up to what works for you. For me I need to have one at least once a month, preferably I like one once every couple of weeks, that’s my balance.
  • Drink water. I know you probably hear this one all time but hydration is sooo important. Water is a healing element, and it happens to be a big part of our natural make-up.
  • Make it a habit to eat regularly, choose healthy and revitalizing foods – good proteins, fruits and vegetables, energizing grains. Keeping your blood sugars level will help you process things better and help you make better decisions. It keeps your energy levels even so you’ll have less dips and spikes throughout the day too.
  • Make sure you do at at least three tasks or activities that bring you joy every day. Keeping your mind happy keeps you motivated and lessens the opportunity of emotional burnout.
  • Stay organized. This not only keeps you accountable and more productive (so you can get more done more efficiently!)  but it also gives you awareness, it gives you an overall look of what all you have going on so you can assess the big picture. After being stuck in bed all day sick I was able to slow down enough to see how much I was doing day by day. I was able to put things into a better perspective and build a (more) reasonable timeline.
  • Listen to your body. I’ve heard this so many times but I’ve finally started following that advice and it makes a difference. When my body is telling me I’m tired, I sleep. When I’m sore or achy, I need to rest my body. When I’m sick, I take time to recuperate. I fight the urge to ‘push through’ by reminding myself it’s better to rest now than crash and have to rest for days to bounce back.

I get wanting to accomplish everything, I really do. I am constantly telling myself not to fret that there is another day, “What doesn’t get done today will either get done another day or sometimes just won’t get done. It’s okay”. I have the kind of to-do list that is a rolling list, it just keeps going. This may sound like a very long list (which it usually is) but I’ve found it’s what works well for me. For me I’m creating an opportunity to keep working on this list, creating the expectation that this is a list that moves with me from day to day instead of having an end of day deadline (I put specific deadlines next to the actual task if need be).

Create a balance between a motivated, calm mindset and a well taken care of and rested body. With the Holiday chaos among us, we all know it can get even crazier but don’t set yourself out to have a burnt out January. Put together routines and set boundaries to protect yourself. Pace yourself to the finish line.

“Life is not a race, it is a marathon.”

Letting Go Of Toxic Judgments (Guest Post)

Today I extend my gratitude for partnership, love, and like minds. This is a post from my dear, fellow, and loving blogger Samantha at www.strivingmommablog.com on acceptance, modeling Mother Teresa’s beliefs, and practicing compassion. We need to understand that everyone walks their own path, everyone has a story, and everyone has their own motivators. Our purpose here is to share love, not to judge. We hold no right to judge. Judgement many times comes from the lack of understanding. Samantha shares her thoughts on judgement and why it is so important to follow Mother Teresa’s words, “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” Without further ado, Samantha’s words: 

I recently started becoming more active on social media lately after a year’s-long hiatus. I knew of drama being a regular occurrence on Facebook, but I hadn’t been prepared for just how much. A lot of people on my Facebook feed—not to mention on the news and in my everyday life—are being hateful and spewing criticisms about anything and everything. It has really made me take notice of how often I’m judging others, and I’ve come to a conclusion: I have to start letting go of my judgments and personal biases.

Let Go of Toxic Judgments.

I understand completely that differences in opinions or lifestyles can be annoying or even angering. I really do. Sometimes I have a strong urge to tell someone they’re an idiot for believing what they believe. But instead of doing that, I take a moment to tell myself that I’m the one in the wrong. I am the idiot for thinking that. In moments like these, I know I need to take Mother Teresa’s stance: I can’t love others if I judge them.

Maybe I do disagree completely with someone’s beliefs. Maybe we don’t see eye to eye on things, and never will. However, that doesn’t give me the right to judge or condemn them. If I do that, I’m guilty of bigotry, and that isn’t acceptable to me. In my opinion, every person has a duty to be accepting and tolerant of others’ opinions. Even if someone is hateful and rude, I still need to be respectful, because if I’m not…what makes me any better than them?

