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Perfectly Imperfect

This past year has not been without it’s challenges.  I went through a heart-wrenching breakup and my dietary self-discipline was touch and go.  The thing that kept me moving towards a positive goal was finally focusing on myself.  What did I need?  What did I want?  Health, yes.  Happiness, of course.  But overall, I wanted to accept myself as I was: perfectly imperfect.

I admire those who lead a strict disciplined life of impeccable health and physique, but I know that is not in my DNA, and that’s ok.  Recently learning from my physician that my metabolic blood tests were within a healthy range despite my being “obese” makes me want to share that it’s possible to reach that healthy balance without being perceived as perfect.  You can lead a healthy lifestyle without making the right choices all the time.

The Smart Ones© message of wiping the slate clean has been a running theme on my blog and it’s one that resonates strongly with me.     Giving in to unhealthy food choices at events, family gatherings, and any sort of environment you find yourself within reach of food temptations doesn’t make you weak.  It makes you human.  If you are able to say no to the extra slice of cake, that’s great!  But in my experience, deprivation of certain foods can lead me down a slippery slope of gluttony.  I’ve learned to take desserts home if I am full, wrap up half of my plate of excessively portioned restaurant food before I start eating, and most importantly I listen to my stomach.

Occasional food slip ups are part of your journey to wellness, and it may be difficult but not impossible to keep from starting at square one.  Schedules get busy and unhealthy food makes it past our lips.  As much as I wish I had the money for a personal trainer and private chef, that’s just not the case.  Try not to let momentary set backs become permanent by realizing that it’s not the end of the world if you aren’t making the best food choices for a day or even weeks.  It may seem impossible if you are in a viscous unhealthy food cycle, but with a little help and inspiration you can get back on track.

Time is not always on my side.

Time is not always on my side.

 

#100happydays

Those who know me are well aware that I adore social media and try my best to use it’s power for good and not evil.  I’ve been hearing bits and pieces of something called #100happydays from friends, but surprisingly there has been no mention of Chachi.

To complete this self awareness challenge you must sign up, then post a photo via your choice of social media of something that represents “happiness” to you for 100 days straight.  All the while making sure to use #100happydays to organize your images.  This was not created to brag, it was created to inspire. I’m on board with that!

The website shares that people successfully completing the challenge claimed to:

 – Start noticing what makes them happy every day;
 – Be in a better mood every day;
 – Start receiving more compliments from other people;
 – Realize how lucky they are to have the life they have;
 – Become more optimistic;
 – Fall in love during the challenge.

 

Today I decided to take on the challenge because:

1. I love taking photos

2. I love sharing on social media

3. I love any reason to focus on happiness

I challenge you all to join me on this journey and sign up for your own #100happydays.  Once the challenge is successfully completed you will get a little 100 page book for free of all your images. Don’t skip a day!

Here is my first #100happydays image.  It’s a post card from a former student worker who is now serving in the Peace Corps teaching in a small fishing village in Cambodia.  She wrote to thank me for my letter of recommendation which helped her get accepted into the program.  My heart swelled with pride when I read it.

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Please follow me on Instagram if you want to learn what makes me happy every day! I will gladly follow you back!

Is This Thing On?

HelloHello It’s time I crawl out from under my offline rock and get back into the blogging hemisphere.  I have much appreciation for those who continue to blog through the valleys of life, and I hope one day to be able to get to that point without turning into an Eeyore type personality.

Now it’s time to brace yourself and read a list of things I’ve learned over the past 6 months.  The bottom line is when someone you unconditionally love takes advantage of your kindness and betrays your trust, I found there are ways to move forward.

1. Trust.

  • Trust yourself.  Trust your instincts.  If you don’t have tangible evidence or proof but something going on in your relationship or your world in general doesn’t feel right, trust in your emotional intelligence. Hopefully you can distinguish control or abandonment issues from gut feelings. Sometimes I can’t until it’s too late and hindsight has become 20/20. But damnit, I am a smart woman. I am determined to trust myself more from this point on.

2. Know.

  • Know that you are stronger than you may think. Know that if you are not happy, you deserve better.  Know that your happiness should come before anyone elses and if someone is directly effecting your own mental health you must not ignore it or sweep it under the rug no matter how often the other person refuses to confront the issue. I do not mean to say you should be a selfish douchenozzle and fail to empathize with others.  I have learned that you won’t be able to get that warm and fuzzy feeling that comes with helping others if you aren’t taking care of your own emotional, physical, and spiritual well being.  It’s been a battle for me, and after 35 years I’ve realized I need to stop preaching and start believing.

3. Feel & Deal.

  • Feel the good, the bad, and the ugly and don’t put a time limit on it .  Years ago a good friend told me that you need to feel the hurt someone inflicted upon you so you never forget how that particular person effected you. I am someone who gives everyone the benefit of the doubt, so this is advice I personally take with a grain of salt as every situation is different.  But I often refer to those words when a person leads me into a gut wrenching wave of hurt. I’m also a type of person who wants to deal with any negative situation fast and furious because my rational side is saying MOVE ON, don’t be a Debbie Downer, while my sensitive side is clearly not listening.  If you are feeling great one day it’s completely understandable to not feel so great the next day.  I’ve had to hear that a few times from my loving friends over the past few months after I showed much frustration over my roller coaster emotions.  I repeat, there is no magic time limit! Ride the emotional wave, call on others for support, and the people who truly care about you will never make you feel like you cannot reach out to them or that your feelings aren’t justified.  If you must be an island but cannot find emotional ease, look to yourself to figure out why you try to do it all on your own instead of leaning on someone, whether it be a professional, family member, clergy, or friend.
  • Deal with the crappy negative emotions now so you can move to the beautiful and positive emotions later. Be patient.  I’m not a patient person when it comes to myself, so this is especially difficult for me to accept.  Deal with it so you can eventually put it behind you and possibly turn your trunks of baggage into a few carry on bags.

