The Importance of Contemplation and Gratitude

“Gratitude is not a passive response to something we have been given, gratitude arises from paying attention, from being awake in the presence of everything that lives within and without us!”

I was going to write about this later in the month of December but after the events of my weekend, I knew I had to write it today!  

Saturday night was pretty normal, I went to sleep around 12:30am, and at around 1:30am Brandon woke me up because he was having severe pains in his abdomen and chest.  After I saw how panicked he was, and how much pain he was in we decided to head to the E.R.  They were amazing and got us straight in…and immediately ruled out his heart as causing the pain – which was a huge relief!

We were taken back to a room where then took blood for some further testing, put him on monitors etc. etc. and kept checking in with us about every 1/2 hour.  After they had ascertained that it wasn’t a heart issue, they ruled out gallbladder and gave him a G.I. cocktail.  It is basically Lidocaine and Maalox, and after about 1 hour his pain was almost gone.  

It took hours to get the labs back, and when they did they thought he could be suffering from pancreatitis, so to rule that out they had him eat some crackers.  Because there was no pain from that, and the fact that the cocktail made him feel better, they thought it was very likely to be acid reflux with esophageal spasm.  

OK, so I know that was a very detailed story, and the reason I wanted to share all of that with you was because that is kind of what kept me going.  I immediately went into the role of helping him, being there for him and not even thinking about the fact that I hadn’t had any sleep.  

As I contemplate my life with Brandon, I realize that I haven’t always been the most amazing wife, I sometimes let my needs be all consuming, and because of my past life and relationship experiences I have, at times, not allowed myself to be completely vulnerable and present with him.  Going through something like we did on Saturday night, even though it turned out that it wasn’t life threatening, we didn’t know that when we were in it.  It certainly made me pause to be grateful for having him in my life.

Adding a pop of color to this fabulous leopard dress – shop my post by clicking the links below

Do you ever find yourself being so caught up in living your life that you don’t have time to appreciate how amazing your life is?  I was talking to a friend who also has kids that are getting older now, and we both agreed that having young kids was one of the best times in our lives…but when I was raising a house full of boys, the chaos, the mess, the tantrums, and the lack of freedom sometimes caused me to wish away those years to the day that I would be able to leave them at home alone!  Now that my boys are getting older, I have less and less control, I hate that they are not the snuggly little boys that they used to be and I wish I could bring back all the wonder and excitement they had around learning new things.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my life, and I love this stage of my kids too – I have definitely learned not to wish away the time, but I am also grateful for all the younger years too.  The years that both they were and I was younger…the years that they were excited to go to the movies with their parents and hanging out with us was always a first choice 😉

There are so many things that I feel gratitude for, especially at this time of year, because I allow myself enough time to slow down and notice the things that are important in our lives.  Having a family I love, working side by side with my husband helping people improve their lives, having a home I love, friends I couldn’t live without, sharing my experiences and hopefully helping others know that they are capable of anything they set their mind to via my blog and so much more.

I choose to pause and feel gratitude every day so that when I contemplate what I have in my life I don’t have any regrets…and that I am able to share my appreciation and love with others!

What would you answer if you asked yourself every day “what do I have to be thankful for RIGHT NOW”…even when things are going wrong, there is always something to feel gratitude for!

Create Your Own Day

 

“Ask yourself – what’s really important and then have the courage and wisdom to build your life around the answer!”

 

I recently came across this concept and I absolutely fell in love with it…

It’s the concept of creating your own day.  What I mean is, other than your birthday, what day do you use to celebrate YOU?  I have found that my birthday, as enjoyable as it is, is never really just about me – not in a bad way, but it involves celebrations, dinners, and very often I have to work.  So when I came across this concept I immediately latched onto it.

Here’s the thought…Make a day your own.  Create a celebration of you and spend time doing whatever it is that sets your soul on fire.  If it’s being alone, then do that, if you prefer to be with friends or family, do that.  Ultimately the goal is to take a day to reflect on where you are in your life, what you’ve accomplished, how you feel about yourself, what you are grateful for and so on.  My theory (I haven’t actually tried it yet) is that I will feel rejuvenated, I will find it easier to handle stresses, challenges, disappointments and it will reaffirm why I love my life.  I know, no matter what, there are always things that aren’t the best that are happening in our lives, but when you start to look at how things are happening FOR you and not TO you, it can change your perspective.

