Using Your Values to Find Yourself

Finding what’s lost or stolen increases in difficulty when you don’t know where to look. It becomes even more difficult if you’re in desperate rush to find it. You retrace your steps and look under the pile of clothes 4 times. On the fifth look, you notice that your shirt doesn’t quite sit right, indicating that something lies beneath it. Bada bing, bada boom, you’ve found what you’re looking for.

I imagine that the search to find yourself is similar. However, finding yourself goes beyond knowing where to look, you may not know what you’re looking for.

Wouldn’t be easier if the search to find yourself was more like the hot and cold game. As you searched, something is there to let you know that you’re getting warmer or colder.

“Guess what.”

“What?” you say because we’re like besties and you’re totally into this game.

“I’m getting ready to tell the thing that will let you know when you’re getting warmer or colder on your search to find yourself.”

“Wouldn’t it have made more sense just to tell me the thing instead of telling me that you’re about to tell me about it?”

“Hey, hey, hey, I’m asking the questions here.”

Your Values 

Values are your principles of behavior. They help you to sort what’s important from what’s not. They’re also your guidepost to find congruence in your thoughts, words, and actions. Examples of values include:

Authenticity

Sympathy

Excellence

Understanding your values helps you to find yourself because they represent your fundamental beliefs. Because you decide what is important to you, values are always personal, and unique to your life and your story. 

Uncovering Your Values

A good place to look for your values is in those extremely emotional times in your life. I’m talking about both the good and bad moments.

Take a moment to think about a time that you were happy. What were you doing? Who were you doing it with? What values (at least 3 values) were you displaying?

For me the answer to that question would look like this:

I was really happy when I finished a short story about a girl with a screwed up view of sex. Though I wrote the story alone, I shared it with my husband and sister. I displayed self-expression, discipline, and social consciousness.

Now write the inverse.

Take a moment to think about a time you were really sad or angry. What were you doing? Who were you doing it with? What values (at least 3 values) were you displaying?

For me the answer to that question would look like this.

I was angry with myself after I snooped through my husband’s phone. I did it alone for obvious reasons. I displayed dishonesty, distrust, and manipulation.

Wow that was hard to admit but it’s da truth. Be honest with yourself when you’re writing this stuff down.

Now you should have a small list of the values you want to keep and the values you want to change. Before we move forward turn your negative values into it opposite.

For me it would look like this:

Dishonesty ———– Honesty

Distrust ———– Trust

Manipulation ———– Authenticity

It’s important to change the negative to the positive because you want to focus more on what you want to have in your life than on what you don’t want to have. I’ll explore this topic some other time.

Take Action

Think about your everyday life, are there times when you aren’t exemplifying your values. What can you do to change that? How can you add more value-based activities to your life?

Now, I want to stop for a second to make sure that you’re doing more than just reading this post. If you haven’t already, try the exercise. You may think that you’ll get to it later but later never comes. It will only take a second. Knowledge without action is useless.

What values do you have/ what values did you uncover? How do those values signify who you are?

Finding Yourself? 2 steps to get you started.

There are many benefits to living a more authentic life, chief among them is happiness. When what you do is aligned with who you are, there is where you’ll find your bliss.

You get into a stage of needing to find yourself after years of not being true to who you are. You’ve gotten so good at covering up who you are that you can no longer reach yourself. It’s like now you have to go in and dig yourself out of all of the rubble and debris – the lies, insecurities, fear and doubt.

It won’t be easy but if you take deliberate steps toward you can get there (or anywhere you want for that matter).

To get started on your journey, here are two preliminary steps to finding yourself.

1) Stop trying to be perfect

A big obstacle to being yourself is eliminating your need to be perfect. While you’re trying to live up to the unreasonable expectation of perfection, you end up disguising everything about yourself. Because your true self isn’t perfect; your true self makes mistakes. It’s just a part of being human.

Perfection also has a nasty way of paralyzing people. There may be something that you’ve always wanted to try but you won’t give yourself a chance because if you can’t be perfect at it, why should you even try.

2) Write a diary or make a video diary

There are so many benefits to having a diary:

  • To chronicle your life
  • To have something to leave to your love ones
  • As a reminder to be grateful.

But in regards to finding yourself, it helps you start a conversation with yourself. When you write or record your thoughts and actions, you see your life for what it is. One of the reasons that you may not know how you feel or who you are may be because you haven’t put it in words yet. There’s a quote that says, “An undefined problem has infinite solutions.” How can you get to your answer if there are infinite solutions?

Journaling can help you get some definitions. You can no longer hide from yourself. You get to stand before yourself everyday and tell it like it is.