If you’re respectful and loving rather than judgmental, you’ll be able to gain insight and understanding. You may even form new opinions or beliefs.  You may also stand by your original opinion. However, no matter your personal, political, or religious beliefs, it’s your duty as a human being to love others. You can’t love someone and be judgmental of them at the same time. That isn’t to say you can’t disagree with them; it only means you have to be respectful in your disagreements. Because really, holding on to hateful judgments doesn’t just hurt the other person, it hurts you. Let go of toxic judgments and instead love your fellow humans, regardless of their beliefs.

“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”   -Mother Teresa

Hear more of Samantha’s thoughts on everyday life at www.strivingmommablog.com or visit her at www.pinterest.com/strivingmomma or at Twitter @StrivingMomma.

I want to thank Samantha for sharing her lesson and her thoughts on this matter. Judgement has become a very sensitive thing in our world and we many times use it as a weapon. The thing about judgement is that it’s like a drug. We may feel at first high and almighty but in truth by being judgmental it’s tearing down our own character. By having this point of view we are not allowing ourselves to be our authentic true selves and give the love we are meant to give, we are not allowing our light of truth to shine. Open your heart, practice understanding through love, and share compassion with yourself and with others. 

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Reflect On How Far You’ve Come

It’s easy to get caught up looking only at the end goal and not the progress. We need to remember that sometimes the journey is what really matters.

Some nights I lay in bed and think of all the things I want out of life, all the dreams and goals I have yet to master, and all the lessons I still must learn. As I continue to think, I start to remind myself how far I’ve come, how much I’ve grown and evolved. It gives me confidence and it gives me courage to not ever give up. I look at old posts and I remember how I used to be and how different I am today. I am still the same plant but one that has bloomed into a beautiful being. How through focus and practice I have been able to retrain my mind. How I’ve survived trials, sadness, and pain to grow into a strong, inspired woman. I’ve changed my doubts and fears into beliefs and success, I’ve let go of anger to cleanse my soul, I’ve risen every time I’ve fallen to become my own super hero. Many things still lay ahead of me yet but I am not where I used to be and that puts me so much closer to who I want to be, to who I will be.

The journey is what holds the moments that are so special and dear to us and the moments we will never forget.

I am not at the top of the mountain yet but I’m much further than I used to be.

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The next time you are feeling less than what you aspire to be, flashback and remind yourself of how far you’ve come. Look down and see how high you’ve climbed.

I Didn’t Want To Vote But I Did

usa-1327105_1280Typically my posts are filled with positivity and glory but today I share my concerns in this electoral campaign that I’ve heard many of you share. I want you to know that even though I strive on the happiness of our lives and the silver linings in all challenges I too still worry and that you are not alone in your thoughts. 

In past years I left the polls feeling confident, feeling proud to have this great opportunity. This year was a different feeling, this year I left feeling remorseful, saddened by the great negativity this election campaign brought with it. I left feeling I was forced to choose the lesser evil, that I had been cornered. 

This was a tough election year, a campaign rough on all of us. At the polls people commented that this was the nastiest election they’ve ever seen and that they were glad it was almost over. It saddens me that this is what our process to choose our nation’s leader has become.

Our election campaigns shouldn’t be filled with hate and judgement, they should carry words of hope and inspiration for positive changes.

This election brought anger, life threats, vandalism, and even divorce and broken friendships to our nation. During the course of the campaign I heard many say they didn’t want to vote, they were discouraged too.

The thing that deepens my sadness in this is that we cannot put all the blame on the candidates. The candidates didn’t send the hate mail, the candidates didn’t turn their backs on friends and family, even though their debates didn’t show us an example not to, this was us as a nation that allowed the disagreement to divide us.  In the end, we, the people, made these choices, we allowed the aggression and the batter to exist. We’ve allowed this situation to get where it is.

In the poll booth I felt the despair fill in my chest. I didn’t like the corner I was in. The truth is I don’t feel confident about either candidate fully either, they each have their strengths and they each have their major downfalls. But I knew I had to make a choice today…so I tried to make my best judgement out of who I had been offered and I hit the green vote button. Then I carried my remorse out with me and prayed for the best.

Even though this has been tough on all of us please remember that we can make it through this but also use this as a lesson. We cannot allow politics to be our demise, to change how we treat people and how we love so please be kind today and every day after and remember it is okay to agree to disagree. 

