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.

pexels-photo-57901

 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 feel 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.

Did I ever tell you that I’m a twin? And my sister is awesome.

So…. I don’t know if I ever mentioned my twin sister Karen. And her middle name is also Yvonne. I don’t know why our parents did that. It’s bad enough to look just like someone else.

In case you think this is a gag… heres the proof. 10641061_10152740167185575_2116476643376907713_n

I realized that I never mentioned her when I started writing a post about how amazing she is and what she’s doing with her life.

She is currently living my dream: making videos on Youtube. Her content is pretty similar to mine (self-improvement and whatnot). Instead of completely stealing the message from her latest video, I guess I’ll just share it with you all.

 

I wish nothing but success for my BFF. So if you watch, leave her comment and let her know who sent you… She thinks I don’t watch her videos. I do watch them… You are my witnesses.

Enjoy… 🙂

 

The Truth About Self Improvement [Guest Post by Jenna]

Confession: it took me three weeks to write this guest post.

For those of you initiated in the blogging sphere, that’s a pretty long time. Why did it take so long, you ask?

#1: I switched jobs in the last few weeks, and my anxiety-o-meter has been off the charts, and

#2: This topic is so meaningful to me that I totally obsessed about it.

The good news: This just goes to show you I have a lot of experience with self improvement. I’ve come a long way from “rock bottom” thanks to some skills I’ve learned (I do maintain a mental health blog, after all). Plus, I still have a lot of self improvement to do, so we’re all in this together.

So let’s get started, shall we?

What Is Self Improvement?

First, let’s make a distinction between the two types of self improvement:

#1: The superficial kind. This is the kind that fits in a Mason jar you post on Pinterest.

#2: The kind that makes you dig deep.

As you might have guessed, I’m going to challenge you to dig deep. Take a deep breath. This is going to get mucky.

Buddhist spiritual teacher Pema Chodron says that our minds are like choppy, muddy water that has been all stirred up. When we meditate, we expect it to settle and be crystal clear. But this is not what happens at all.

“No one ever tells you,” says Pema, “that when the water calms down, you can see all the old tires and skeletons and cans…all your misdeeds leering up at you from this still pool.”

In other words, meditation (or self reflection) brings you into direct contact with your own humanity; your imperfections, your misdeeds, all the things you’re ashamed about.

This is where self improvement begins.

 

Truth #1: The desire to improve oneself arrives after the uncomfortable realization that one’s life is not working.

Sorry people: the catalyst is usually painful. A vicious cycle or pattern has come up again and again in your life. You may become aware of it on your own through self reflection, or perhaps someone in your life has staged an intervention. Either way, you’re ready to let go of it. What now?

How To Deal: First, get familiar with your Early Warning Signs. These are mental, physical or emotional hints that something in your life is out of whack. They are a signal to kick in some skills. What skills, you ask? See below.

Truth #2: Self improvement involves change, and change is not easy.

It would be nice if the mere decision to change were enough to make painful feelings of self doubt, fear, or anxiety disappear. But the truth is, change turns our world topsy turvy. Expect uncomfortable feelings and doubts to arise. The good news is, there are techniques to handle them.

How To Deal: Time to use some wellness skills! You can:

  • Journal. Don’t censor yourself—let it all out on paper.
  • Reach out to someone you trust.
  • Create artwork, make a magazine collage, or whip out your adult coloring book.
  • Say aloud or write down some affirmations.
  • Exercise and/or get out in nature.
  • Practice mindfulness. Use your five senses to stay alert in the present moment.

Truth #3: Your self improvement will come as a surprise to some people.

People are going to ask you why you’re doing what you’re doing. Most of the time, they’re just curious and mean you no harm. You may be pleasantly surprised when people are supportive of your change when you didn’t expect them to be. However, some people may feel threatened by your change, and may naysay your efforts.

How To Deal: Recognize yourself as the authority in your life. Spiritual teacher Iyanla Vanzant says “Replace external referencing with inner authority.” She says if you’ve come to a point of inner clarity, don’t look for approval outside of yourself. Obviously your choice may affect others, so it comes with some ethical considerations. But recognize yourself as equally worthy of consideration and freedom. Louise L. Hay says this another way: “I am the power and the authority in my life.” Don’t let someone else direct your choices; get in the driver’s seat!