Last piece of advice: Take things one moment, one step, one day at a time. When you try to cram it all in, you just burn out. So if you can’t write in your journal everyday, find a time that works best for you.

My Story

I know I said “you” quite a bit like none of this applies to me. Well, I’m not above any of it. I spent an incredible amount of time worrying about what others thought about me, which hindered me from being myself. It’s one of the reasons it took me so long to get into blogging as well as live video streaming because I felt that maybe I should have a job that would give me a plaque to hang on my wall. People might judge me.

I have to be very deliberate when making decisions to make sure that I’m deciding from a place of sincerity and authenticity. It’s one of the reasons I just began live streaming on Facebook Live. I’ve always wanted to make videos, but couldn’t find the courage to do it. So I made a decision to get over myself and just do it and though I was nervous. I think it turn out ok.

I will be doing a Facebook Live Post every Tuesday, meaning I will have live post up tomorrow if you’re interested. Check out my last post below.

If you want more of this go ahead and subscribe to the live feed. You can do that by clicking the little arrow down button to turn on the notifications.

If you’re looking for yourself, what is standing in your way? If you confident in the person that you are, how did you get there?

Don’t Hurt Yourself.

There were times in life when I felt that each morning I started my day by walking into the bathroom with a gun aimed at my reflection. I’d pull the trigger, and my reflection would break into a million pieces, each piece containing a little reflection of me. They would cover the ground until I swept it away.

It was dramatic as I’m sure you can see, and I didn’t even mention the soundtrack: nothing but the violin… that plays itself… no one to love it.

It’s not as if the image in the mirror was the problem. Even when I was far from confident, I was a little vain.

My soul (which is located somewhere behind my eyes) was the problem. She stared back at me with such longing and desires to actualize. She reminded me of all the things I wanted for myself and was insufferably cheesy. She would take to saying things like, “But we can do anything we put our minds to,” and “You’re special; you really are.”

“Shut up. Just STFU,” I would say. I was kinda abusive to my soul back then. I don’t think I would ever treat anyone else the way I was treated her.

I wanted to believe her, but I think our souls are immune to the pressures of society. She could never understand what it felt like to fail and have everyone watching.

Despite the way I treated my soul, I desperately wanted to feel comfortable in my skin. So I made a bargain with myself: I would earn the right to be myself by building up a strong foundation on people pleasing. If people liked me enough, I could do whatever I wanted without worry of retribution.

Needless to say, I was wrong about that.

Did you know that there are people out there who are unapologetically themselves, all the time, REGARDLESS OF WHAT PEOPLE THINK? I wanted that. I needed that.

So I decided to confront the girl in the mirror. And of course, she had her arms wide open to receive me, a welcoming smile on her face, her stupid smiling face. It was the smile that broke me down in the end. As I cried and thrashed about, she held me.

She showed me how I’d been working against myself for so long. She taught that I had the ultimate say in the course of my life and that I would never achieve anything as long as I was in my own way.

You get in your own way when…

  1. You have goals but find yourself doing everything but tackling them.
  2. You beat yourself up.
  3. You think negatively about yourself.

 

None of those things will serve you. All of those things will obscure your path.

I can confidently say that today I’m a more comfortable in my skin than I’ve ever been, and it’s all thanks to a few soul lessons.

200

  1. Find yourself. If you’re getting in your own way, it’s probably because you don’t know who you are, or you forgot somewhere along the way. The confident you is buried under all that insecurity. Start looking at your insecurities as something separate from you because guess what: insecurities are separate from you. They are something you possess not who you are.
  2. Treat yourself with respect. It’s pretty sad how badly we treat ourselves. Yes, it’s good to be honest with yourself, but you shouldn’t beat yourself until you’re paralyzed. And beating yourself up is paralyzing. It scares you into never wanting to feel such shame again.
  3. Be present. Looking too far ahead can also be paralyzing. You see the destination as so far ahead of you that you wonder if it’s worth the effort of trying. I know that this is hard to understand, but you CAN NOT predict the future. I’m sorry to break it to you. All you can do is live in this moment. You neither exist in the past nor the future. You are now. You can only exist in the present.
  4. Realize that you’re untouchable. You have complete say of what you allow into your system. You control the way everything impacts you. When you are feeling ashamed, it’s not because someone is making you feel ashamed. It’s because you are making yourself feel that way.
  5. Don’t quit, cuz this process is not for the weak at heart. You have to be willing to get it wrong sometimes and still get back up to try again. Because you’re gonna get it wrong… A LOT. Accept it and get back up.