4. Cleanse.

  • Cleanse your life of emotional vampires.  There are 5 types of emotional vampires:  Narcissistic, Victim, Controller, Constant talker, and Drama Queen.  I may sound like a drama queen myself, but I recently cleansed my life of a couple of huge emotional vampires.  These types of people are the worst kind of abusers because most don’t see any harm in their actions and there is no physical scarring. There is plenty of psychological damage that can be done though if you are not self aware, careful, and trusting of your own instincts.

5. Forgive.

  • Forgiveness is an act for yourself, not others.  In some cases it’s your “self” that you must learn to forgive!  In all the research I’ve done over the past month in trying to understand if I’ve forgiven a specific person, I’ve come to the conclusion that there is no timeline.  If you feel that you’ve forgiven someone but still get angered at the thought of what happened, you probably have not truly forgiven them and that’s ok!  Forgiveness does not make their actions any less excusable and it does not make you a bad person if you are unable to forgive! There may be specific things you deem unforgivable but true forgiveness cannot be forced. Be genuine with your forgiveness. Find it in your heart to forgive somebody for making a poor decision, or find it in your soul to forgive yourself for making a mistake (during this past relationship I made the mistake of letting my health and goals fall by the wayside, failing to put myself first, which I plan to write about in a future post). You will then find yourself free of any hold the person had on you. Afterwards, you can truly begin to move on.

6. Love.

  • Love yourself, love others, keep loving even after your heart has been smashed into a million pieces.  Love those who appreciate, support, comfort, educate, respect , and are kind.  I’ll never stop loving and falling in love.  It can get quite exhausting after being taken advantage of more than once, but I believe in Karma and in the power of positive thinking.  There are many degrees of love and I think everyone deserves love and happiness, even the emotional vampires.  I’ve learned to be a little more selective to whom I give my love but I will not give up on it’s amazing power. Sometimes you come across a bad seed in a world full of good ones, but don’t let them sour your spirit.

7. Learn.

  • Take your experience and learn from how it all unfolded.  My goal is to take negative heart crushing experiences and grow from every single detail without ending up a bitter old lonely cat lady or changing my trusting and gregarious nature.  I’ve come across the paths of people with many more years on this earth who have a delusional version of reality and truth and may never learn from their mistakes.  On the one hand it makes me sad, on the other hand it’s really none of my concern and I can continue to lead a fulfilling life without their skewed influence. A life I love, and a life I’ll only live once (since I’m unfortunately not a cat) so I might as well make it a happy and healthy life.

love-quotes_3638-3

Focus on the Good.

With the horrible events over the past days in Boston, I find myself struggling between wanting to focus on learning more about the animals that terrorized that great city in order to find out ‘why,’ versus bringing sole focus on the good of mankind and the percentage of Americans who are not out to purposefully kill people.  I think I’ll choose the latter.  I hate giving the terrorist douchnozzles what they want:  Attention.  I feel the social media response has been wonderful by focusing on appreciating the first responders and victims of this tragedy and not losing faith in humanity, while still recognizing the magnitude of such horrible events.

positive1

patton

humanity

Sticking with the theme of focusing on the good, I’ve taken my anger and sadness regarding the Boston events and have been going to the gym.  Sounds shallow right?  Everyone has their way of dealing with tragedy, and right now mine is to focus my energy on something positive: Myself.  The way you choose to focus positively on yourself may be quite different from mine.  Mine just happens to be my health, energy, and self-confidence.

The more I read and think about the bombings, the sadder and angrier I get, which is surely what the terrorists want.  So I choose to be positive.  I choose to turn this negative energy into something good.  (I also chose to send help to the victims of the Boston Marathon Bombing via boston.com.  I chose to donate all I could afford to The One Fund Boston, but there are many other ways to send your assistance.  Please be sure not to get scammed with your online donation!)

Please don’t take this post as “I’m dedicating this workout to Boston” as this dude below did.  I appreciate anyone bringing their thoughts and prayers to the city, but this guy seems to be a bit of an attention whore.   That is not my intent and I will not be lifting my shirt up for the interwebs anytime soon.

workoutboston

I simply want to take this post as a chance to remind myself and others that there are bigger things going on in the world, so negatively focusing on yourself and your imperfections is a huge waste of your time and energy.  This is especially relevant with such a prevalent tragedy currently going on.  We should feel like life is something to appreciate every day, but not all of us do.  I know I don’t.  But today,  I actually enjoyed checking out my legs and glutes in the mirror when I put on my jeans.  They are not slim and slender, but they are strong and shapely, and that is a blessing.  Being healthy and alive is something to be recognized and appreciated.   With each breath I took in Yoga class the other night, I recognized the fact that I could in fact do just that…breath.

Take the time to focus on the good.  Appreciate what a wonderful parent, child, friend, partner, etc. you are to those who love you.  Recognize how well you treat your mind/body/soul.  High five yourself for reorganizing your finances or passing that exam or eating healthy today.  Take 10 minutes to meditate and clear your mind.  If you truly don’t feel there is any good or positive in your life, start with yourself.

Be good to yourself.

Be good to others.

The rest will follow.

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