Truth #4: Set goals, but more importantly, visualize your success.

I remember in middle school our basketball coach told us to imagine ourselves playing well before going out on the court. Sure enough, I always did better. This exercise may seem illogical, but I promise, it can make a difference. By all means, set goals for yourself. But don’t forget to close your eyes for a moment, and imagine yourself as the person you want to be, in the place you want to be.

 

Thanks to my blogging amiga Sharon for giving me such a meaningful, thought-provoking prompt. The toughest things to write about are often the most rewarding!

 

Peace out, cyberspace travelers,

 

Jenna

 

This post was written by Jenna of The Wishing Well. For tips on managing mental health with honesty, humor and heart, check out her blog at wishingwellblog.com, or follow her on Instagram @wishingwellblogger.  

 

6 Reasons to Design Your Life

The “Pick One” Trap

Sometimes choices in life are presented as “this or that,” “the red pill or the blue pill,” or “scissors, paper, rock.” The moment you decide that you want to do something it’s like you find yourself locked in a room with three doors.

When you approach the first door, you hear what sounds like a lion’s roar. The door shakes as the giant cat paws scratch the base of the door.

So you look over at door number two. For the first time, you notice that smoke is seeping from the cracks in the door; and the door nob is searing hot.

Clearly, you can’t go through the first or the second door, so you look at door number three. There doesn’t appear to be any wild and dangerous animals behind door number three. And it’s smoke-free. But the door seems to billow outward like there is some pressure pushing against the door. Now that you take a closer look, there’s water seeping from every corner.

Life, am I right? It’s like you always have to pick the lesser evil. In a world of perforated paths and pre-shaped modes, how could you expect to find anything that fits you like a glove?

 

Life is like putty

Just because a choice is presented as fact, it doesn’t make it a fact. If you know how to look at life, you will see that it’s like putty, waiting for you stick your hands in it and get silly.

What you didn’t see was that the walls between the doors were made of clay. Taking the direct route would have proved dangerous, but here you create your own route. It may take a little digging and excavations, but the work is worth it to get to where you want to go.

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Design Your Life

It’s easy to get caught up in what I like to call the “Lab Rat Life.” You feel like you’re making your own decisions when really you’re doing what you’ve been conditioned to do by society.

When you decide to design your life, you decide to take a chance on yourself, to live a life designed by you, a life of mistakes and adapting until you find your jam.

It may seem like a risk, to trail off the beaten path, but living a life that you know you don’t want to live sounds far riskier.

 

Why you should design your life

 

  1. You only live once. If you were immortal, I guess you could spend the first 100 years of your life people pleasing or being a leaf in the breeze. Unfortunately, there isn’t proof of vampirism, or warm-bodied zombies, (as far as I know), so you’re going to have to assume that you only live this life once. Because you only live once, it should be a life that makes you happy. 
  1. At the end of your life, if you don’t like who you’ve become, you’ll have no one to blame but yourself. Yes, society, your parents, and money influence the course of your life, but you have the ultimate say on who you’ll become. When you design your life, you decide to take full responsibility for your life. With great responsibility comes great power.
  1. You’ll learn to love your mistakes. Now that you’re a designer, you know that mistakes are a part of the process. Mistakes are some of the best indicators of progress. They let you know that you’re trying and that you won’t stop until you find something that works for you.
  1. Harness the laws of attraction. Because you realized that you have the power to design your life, the universe will conspire to help you. As you put more trust in yourself, you the universe will give you more reasons to trust yourself.
  1. Set your own standards. When you design your life, you determine your threshold for all of the categories in your life. Your actions will work for your values and reinforce the things you want in life.
  1. Take control of your happiness. You can spend your time allowing the world to decide the course of your life, or you can take control. Setting your own standards also means that you don’t need validation from the world. You don’t need to compare yourself to anyone because you have the final say on what’s good or bad for you.
  1. You’ll stop worrying about what others think. When you design your life, you will undoubtedly get strange stares from other people. They will look at you and wonder why you are so weird and why you just can’t be like everybody else. That’s A-OK. The more weird stares you get, the more immune to them you’ll become. I’m sure you don’t want to disappoint others, but the people who are supposed to be in your life will be in your life regardless of how weird you become.