Lastly, don’t forget, you can do anything that you put your mind to, and you’re special; you really are.

 


I originally posted this piece as a guest post at the WishingWellBlog.com, in a post called  Working Against Yourself. Enjoy 🙂

 

Changes, Curious Collaborators, and Chatting

Hey everybody. After some deliberations, I’ve decided to change my posting schedule here on the Curious Queendom. It’s experimental, as I’m trying out some new tactics, but I’ve decided to post once a week, on Mondays. It was a hard decision because I love posting twice a week, but I’m trying to make room for something very exciting. I also wanted to give myself time to create high quality posts.

To foment this new change, I started this Monday. Check out my Monday post: Why You’re Burning Out.


I also wanted to take a moment to thank Mia from Okaay Then for giving such an amazing interview. It was loads of fun to write and a great learning experience for me. Together we unlocked the mysteries of fierceness in Finding the Courage to be Fierce. If you haven’t checked out the post yet, please do! And please go follow her and read all of her stuff while you’re at it.

As a token of my appreciation, I hereby pronounce Mia, of house Okaay then, a Curious Collaborator (heehee).

Queen Mia

Happy Monday, everybody. I can’t wait to see what’s in store 🙂

Why You’re Burning Out: Take Care of Yourself First

This is important. It is one of the most important things I’ve ever learned: You cannot skimp on the necessities. In the past, when I tried to get deep into a new change in my life, I would start to neglect some of my necessities under the pretense that I was working hard. I thought that losing sleep and not eating was a sign of dedication – it’s not. The truth is that there is enough time in the day to get work done and take care of you. And, in the end, you’ll get every second back.

 
When it comes to the necessities, everything I fail to do creates a lack. It’s not as if I could choose not to sleep and that’s the end of it. For all the time I miss on getting that good sleep, I get a minus hanging over my head. This negative number is so negative that it starts to inflict its negativity on everything else I do. If I’m trying to write an article while I’m sleepy for instance (ahem), it will take me a great deal longer to complete that article than if I were rested – not to mention the tax it collects on creativity.

 
Or let’s say I stink, and I need to be in public for whatever reason – like grocery shopping. Instead of being focused on the task at hand, I am worried about the stench from my pits. This diverted attention makes it near impossible not to rush out of there, leaving behind one thing or another. And… And… Confidence takes some real hits here and when is there ever a good time to be low on confidence.

 
While you’re out in the world exhausted, stinky, and hungry, you are making yourself the breeding grounds for disease, unhappiness, and stress. To make it worse, you have all the tools you need to take care of yourself. It’s like having the best construction crew begging to build your house but deciding to build it by yourself with a glue gun and cardboard boxes. You may get the job done, and the house might stand for a good couple of days, but when it rains, that house will come crashing down on top of your head. And you will die… maybe.

 
I can say these things so confidently because I’ve fallen into this trap so many times. It took me a while to see the light. After a lot of trial and error, I know what I need to maximize my potential.

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1. Sleep. I am a completely different person when I don’t get enough sleep. I like to get about 6-8 hours of the stuff. Every (good) health professional in the world will tell you the importance of good sleep and the many benefits. Sleep improves memory, lowers stress and depression, and increases your ability to learn. Imagine losing out on all of these benefits while you’re trying to get work done. It just doesn’t make sense.

 
2. Healthy food at regular intervals. Food is my fuel. I need it just to get my wheels turning. If you’re like me (meaning you don’t have someone to cook for you nor can you afford to go out every night) the decision about what ends up on the table starts at the grocery store. The next piece is working up the motivation to cook said food – another day my friend.

 

 

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3. Physical Fitness. Physical fitness has a particular importance in my life. It could be due to my time in the military, where being physically fit was a requirement for keeping my job. Working out gives me more energy, makes me feel strong, and makes me feel happy. There has never been a time that working out left me feeling regret, maybe a little soreness, and the sweaty feeling of victory.

 
4. Time for Hygiene. If I feel grimy, I can’t confidently attack my day. Brushing my teeth, taking a shower, these things are necessary. They keep me on my grind and out of the doctor’s/dentist’s office.

 
5. Play TIME! Playtime, for me, is vital. I need time to get away and reap the benefits of my hard work. For me, playtime can be playing video games, reading a book, or watching a good TV show – just something to help me relax or spark creativity. When I don’t have time for fun, it just makes me wonder what I’m living life for. I don’t think I could call my life successful if I didn’t have fun.

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6. Socializing. When it comes to chitchat, no one enjoys it more than me. Okay, maybe someone likes it more, but I find that hard to believe. It keeps me feeling connected. It also opens up my mind. Most of the things I write about are the result of lengthy (sometimes heated) conversations with the people in my life. Conversation helps me understand myself and gives me a way to contribute to the lives of the people around me.