 

Practicing Self-Care & A Self-Care Challenge

“You cannot pour from an empty cup, take care of yourself first.”

Recently I started a Self-Care Challenge on www.JaneTravis.com. Working through the Self-Care Challenge got me thinking about where I am in life and what I want to achieve, it has helped me refocus my efforts to be more in channel with my goals. This challenge has been helping me become more aware of what I need and what I truly want out of life, what is my purpose in life, what am I set forth to do.

I started a blog several years ago and I would go in and out of keeping up with it. My goal for my blog was to tell a story of motivation and to inspire others but after having a recent revelation I learned that I would fall out of blogging when I wasn’t taking care of myself and fell on stressful times. When I’m not making myself a priority and practicing self-care I couldn’t lead others, if I couldn’t motivate myself how could I be an inspiration. I started my self-discovery journey quite some time ago but in the last week I have felt more awake and confident than I ever have. When we can look at ourselves with eyes wide open then we can see much more of the world around us as well. I am still only eleven days into the challenge but I am very much motivated to keep going. I still get stressed and to be honest this past week has been one of my busiest weeks in the last month but I’m moving forward and that feels awesome. Since I have started the challenge I have planned out my editorial calendar for my blog through 2017, reached out to build a network of guest bloggers to feature in my blog, set up goals and plans to reach those goals with my blog, implemented organizational strategies to keep myself on plan, grown my followers by 25 people and have three pieces of artwork in two upcoming shows. It is an invigorating feeling going through this process, like breaking out of cocoon into this beautiful world.

Self-care and self-development are such important keys to our evolution and to our journey. Without taking care of ourselves we cannot tap into our true creativity and into the deep meanings of our lives.

This may be a shameless plug in some eyes but I must share this great place I’ve found to be. Check out Jane at www.JaneTravis.com The Self-Care challenge has been a simple program to follow and has fit into my daily routines almost seamlessly. She sends a daily email with a task and she offers a membership to a wonderful support group on Facebook to connect with like minds. ❤

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A Page from my self-care journal. Identifying my needs to thrive. 

What To Do When You’re Feeling Down

We all have those days, the days that we just can’t quite feel enough, or maybe you’re just so emotionally or physically drained that you just can’t take anything else on. It’s okay to have these days, it’s natural to have these days…these are signs that we need to take some time to rejuvenate, to refresh our spirits. Take the time and do something that will uplift your spirits. 

  1. Read – Immerse yourself into a fantasy. Take a vacation from reality and dream. This can release your mind from the things troubling you. A relaxed mind can handle the challenges you are facing must easier than a tense mind.
  2. Take a Hot Bath – Allow your body and your mind to relax. Add essential oils to help alleviate your stress.
  3. Light a Candle or a fresh Incense – Certain scents have been proving to have positive effects on our moods. I love Dragonsblood and it is said to dispel negativity.
  4. Write – Let it out, whether you write in story form or into your journal, writing can help you let go of the bad feelings you have inside of you.
  5. Take a Walk or Go for a Run – Exercise releases endorphins which will improve your mood and respond to stress better.
  6.  Meditate – Meditation has proven to have several benefits including clearing your mind, calming the body, and overall helping you feel better.
  7. Take a Nap – Sometimes you just need to sleep it off. If I am feeling particularly stressed or sad I find that a nap can be my best medicine. It slows me down and takes me away from the world for bit to work through things.
  8. Spend Time With Friends – Go seek time with your support group, talk it out or  just have a good laugh.
  9. Watch a Movie – It may seem silly because it is usually a made up story but sometimes the best inspiration or idea to solve a problem can be found in the most unusual places. Or a good comedy can get you laughing, or a scary movie can make you forget your worries. It’s a great chill activity.
  10. Call Your Mom (or Your Dad… or Grandparents…) – Call a family member, let them remind you that your loved. Let them share their wisdom with you. This can be a safe place to talk or to cry if you need to. I always feel better after chatting with my mom.

Whatever it may be, when you’re having a rough day, find something to make you smile. A smile can give you all the strength you need to keep going. 

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Awaken To Your Calling

“If something is tugging at your soul so hard that it keeps you up at night then it is no longer a dream, it is a calling.”

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“Awaken” – Paintings by LAR

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