Final thought: You can either design your life, or someone will do it for you.

<3 Sharon Yvonne

How To Deal With Setbacks [Guest Post]

This great piece on dealing with setbacks was written by B.G. @  Getting Through Anxiety If you don’t who she is, you definitely go check her out. Enjoy! 


On my blog, Getting Through Anxiety, I often speak of the importance of facing our fears on a regular basis. I talk about how, when striving to accomplish our goals, we sometimes encounter obstacles along the way and have to find ways to push our way through.

As a person who struggles with severe anxiety, I have come to learn the importance of persistence. I’ve realized the hard way that progress does not occur overnight. One cannot expect to get through something difficult without hard work and dedication. Rather, in order to get over our obstacles, we have to continue to face them in small, manageable steps.

While facing our fears and working hard to overcome our obstacles helps to accomplish our goals, we must still expect some setbacks. Accepting setbacks is not the same as accepting failure. However, we have to understand that sometimes, our minds try to fight to stay negative. This is not because we as human beings want to be negative but rather, because it is oftentimes hard to break the cycle of negative thinking. Therefore, we must be prepared for the worst and have a contingency plan.

At times, setbacks can almost be more disappointing than the initial struggle. It hurts to see ourselves make progress only to see ourselves pushed back. We get excited when we see that we are in fact strong enough to stand up to what holds us back, only to see that it still has a strong hold over our lives. However, it is nowhere close to impossible to get back up from a struggle. We can always show our fears and obstacles that we are indeed, stronger than they are.

So what do we do when we notice ourselves taking one step forward only to take two steps back? For one thing, we ask ourselves some important questions. Are we facing our fears on a consistent basis? Are we taking the time each and every day to do something positive? Are we taking small steps that will get us closer to achieving our goals? What about our thoughts? Are we reminding ourselves that we have been successful in the past? Are we giving ourselves examples of all of the times that we’ve faced our fears and shown ourselves proof of our strength? Or, are we being negative? Are we filling our minds with intrusive, corruptive thoughts that will only harm our confidence?

We have to think about what we’re doing and how we’re thinking. More often than not, there is a reason that we’re experiencing a setback. Whether it be because we’re not trying our hardest or because we’re not practicing consistently.

Setbacks have a way of making us feel hopeless. They have a way of magnifying our struggles and minimizing our progress. However, nothing can take away the progress that we have made in the past. We just have to recall to memory all of the times that we have faced our fears and overcome our obstacles. We will reach our goals, we just have to work hard on a consistent basis and never, ever give up.

-B.G. , Getting Through Anxiety


This post was written by B.G at Getting Through Anxiety. There she talks about her experiences living with anxiety and how she overcomes obstacles. Other places she writes:

The Seeds for Life

Fiverr.com: Where people can buy poems, inspirational articles, and articles about anxiety from B.G

I did my first guest post and more happenings.

I’m so excited that my first ever guest post was posted today over at Jenna’s Blog, The Wishing Well Blog. Here’s a little excerpt:

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.

Read more here…..

 

Thanks Jenna for the opportunity. You’re officially a Curious Collaborator. With that I here by present you with…..

 

Jenna a Curious Collaborator

 

I made one of these for my friend BG a while back when she helped me write a post called Connecting With Bloggers. I didn’t think that I would ever make this kind of image again but I decided to make this my new thing. Those who collaborate with the Curious Queendom will get their own crown.

B.G. A Curious Collaborator

Speaking of BG, tomorrow she will be featured in the Curious Queendom again. This time with a post called How to Deal With Setbacks. I’ve already read it. I think you’ll love it. 🙂

If you’re interested in guest posting here at the Curious Queendom, just leave me a comment below and we can talk business 🙂

 

Until Next time.

 

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