I haven’t decided the date I am going to celebrate my day, but I’ll give you some ideas of what I love to do so that maybe you can come up with some of your own or use some of mine:

  1. I will workout in the morning, that way I know no matter what happens during the day, I feel good about me knowing I am taking care of my body.
  2. I will get a massage, a pedicure or a facial.  Just a few things that are focused on self-care and love.
  3. I will have a lunch at one of my favorite lunch spots with a friend that I know will lift me up.
  4. I will do a little shopping – it actually relaxes me.
  5. I will find the best bakery in town and get myself the most decadent dessert (I have to because there’s no birthday cake 😉 ) And I won’t feel guilty because I worked out already.
  6. I will go for a drive up the canyon and take in all the beauty.  I love to drive different ways, see different things and feel appreciation.  If the weather is warm enough I will trade the drive for a bike ride.  I love taking my mountain bike into the foothills and getting dusty while I am enjoying the view.
  7. I will go to dinner with my lovely husband, because he’s the one that can make me feel the most amazing of all.

 

 

 

It may seem silly, but if there is something I can do to help in the self care department or something that will help me remember that I am important and that ME taking care of ME doesn’t have to mean neglecting anyone else.  in fact, it is necessary to take care of me, so that I CAN take care of others.

What do you think about this concept?  Are you on board?

My birthday is February and I hate that I can’t do a lot of the things I love because the weather is usually cold, so I will probably plan MICHELLE DAY for a day in the spring or summer…stay tuned!  I’ll post some pics 🙂

you can shop some coats similar to the one I’m wearing by clicking the links below…

 

 

Living in a Masculine World

“In a world where masculinity is respected and femininity is regularly dismissed.  It takes an enormous amount of strength and confidence for any person to embrace their feminine self!”

You’ve probably heard me talk about how I have 4 boys…but I’m not sure if I mentioned that when we bought my dog my ONLY request (because I really didn’t want a dog) was that it would be a female.  I am sure you can guess where this is going – my dog’s name is Rooney (after Wayne Rooney who used to play for Manchester United my favorite football/soccer team) and he is a male dog.

I live in a house where there is more testosterone than most people would know how to handle, but let me explain why I am equipped.  I grew up the oldest of 3 kids, and you’ve guessed it, I have 2 younger brothers – no sisters.  I have never known the likes of the drama that can come from living in a home with girls, nor have I ever had the pleasure to have a sister to share my deepest thoughts and secrets with.  I know this is why I take my friendships so seriously – they are an escape for me from my current environment and I consider them the sisters I chose.

Even though I live surrounded by all this masculinity, I have never lost my love for my feminine side, in fact, I think I am able to embrace it even more because of what I see around me.  I love sports, I love cars, I am not a pushover (and those of you that know me, know this is quite an understatement), I am handy and love to do home projects and fix things, but I also love to shop, cook and make the most of how I look.  I don’t think I am an anomaly, I just think I am not afraid to be who I want to be without worrying about what I think I SHOULD be.

 

 

Unfortunately we still live in a time where, as a woman, we have to prove ourselves over and over, where we are not always given opportunities to rise to the top in careers, and sometimes we are even blatantly discriminated against.  Guess what, however someone else treats us doesn’t have to determine how successful we are.  Rising to top in anything requires tenacity, persistence, patience as well as confidence, and these things only come when we are not bitter, resentful or frustrated.  Believe me, in my career I tried pretty much every angle to achieve my goals and quite honestly the only thing that did work for me was just being ME and not giving up no matter what.  I found that when I embraced my femininity and inner confidence that I felt when I did that, I was able to attract more positivity to my life which also brought more success, fulfillment and happiness.

I found that when I became too aggressive (which I know I have a tendency to do) I intimidated people, which actually gave me negative results.  At the time I didn’t realize that my aggression and frustration was causing people to want to move away from me, which included clients, my husband, my kids, my friends, and so on.  It’s a weird thing when you feel that people don’t want to be around you, especially when you sit down and think about why that might be and take accountability for your actions in the whole equation.

Life is filled with things we can’t change, and the only way we can work through those things is if we accept that we have no control over them.  Letting go is the most freeing feeling, but it requires practice.  It doesn’t mean that you are always going to like it, but it means you are able to move on despite how you feel.

I love the fact that I get to be the only girl in my house – sometimes the smells, the disorganization, the untidiness, the laziness, and the constant meal making can be a little much, but quite honestly, I wouldn’t change it for anything.  I feel blessed that I can come home and one or more of the “boys” in my house will give me a 20 second hug which is exactly what I need to ease away the stress from my workday.