 

7. …And direction. If I don’t know what I’m going to do for the day, it’s doomed from the start. A part of providing myself with direction is recognizing that I have basic needs and adding them into my schedule.

 
Now if you’re looking at this list of things and thinking about how many hours these things subtract from time for productivity, cut it out right now. Let’s crunch some numbers.
Weekly Schedule: 168 hours
Weekly Time AllotmentSleep – an average of 7 hours of sleep a night: 49

Food – Three meals a day, 45 mins each: 15 hours and 45 mins
Workout – 5 days a week for 1 hour each: 5 hours
Hygiene for 1 hour a day: 7 hours
Play Time – every day for 1 hour: 7 hours
Socializing – every day for 1 hour: 7 hours
Planning for the week 1 hour a week: 1

Total: about 92 Hours
Time remaining to work: about 76 hours

Ask yourself do you work more than 76 hours a week. The answer is probably no! Even if you’re looking at this list and thinking about all of the things that are unaccounted for, like travel and paying bills and other unexpected time consumers. If all of those things take, I don’t know, 20 hours a week, you still have 56 hours available for work.

 
So just do it. Take care of yourself. Start getting rid of all those negative numbers hanging over your head that keep you from living a balanced life. Start reaping the benefits from feeling good all the time.

Finding the Courage to be Fierce [Interview with Mia]

Sometimes when I’m just sitting down, minding my own business, I feel something in the room shift. It’s unexplainable. I lift my head to locate the cause of the disturbance, and that’s when I see her.

I try to put my finger on what about her commands attention. She’s beautiful, but there are many beautiful women in this room. She has a nice voice, but I only know that because I’m nearly falling out of my chair to hear her words.

As I try to both understand what I’m witnessing and simmer down (quit embarrassing yo’self girl), I realize that I’ve had these feeling before with a woman I’ve never seen in person: Mia from Okaaythen

Mia has been running her lifestyle blog since September 2012.  Some of my favorite posts from Okaaythen include:

My Kimono Collection

Things You Definitely Shouldn’t Do At a Funeral

Welcoming Spring: Playlist and To-do list.

It’s hard to display fierceness in person, so I’m amazed by how Mia does it with words. I will never forget the time she told me specifically (in a public post),

“… be a tiger. Be an elegant, scary-ass motherfucking tiger.”

 That piece of sage wisdom has stuck with me. In times of insecurity, I try to summon my inner tiger but still I have a long way to go.

To help me unlock the mysteries of fierceness, I thought it best to seek help from an expert. I don’t normally do Q and A style blog posts, but I didn’t know how to convey this message any other way. If you know what’s best for you, you will read her answers thoroughly. So here is my Interview with Mia.

Free. Fun. Fearless.

 S.Y.: To me, being fierce is grabbing life by the horns and making the most of it; you to embody that. How do you bravely approach new obstacles?

Mia: I am most definitely a bigger picture kind of girl. Whenever I face any kind of obstacle, I always use my mental touchstones as a reminder to suck it up and keep on keepin’ on. For me, there are two; one is a dream of my life. I like to have loose plans so that I always have something to work towards and something to fall back on.

However, some of the biggest obstacles in life are emotional and for that my touchstone is something different; my aunt Janet – a woman that I idolise probably way too much. At this point, I guess she’s less a person than the personification of all my ideals because, to me, that woman is the embodiment of what I consider perfection. Elegance, kindness, intelligence, humour, beauty, grace, creativity, passion . . .

If there is a God out there and I got a chance to meet him, other than being very confused, the first thing I would say is “thank you for blessing me with such an amazing family”. Because as I get older I see how my friends behave, what they aspire to be like – and I am so grateful that’s not me. So, if I ever have obstacles, I picture Janet and all the things I want to be – and I picture myself being that person for someone else. It’s an image that pushes me to better myself and face that obstacle, because I owe all I am to the amazing rolemodels in my life and I want to be able to look at myself and say – yeah; I’m a brilliant person for others to look up to.

S.Y.: What Is being fierce to you?

Mia: Okay, so first off I loved your description. To me, the word fierce is always one I associated with my sassy black women. Not that being fierce is limited to by race; my first experience of fierce women came first and foremost from my family. As I come from a Caribbean family, I have always been around strong black women. Women who wear dreads in their hair even though the they’ve lived/live in a world where people try to push their own beauty ideals on them – which, let’s face it, generally aren’t ethnic. Women who will happily sing and dance, even in places where everyone will look down on their music.

My first taste of real fierce women was from the ones that I believe represent and own the word because, in a world that’s constantly trying to minoritise and change them in ways that I haven’t even been around long enough to see, they still shine bright and shine true to who they are. They don’t back down, they don’t conform and they don’t apologise. And by that description you may think they’re outspoken or brash – but you couldn’t be more wrong. Most of them are artists or musicians, the most easy-going and relaxed people you’ll ever meet. They’re fun and individual, but welcoming and loving. They aren’t the annoying people in pubs or bars that you want to roll your eyes at, they’re the ones that will move out of your way before you open your mouth to ask and buy you a round if you look down.

The women in my family embody elegance and intelligence, creativity and free thought, true beauty and tenacity – but they’re the ones that will happily divorce their husbands and live on their own as a pose to tolerating disrespect or unhappiness. Who will take no shit – and make damn sure that people don’t lay it on you too. They are the reason I don’t base my worth on what’s in the mirror, that I don’t let people treat me in any way other than I deserve to be treated and they are the reason that I do not ever feel the need to hide behind a fake mask of myself. Women like this – these amazing, strong, beautiful women that I have been blessed to be surrounded with – women like this are the reason that I am “fierce”. They are the reason that when I look in the mirror I see somebody I am proud of, not because of my face but because of my values and my mindset, because of the things that they taught me.

To me, being fierce is being true, it’s accepting and loving everything about what makes you you and allowing it to show. Being fierce is being real, it’s being beautiful in the most sacred meaning of the word, embracing and shrugging off your flaws because perfection isn’t something to strive for – happiness is. To me, being fierce is being happy, being free, being everything you want to be.

 

S.Y.: I believe that owning your style takes bravery. It’s easy to simply follow trends. Does conformity hinder fierceness?

Mia: I really think that depends; while fashion can be a way to express yourself (I know it is for me!) it’s not a be all-end all; some people simply don’t care enough about clothes to bother with things off the basic styles – and that’s cool. I think fashion is a brilliant way to show your creativity and your identity, but that everyone shows their fierceness differently. I think conformity that steals individuality hinders fierceness because it holds back any sense of self, but I wouldn’t say that going with the flow makes you any less fierce.  Some people like to be trendy.

 

S.Y.: Some things that have stopped me from being fierce a are 1) worrying about what others think and 2) feeling vulnerable. Do these things ever cross your mind? If so, how did you overcome them?

Mia: All the time! But then I remember that it’s people that voted Hitler into power; people that commit mass genocide; people are swayed by the media to change what they consider “beautiful” every decade or so; people that somehow find superiority in brands and sizes – and then I realise that worrying about “people” and their opinions is a massive waste of fucking time and I live my life in a way that makes me feel good about what I’m doing.

 

This post was written in collaboration with Mia at Okaaythen. Consider yourself lucky to have read it because it probably would have been one of the many literary pieces Hitler burnt.

 

For more existential crises, check her out here:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/okaaythenb

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/youmustbehighxo/?ref=bookmarks

Bloglovin’: https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/okaaythen-5651885

Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/mjmiddleditch36/

Mantras: 2 Methods to Create Your Personal Slogan

My initial thoughts on mantras, affirmations, and the like.

If you would’ve asked me a year ago, what kind of person buys into personal affirmations, I would’ve said something snarky and probably offensive. Something about saying a string of positive adjectives/adverbs turned me off.

“I am healthy, wealthy, and strong.”

“I am beautiful, bright, and brilliant.”

It seemed to me that if someone had to say this to her or himself, it was probably a lie. Who are they trying to fool? If they truly lived up to the words they said, they wouldn’t need to convince themselves every day.

I was fool back then. A fool, I tell you.

When optimized, mantras are more than a string of positive descriptive words. Mantras are like little fairy helpers that come in your time of need. You can use mantras as a reminder to:

  • Stay sea-dawn-sky-sunsetpresent
  • Stay positive
  • Assert yourself
  • Believe in yourself or whatever…

The possibilities are boundless.


Why You Should Create a Your Personal Mantra

It’s your spiritual, mental, and emotional alarm clock. If you have obligations in the morning, you probably use an alarm clock to help you get up on time. You could try to get lucky every morning and hope for the best, but you’re smarter than that. It’s not worth it to be late for school, work, or spin class. Mantras have the same impact on your spiritual, mental and emotional health. Instead of hoping that you remember to stay positive throughout your day, you are taking it into your own hands.

 You train yourself to be positive. When you make a habit of combating negative thoughts with positive ones through the use of mantras, one day positive thinking will be your default mode. One day, you’ll look up, and you’ll notice that you stayed positive that entire day.