Staying feminine when all around you is masculine is an art, its a habit, and it is a path to success in business.  In any relationship (whether personal or professional) there needs to be a masculine and feminine energy, and most men like to take the masculine lead.  If they take that lead the best way for you to have success and create a connection in that relationship is by being the feminine you.  I feel very fortunate as a woman to be able to be strong and confident and I don’t have to give up my femininity to do it.

 


The Act of Giving

“You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep other people warm!”

 

Yesterday was a snow day in Salt Lake, it snowed pretty much the entire day, which made Christmas tree shopping last night chilly, but also beautiful.  The boys raced around the lot, hiding, throwing snowballs and having fun.  It was exactly what I needed to fill my cup!

As we have been spending time with our boys this week we have been asking for them to tell us what they each want for Christmas. With only one boy that still believes in Santa we are almost to the point where we don’t need to hide anything anymore, which is kind of sad as well as relief. It seems like I have been doing this for a long time – well, I guess I have because Dalton is 24! It’s so funny that they don’t seem to have a hard time telling us what THEY want, but when it comes to giving gifts themselves it’s a little harder.

It’s a hard thing to teach kids to know that giving is so much more important than receiving gifts – in fact I believe that the only way they truly learn is by watching what we do. I remember there was one Christmas when I was really naughty and I went searching for what my parents had bought me. I was old enough to know better…but still I found the closet that my mum had hidden the gifts. I saw what they had bought and I felt so guilty that it pretty much ruined my Christmas. Since then, I have always loved more giving than receiving. Not to the point where I don’t love getting gifts, I just absolutely LOVE finding unique, meaningful and personal gifts for people and watching their faces when they open the gift.

Christmas can be such a hard time to spend time on things like this, because it becomes a mad frenzy of finding the “right” thing – I swear that toy companies and some other stores only produce a limited amount of things to feed this frenzy and make the season so overwhelming. If you have every been that parent that couldn’t find that ONE THING on your child’s Christmas list because the stores were all sold out, then you know the level of disappointment that comes with it. I remember one year one of the boys wanted a remote controlled car which we bought but what we didn’t realize was that it needed a special battery that it didn’t come with. We were out at Walgreens at 11pm on Christmas eve trying to find one, but of course we couldn’t/. Even though we had bought the gift, the fact that he wasn’t going to be able to play with it until we went to Toys R Us the day after Christmas was enough to cause mass disappointment 🙁

One thing I have really been guilty of is neglecting myself and running around like a crazy person, so when Christmas morning comes and the kids are so excited to get up and open gifts, I am totally exhausted and partly checked out. Seems kind of crazy to do this to myself, especially when Christmas morning is the reward for all the hard work…but it has definitely been done by this girl!

This year I have resolved to get this more organized, but most importantly to take care of myself while I am taking care of others. Any of you guilty of this? You know when the flight attendants tell you to put on YOUR oxygen mask BEFORE helping anyone else…well that applies. In fact, Brandon was talking to a pilot who told him that if you don’t put on the mask first, there is a really good chance that you will pass out and unless someone puts a mask on you, then you’ll probably die. Crazy – I know this is a metaphor, but this goes way beyond self care. It can be so detrimental to our wellbeing to not take care of ourselves because we are too busy taking care of others.

 

 

Over recent years I have become much better at this, and I am able to set boundaries for certain things so that I am not neglecting myself. I started small, just picking one thing that was a “non-negotiable” thing that I was going to do. What I mean by that is, I found one thing that was so important to me, that no matter what, I was going to make sure that I did it. The one thing that I do almost every day is take a relaxing soak in my bath. It probably only takes around 20 minutes, but after those 20 minutes, I feel different. I feel important, I feel loved (by myself) and I am able to tackle so much more. Meditation could be your thing, it could be having lunch with a friend…whatever it is, I promise if you find something and start small, you will enjoy the holidays so much more!

 

You can shop my look (and more) by clicking the links below

 

 


Release your Inner Power

 

“I’m street, so look both ways before you cross me!”

 

I had to post today’s quote because it reminds me that I have that whole other level inside me that kicks in when I really want to accomplish something.