Thoughts, words, and actions reinforce another. You’ve probably heard the infamous quote,

“Your beliefs become your thoughts,

Your thoughts become your words,

Your words become your actions,

Your actions become your habits,

Your habits become your values,

Your values become your destiny.”

If you think terrible things about yourself, you will act in a way that reinforces that idea – the definition of a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you want to see great things happen in your life, you have to believe that you can have great things in your life. Once you believe it, take it a step forward and start behaving like you deserve greatness.

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 2 Methods to Create Your Mantra (You could always do both) 

1) Focus on areas you want to improve.

 Make a list of the areas of your life where you have fallen short. Unfortunately, it’s usually very easy to make this kind of list. Not because you’ve fallen short so many times but because mistakes tend to stay with people a little longer than successes but I digress…

For instance, you may want to….

…Work out more

…Become more fiscally responsible.

…Be more organized.

Once you’ve picked an area (or multiple areas) you want to change, change your statement into an affirmation that you have made that change.

By doing this, your mantra could look something like this:

“I am organized.”

Now we’re going to get deeper.

Develop a deeper connection with the changes you want to make. Ask yourself:

  • Why do you want to make this change?
  • What will this change bring into your life?
  • What is the proof that you’ve made the change?
  • What are the consequences of not making this change?

For you, being organized could mean

  • Being more focused and having a clearer mind.
  • It could mean cleaning up the filth in your life. It could mean freedom from clutter.
  • You know that you’ve made this change when there aren’t any dishes in your sink before you go to bed.
  • If you don’t make this change, you could continue to be late to everything because you never remember where you put your keys, you could continue to get sick due to a lack of cleanliness.

By making a deeper connection to the changes you want to make, your mantra could look like this.

“I am focused and of clear mind. I am healthy and live a clean life. I am organized. “

2) Focus on your values.

 Make a list of your values. Values are your principles of behavior. They help you to sort what’s important to you. Don’t be afraid to include values that you don’t currently embody. If you want to be organized but your house looks like a tornado hit, go-ahead and write organized on your list. To help you get started here’s a list of values.

Accuracy, Adventurousness, Altruism, Authenticity, Balance

Bravery, Commitment, Competitiveness, Devotion, Discipline

Excellence, Humor, Intelligence, Intuition, Joy, Justice

Sympathy, Versatility

Right now, your mantra may look like this:

“I am authentic.”

“I am adventurous.”

“I am brave. “

That’s good, but we’re going to get deeper.

Develop a deeper connection with your values. Words are just words until you give them meaning. For instance, you may value “authenticity” but…

…What does this value mean to you?

…How do you demonstrate this value?

…Why is this value important to you?

…What are the consequences of not living up to your value?

For you, being authentic could mean

  • Being honest, expressing yourself, laughing loud, and shaking off mistakes.
  • You may admire authenticity because you despise fakeness.
  • Living life as anything other than authentic is to live a hollow shell of a life.

By digging deeper into your values, your mantra may look like this:

I live a full and vibrant life. I express myself with confidence and conviction. I am honest with others and make room for them to be honest with me. I am authentic. 

The importance of having a deep connection to your mantra.

Because of the time you spent to make a deeper connection to your mantra, your mantra is now more than words. It sparks a vivid visual of the things you want in your life. You are aware of why you want the things you want and what your life will be like without them. Most importantly, you see yourself as someone who can whatever it is you want in your life.

Now, what’s your mantra? How does it help you? Let me know in the comments

A Superb Few Weeks: Guest Posts, Twitter, and Curious Collaborator Inductions.

 

I’m on a bit of a roll these days. It seems like the universe is conspiring to help me achieve my goals. I had the honor of guest posting over at B.G’s Blog: Read an excerpt below.

I’m going to go on a limb and assume that you know that it’s good to be afraid of jumping into a shark tank that is full of hungry sharks and you don’t know how to swim.

I want to talk about the fears that keep you at night. These fear aren’t a matter of life and death but can and will impact the course of your life. The kind of fears that….

… stopped you from doing something that you wanted to do.
… hinder you from having meaningful relationships.
… has made it impossible for you to become your beautiful self.

There is little room for these fears in a life lived to it’s fullest potential, and I believe that everyone can reach her/his fullest potential. You don’t have to be the rich or have an Ivy League education. And, your journey does not have to look like anyone else’s. You have the power to design your life.

Unfortunately, you cannot harness your……

Read the rest here….