Do you know what I mean when I say that? Do you have that smolder inside you that lies dormant until someone tells you that you can’t do something or tries to stop you from achieving your goals.  I didn’t realize how strong mine was until I really sat and thought about what I wanted to be when I grow up.  I know, seems kind of crazy, but you could call it mid-life crisis or just a heightened awareness, but I definitely reached the point in my life where I didn’t feel fulfilled or happy with what I was doing.

I am sure some of you can relate to this in some way.  Is there an area of your life where you are not feeling fulfilled?  It could be your job, it could be your home life, it could be school…there are many ways to feel unfulfilled.  So what do you do when you find yourself in this place?  The simple answer is to change it…but that’s not always feasible.

I found myself in this place a few years ago, so I knew that I had to make a change.  I had to decide if I would be happy if I was in the same place in a year or even 10 years.  Obviously my answer was no, so that’s when I knew that I had to think about what I did want to be doing.  It took me some time to ponder this question, months even, but when I came to the realization that it was important to me to help people, I knew what I had to do.

That’s when I called on that inner gangster & determination that I knew was inside me because I had used it many times before.  The easy part is knowing what you want to do, the hard part comes when you have to slog away day after day, being consistent, undeterred and motivated (even when you don’t feel like it).  This is when the grit comes in. That part inside you that doesn’t doubt you can put in the work necessary to get it done.

 

 

One of Brandon’s favorite shows is Shark Tank, and recently I have been watching it with him.  I have found it so interesting to see these people that literally started with nothing, come up with an idea and grow that idea sufficiently that they are qualified to make it onto a show on TV.  I love seeing their belief in what they are doing, I love seeing them overcome fear day after day – because that’s what I know I must do.  It helps me know that I’m not alone, and that the only way anything happens in this world is if we believe enough in it and in ourselves to make it happen.

So what if, inside you, there is this inner bad girl with grit just waiting to help you accomplish your dreams?  What if I told you that it is there – you just need to find a way to harness it.  It’s no that it’s easier for some than others, it’s just that some will do whatever it takes to make it happen – they believe that much in themselves.

I may be that girl that eats organic foods, believes in the environment, believes that people and their feelings are more important than ideas, but I still love to listen to rap music.  I still love to be walking the line of conformity, because I know that when I am open, loving and real, that’s when I am able to feel love and fulfillment in my life.

Sometimes I feel the need to show the outside world that I am not just a pretty face, but I have an attitude and I’m not afraid to use it…that’s why I chose today’s more casual, get stuff done, inner bad girl look 😉

Shop my look by clicking the links below…

 


Share Your Color with Others

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“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”

I came across this quote and fell in love with it…how often are we given the chance to be that person for someone else that can be an inspiration, an example, a role model or just a friend?  I have always loved the idea of being there for others, in fact when I was younger my Grandparents gave me a book that was a “birthday” book, that had a different quote for each day of the year.  Then meaning was that the quote on your day said something about you…

Mine said “If you need me, call…I will always answer.”  I don’t know if it was at that point that I started taking my relationships seriously or I had already innately known that before, but it was something that certainly rang true for me.  I have always felt that we owe it to others, and ourselves, to give everything to our relationships.  If you ask anyone that knows me they’ll tell you that I am a fiercely loyal friend, and I will do anything for those that I love.

Life is definitely not meant to be spent alone, and the only way we will ever ensure that we have others in our lives is if we make sure that we are working on our relationships every day.  I can tell you that my biggest challenge so far in this life is raising kids (particularly teenagers), in fact I think it’s kind of like a white knuckle rollercoaster, where you know you’re going to survive but somehow your hair is going to be messed up, your head will be rattled around and you’re most definitely going to end up with a killer headache.  So those are probably the relationships that are going to require the most effort.

 

 

This Thanksgiving weekend our whole family, along with my parents, came up to our house in Midway (a small town about 45 minutes away from our home), to spend some quality time.  Thanksgiving day went pretty smoothly, which is great because being cooped in a house and not getting along is pretty painful.  Yesterday was a different story however, there was a fight surrounding playing the Xbox that belongs to one of the boys, that ended up in a real fight, lots of shouting and eventually Brandon having to work his coaching magic on the boys to get them to calm down.  Fortunately there was no bloodshed, and we managed to come together again long enough to make it to watch “Creed” as a family last night.

I have never been so emotionally exhausted as when my kids get into a fight with each other, or when I end up in a fight with one of them.  It’s way more draining than any physical exertion, and it feels a lot worse.  What this weekend has taught me a little is that we are not only responsible for our own energy but also the effect that energy has on others.  It’s a big responsibility to know that I can affect other’s feelings, but I can tell you, if I want my house to run smoothly, I have to make sure that I am balanced, not neglecting my own needs which makes me cranky, and I am definitely not pretending to be OK when I’m not.

I know I am not going to be OK all the time, so I have been known to put myself in “time out” to recharge, and make myself feel better.  Energy is such a powerful thing, there is no way to fake it, so when we are feeling negative or frustrated even if we think other people are not aware, chances are that our energy is giving us away regardless of what our words say.

Being conscious of our feelings is the first thing we need to do to be able to share the best of ourselves with others. We are definitely never going to be perfect, but by noticing how we are feeling, being in touch with that so we can act consciously, that will allow us to have a greater influence with anyone we interact with.  Knowing what I know now about raising teenagers and adult children, I know that there are definitely times when I have to check myself to make sure I am not influencing their feelings or behavior in a negative way.

My favorite color, the one that defines me the most accurately is Red which means excitement, love, strength, energy and passion.  When I wear Red I feel a lot of those things…

My goal in my life is to share my “color” and help as many people as possible!  Who would you most like to share your color with?

 

 

 

Stress Less for the Holidays

“Our greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another!”

 

Have you ever noticed that the Holidays are not always a time of relaxation?  That sometimes we over-commit ourselves, that we create unrealistic expectations about how things are going to look or just push ourselves too hard?

I used to end up exhausted and almost depressed after a holiday.  All that went into creating the “perfect” meal, planning, cooking & setting up, seemed to drain me to the point of not wanting to do anything the days following other than sit & read or watch TV.  I know what happened to me, and it’s been a process of overcoming and dealing with it over the years, and now I am at the point where I can actually enjoy my time.

Here’s what I did – I created an image in my mind about how I thought the meal was going to look.  Sometimes even going far enough to contemplate the conversations we would have, the games we would play, the movies we would watch and so on.  As you can imagine, especially when you have a large group of people to have something so orchestrated is impossible – which would leave me frustrated and feeling down.  It’s not something that I did consciously but I had some thoughts and memories from my childhood and beyond that I wanted to recreate.  The problem with that is that my brain was making those memories look far more amazing than they probably were, and certainly more amazing than it was going to be possible for me to force people to recreate.

Do you ever find yourself trying to control things to the point of creating such unrealistic expectations that no matter what happens because it doesn’t look exactly right, you feel defeated because it’s not perfect?  Saying this out loud and writing it today makes me even more aware how ridiculous it is to do this, but that doesn’t mean that while it was happening it didn’t feel 100% real.

I have used various techniques to put me in touch with my body and what I am feeling, and some work better than others.  I wanted to share one with you today that I have found works pretty well for me:

Name your feelings

Close your eyes.  Let your mind wander into the different parts of your body and check in to see how it feels right now.  What thoughts are going on in your head?  Observe, don’t analyze.  When you are connected to how your body feels, ask yourself:  what is this feeling called?
Observe the feeling in peace and name it.  You can also ask yourself if there is something causing that feeling.
By recognizing and naming your feelings you will start to feel ease from the lump of stress you might have had in your body.  

According to the Mayo clinic, stress is the Number one cause of cancer in the US today – and if we subject ourselves to levels of stress during times when things are meant to be spent appreciating what we’re grateful for, then it kind of defeats the purpose.

I am planning on making a lovely meal for my family, spending time and doing “whatever we feel like” rather than trying to control the entire weekend.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!  What do you have planned?

 

 

 

Small Things Make a Difference

“The beauty of life is in the small details not in big events!”

 

We all have our own unique way of handling things in life, we do things differently, we place varying degrees of importance on some things over others, and as a result, we are all unique individuals.

Paying attention to the small things can be hard when we have goals, ambitions and life’s distractions – who knows what I’m talking about (especially if you have kids!~) . So how do we stay focused and remember the small things?

The small details in our lives may not seem significant until we start adding them up – then the accumulation is actually HUGE!

This method can be equally true when putting together an outfit – all the combined detail of an outfit are what make the outfit great.

I always try and make sure that I have at least one conversation starter, or one thing that may seem like a small detail but it is significant to me.   I typically choose shoes, but there are lots of other ways to do it as well…

 

 

In this outfit I am wearing there are a couple of things – the ribbon detail on the pants definitely got me some attention, the boots (especially for those of you that love Dr Marten’s either more recently or from the good old days) and the nail polish.  A detail like your nails is something that can definitely be a small detail that can make you feel sassy and fabulous.