 


So if you haven’t noticed, I created a new page on blog called Curious Collaborators. It’s kind of a big deal… well, at least to me. In the Curious Collaborators page, you will find all the people I’ve ever collaborated with. These ladies (a coincidence) are some of my favorite bloggers, I felt like I was graveling before them when I asked for them to work with me. It feels so good to get to work with people I truly admire. And this week, I added a new lady (yes, still a coincidence) to the Curious Collaborators. A huge thank you to Daisy at Daisy in the Willows.

 

Queen Daisy

If you follow her, you’d understand how awesome of an opportunity it was to work with her.  She is beastly. Her journey is inspiring and raw and you can read all about it our post: Finding the Courage to Be Open. 

 


Twitter, my love, where was I before I met you…

My social media presence has increased a great deal the last few weeks – especially on Twitter. Twitter just gets me. I enjoy forming stories in 140 characters or less, interacting with people on the Twittersphere, and staying current on the nonsensical Internet trends and Celebrity feuds.

Somehow, I’m more followed on Twitter than I am on WordPress, bringing in a whopping 300 – something followers (I was being sarcastic there if you couldn’t tell, not braggy)

Unlike blogging, it’s hard to overthink my message. It also forces me to be really clear about what I have to say.

 

Anyway that’s it. I look forward to learning and growing with you.

What exciting things are going on in your worlds? Let me know so that we can celebrate together.

 

 

 

Finding the Courage to be Open [Daisy in The Willows Interview]

Finding the Courage to Be Open

It’s a challenge for me to be open. I’ve gotten better at pushing through this obstacle but still, it doesn’t come naturally. At the back of my mind rests a part of me that wants me to be perfect and to seem perfect to everyone.

Since I began blogging, I’ve come across countless women and men who don’t have a problem with being open. At the top of that list is Daisy from Daisy in the Willows.

If you scroll through her archive, you’ll see titles like…

I assure you that these titles are not click-bait. They are detailed accounts of troubling experiences in her life. Her blog has had a magical impact on me, and I’m not just saying this to flatter her. The act of talking about her experiences has healed me of mine. She has shown me that it is possible to recover from anything.

For those of you that don’t know Daisy, she has been blogging since September of 2015. She’s a proud feminist and champion of mental health issues. She inspires a loyal fan base because of her tell-it-like-it-is attitude and genuine transparency. When I considered writing about being open, I felt that I would be doing a disservice to everyone if I didn’t ask for Daisy’s help. Lucky for you reading, she said yes.

Below are notes I took from a conversation I had with Daisy.

Why You Should Be Open

“I have typed myself out of a panic attack.”

If nothing else, being open allows you to heal from whatever is hurting you. When you push your pain under a rug, it doesn’t make it go away. It will fester, rot, and grow until one day you can no longer walk around it. Being open will give you a chance to put whatever it is in an incinerator.

“I lost my way with the whole drug scene and I am lucky that life gave me another chance to make sure this time it counts.”

You only live once, and there is no time machine (yet) to help you to redo your past experiences. You can either learn to accept the past (cuz you can’t change it) or hide from the past and live under a rock.

“If I can’t say something and be honest about how I feel then what is the point of me blogging.”

I had to write this one on my dream board. If you’re not being true to yourself, for whom are you living your life? At the end of your life, will you be able to say that you did everything you wanted to do?

How to Overcome Obstacles to Being Open

 

“Of course, I feel vulnerable. I don’t know if it is luck or whatever but I feel the fear and I do it. I think my life experiences have helped me develop this -I DON’T GIVE A SHIT.  POV”

Feel the fear and do it. Can you take a step forward even if you’re afraid? Yes. Fear lives and dies with your decisions and actions.

“My courage comes from mantras- I have daily mantras, my achievements against ALL the odds, my belief that my heart will win more allies than my calculated thoughts.” 

At the end of the day, you are who you are whether you share it or not. Choosing to be open is about believing that you are worthy and believing in yourself.

“I’ve pretty much dealt with my issues -people talk -and if people see that I have nothing to hide then I don’t feel so vulnerable. I feel true to myself. If that makes sense.”

Yes, Daisy. It makes sense. A big obstacle for me is my worry about what others will think. I’m slowly crossing over to the other side, but the key word is slowly. In a way, you are only vulnerable to the thing you want to keep secret. If you put it out there, you take your power back.

Final Thoughts From Daisy 

“TO all the women and men out there- go with your own flow. If your gut says no – walk away. Stick with what you are passionate about. You don’t have to be this or that type of person. You can make your own type up -in fact I recommend that. PLEASE don’t read beauty magazines – they will only make you feel ugly (as the song goes), read books. Don’t think you are a mind reader – you have just as much of a chance to pull something off as your mate- maybe even more of a chance if you put your mind to it.”