Whether you’re someone that likes to be noticed or not, ask yourself this question “Do I like to feel good about myself” – if you answer yes, and I am guessing that most people will answer “yes”.  The next step is to figure out what it is that makes you feel good.  Are you a girl that absolutely loves makeup?  Do you enjoy the process of making yourself up and putting on some fabulous lipstick?  Do you find your hair to be your favorite feature?  Does it make you feel good to know that you are working out regularly?  Do you like to get your finger or toenails done regularly?  Do you like wearing a pair of shoes that is unique? Are you a bargain shopper that loves the thrill of finding a deal so that you can wear something knowing that it didn’t cost you a fortune?

Whatever it is that makes you feel good, that is something you should make sure you nurture.  Paying attention to all details in your life and appreciating those details is something that will make you feel great.

I have found that while it’s important for me to think “big picture” I definitely realize the steps that it takes me to get to my goals, and I appreciate and every single one of those steps.  And while I’m at it – I think it’s important (at least for me) to feel good as I am on the road to my goals…

 

 

The Art of the Imperfect Selfie

 

“Making mistakes is better than faking perfection!”

 

We live in an age where the “selfie” is an art, where we judge ourselves more harshly than we would ever judge another human being, and we base our self worth on how many likes or comments we get on social media.  So how do we get back to the time when it was OK to not look “perfect” all the time or at least make people feel that we are looking “perfect”?

The Huffington Post wrote the following in an article and it’s probably one of the most scary things I have ever read:  “Social Media’s Impact on SelfEsteem.  Social media has been linked to higher levels of loneliness, envy, anxiety, depression, narcissism and decreased social skills. … However, what is shared across our social networks only broadcasts the positive aspects of our lives-the highlight reels.”

Even though we know what we are posting isn’t actually the reality of OUR lives for some reason it is not what we think when we see what other people post images and talk about their lives.

The reality is, no matter what, we are NEVER going to be perfect human beings.  In fact, when we strive for perfection all we bring into our lives is disappointment, insecurity and sadness.

I decided to write a post about the “imperfect selfie”, because we are not used to seeing them on social media.  Taking the selfie with the fish pout, with the fake smile, to capture a moment that would in fact have been more of a moment to remember if the camera hadn’t been out, are more and more what we see and consider to be the “norm” on social media.

 

 

Trust me, for each selfie or picture that’s taken of me that I consider worthy to post, there are 100’s of others where I have my eyes closed (see for yourself – in fact, for the eyes closed, I would say there are probably at least 40% of the pictures where my eyes are closed).  Then there are some where I have to edit the lighting, create a patch over something in the background that I want to cover up, and so on and so on.

I recently took a social media class and in that class one of the lessons was to know which angle to use to show the most flattering angle of your face, and which programs to use for editing and how to optimize your features.  I do realize that social media, especially Instagram is a very visual platform and that if you want to use it for a business, you are going to have to post things that are visually appealing, but that doesn’t mean that at some times it’s OK to not look “perfect” in a picture.

I took this selfie of myself today sitting in my office, the camera wasn’t at the angle that would take the most flattering picture, but I posted it anyway to prove a point.  As I sit and look at this picture I could tear myself down with thoughts like “my nose looks crooked”, “I can see the fine lines and wrinkles on my face” or even “my lips are too narrow”, but instead I decided to look for what I love about what I see.  Instead of the crooked nose, I feel thankful that I am able to be able to smell pumpkin spices, and much more at this time of year.  Instead of the fact that I have fine lines and wrinkles, I love that I have lived a life that has allowed me to develop laughter lines and experience life.  Instead of the fact that my lips are too thin, I love the fact that I am able to kiss my husband and my kids.

To summarize my self esteem is not rocked because I am not “perfect” and I am OK with people seeing a side of me that is not my best side because I want people to see the real, authentic and loving ME!  I am not afraid to say when I am sad, I very often react with anger when I become frustrated and anyone that knows me knows that I am can be a force for good or bad (just depends on how I am treated), and guess what, I am not ashamed of that either.  I am fiercely loyal and love the fact that my friends KNOW they can always count on me.

So, what does a “perfect selfie” mean anyway?  Is there really such a thing?  The thing about authenticity is that only people that don’t know you are going to be able to be taken in by fake pictures, and over-editing.  Those that know you, already know your flaws, and love you in spite of them.  Only those that don’t know you might judge you if you don’t look perfect in a picture, but those that already know you that there’s no such thing as a perfect picture and they love you anyway.