 

 


This post was made possible because of  @Daisy from Daisy in the Willows. If you know what’s good for you, you’d go check her out now :).
 

Why You Can’t Change

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Permanent change is an enigma.

The first few days of starting a new change feels inspiring. Every day you wake up, you feel ready to continue building on yesterday’s progress. You’re doing so good that you feel like this time will be different. You will never pick up another cigarette; you are done with fast food, or you will run every day.

You’re in the zone. Nothing will ever make you go back to the way you were.

Until that one day.

One day you get up and discover that you don’t feel inspired. You tell yourself, maybe just this once I’ll eat a Whopper. I’ll get back on the path tomorrow. Tomorrow comes, and you know how this story ends.

Beyond Willpower

Your first thought to why you aren’t succeeding may be that you just didn’t have enough willpower to continue. You’re just too weak-minded. You always do this.

Yea, sure, willpower has something to do with it, but it’s not the whole picture.
You are constantly influenced, not only your abilities but by the world around you. You have to be aware of what influences you and use it to help you stick to your change. Because if you don’t change the forces to good, they will be used against you instead.

If you knew better, you’d do better.

There’s a difference between knowing something and knowing, believing, and internalizing something. When you make a goal, you can’t simply say that you want something.

You should know:
– Why you want it? AKA the “because…”
– The consequences of not having it. AKA the “If I don’t…”
– How it reinforces your personal values. AKA “I can do this because I am insert value

Doing this will change your goal from:

I want to run 3 days a week, 2 miles per day.

To:

I want to run 3 days a week, 2 miles per day because it will help me to live an active life. If I don’t, I will not be able to play with grandkids. I can do this because I am strong.

The more connected you feel to a goal, the deeper your commitment. Accomplishing this task is no longer about crossing something off your to-do list; it is about being the person you want to be.

Your Social Circle

If you’re trying to lose weight and the people of your social group meet up at the local cupcake shop every week, it will impact your ability to change. The same can be applied to all of the goals in your life. Let’s say you want to be a doctor but you don’t know anyone who has ever become a doctor; all of the people in your social group think that it’s impossible for you to become a doctor, and they discourage you whenever they get a free moment.

Well, is it impossible to become a doctor? NO. Clearly the answer to that question is no. But it may be impossible for you to become a doctor in your current social circle.

“You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn

When you associate yourself with others who make accomplishing a goal easy, it becomes easy for you. People that don’t understand your goals, or believe in them, can sometimes do things to keep you in a place that’s good for them. It’s a defense mechanism. I talk more about this in a post called, The Naysayers.

To change your social circle you have 2 options.

1. Find new friends
2. Tell your current friends how they can help you. (If you tell them how they can help you, and they refuse, refer to option #1)

Your environment

You wake up in the morning with determination to start writing your first story. Before you get into your office, you walk past your living room. In it is your super sweet flat screen TV with your PlayStation plugged in. You got up early, so you think to yourself, I’m just gonna play a quick game.

So you play a quick game but as you go to exit your PlayStation you notice the Netflix app. Seeing the Netflix app get’s you thinking about the Jessica Jones show, is the new season out yet? You should check Netflix to see if it’s out yet.

You check, it’s not out yet.

So you power down your PlayStation. You get to your computer to write your story and you think to yourself, when is the next season of Jessica Jones coming out, so you do a quick search on Google. While you’re Google you get a Facebook notification on your phone: BFF sent you a message.

You see where this is going….

The things you consume (whether it’s food, Web browsing, magazines, or books) are programmed to keep you logged in as long as possible. It’s so easy to access more information on virtually anything that you could spend an entire year looking up a topic and never exhaust the resources.

You have goals, but you keep getting interrupted with all the distractions that clutter your space. You could try to muster the willpower not to give into those distractions, or you could remove the distraction.

Imagine how different your day would’ve been if you had managed your distractions properly.

Bringing it all together

Now that you know all of the things that influence your ability to change, it would be catastrophically irresponsible for you to do nothing about them. Think about all of the things that are easy for you to do. They’re so easy for you that you probably take for granted the tools you have that make it easy.

For instance, you make your breakfast every morning, and you’re proud of that. How difficult would it be for you to do that if you didn’t have the tools you needed, like eggs, sausage, rice, or whatever? To make it worse, what if you didn’t have the tools but you did have a freezer stuffed with frozen meals? Do you think it would still be easy for you to make your own breakfast each morning?

Mold your environment into one that is conducive to the change you want to make. If you don’t, you’ll never change.

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