I don’t know about you, but I want my life to be filled with real relationships and that is why I put myself out there.  Why I tell stories about myself making stupid mistakes, in the hope that people can get to know me and relate on a deeper level than the superficiality of a picture.  Don’t misunderstand me, Instagram and social media are still a place to show some pretty fabulous pictures and that is what captures someone’s attention initially, but if you really want people to stick around…well, that is done with relationships and letting people get to know you.

I hope as you consider taking your next selfie, before you throw out a picture that you don’t think shows your best side, all is ask is that you ask yourself “what do other see when they see me?”  My guess is that then the picture will become so much more than just a pretty face smiling back, because seeing ourself through another’e eyes is the way we need to see ourselves – PERIOD.

Stay fabulous my friends 🙂

 


Motivational Monday

“The biggest source of motivation are your own thoughts, so why not think BIG!”

You may have noticed that I like to post a quote each day, and that they tie into the theme I am writing out that day.  You may be asking yourself why I do that, so I thought I would fill you in…

I have talked a little about why I started this blog and what it has meant to me, but there’s definitely more to it than I have have spilled the beans on already.  For example, when I write a blog post, the reason I do it is because it is something that resonates with me that day and I feel that by sharing what thoughts I have that it might also help someone else as well.  I have found that when I have thoughts about something, when I am feeling a certain way, it really helps me to focus on handling it rather than avoiding it.  It is pretty much the story of my life and it is definitely worked for me to come at something “head on”.  I choose quotes that serve as motivation for me, and they help me focus on overcoming whatever I am going through at that time…or at least serve as a reminder of what I need to do.

We all have storms in our lives, and I am definitely no exception.  I really need to remind myself constantly to be strong, to weather the storms, to feel grateful, to be patient, to remember why I am here and so much more.  So when I post something about gratitude for example, it’s because on that day I realize that I need to focus on gratitude rather than the fact that something might not be working out for me!

I have found that my mindset is absolutely what controls my outcome.  When I feel positive I am much more likely to achieve what I am striving for, or at the very least, be OK with whatever comes my way.  Do you ever wonder why when something bad happens that more bad seems to show up as well?  I have seen it time and time again in my life, and being lucky enough to be married to a mindset coach, I have learned that focus is absolutely what needs to change if we want results to change.

Now don’t get me wrong, just changing how you think isn’t going to change everything in your life, action is still required, but positive action starts with positive thoughts.

 

 

Do you have habits that you wish you didn’t have?  The best news about habits is that they can be changed at any time in your life…and just as they were started, habits can only be changed by repetition of what you want to replace your old habit with.  For example, if you want to change the way you eat (kind of like the post I wrote on Friday), then you have to create new habits that embody the way you want to eat in the future.  Think about why you want to change, what it means to you, what it would mean if you didn’t do it and how it could affect anyone else around you.  Once you reach the point of pain where it hurts too much to continue the old habit, that’s when you will be motivated enough to change.

The key to changing those old habits, because positive thinking is not all that’s needed like I said, is to realize that there is a COST associated with not changing.  I have had many times in my life where old habits are stopping me from getting where I want to be in relationships and in business.  Here’s one of my habits that I have had to change to make my relationship with Brandon excellent:  I have always been someone that is not big on talking about my feelings in a relationship, I have never been a big talker and I always felt like because Brandon wanted to talk about EVERYTHING that it meant there was something wrong and I was being told that I was doing something wrong.  You see, Brandon (and actually 2 of my kids) are people that need to problem solve by talking things through, and I am a person that internalizes what I am going through and just handles it on my own 99% of the time.  As you can imagine, me not being a talker and having a husband that needs that could cause huge problems in our relationship.  For many years I fought it, I thought “why should I have to be the one to change?”  “This is just the way I am”, but eventually I realized that I wouldn’t actually be giving something up to give Brandon and my kids this gift.  I started to open up more, to talk things through and learn how to not “own” whatever it was they were going through and to not try to fix it.

Once I started creating a space where I was open, the conversations became easier, and now (not that I still get it right all the time) but I am definitely on the road to making this my normal behavior rather than just shutting down.  It wasn’t until I realized that the cost to NOT do it was higher than it was to DO it, that’s when I was able to change my habit.  It was worth it to me to be there for Brandon and my kids, and guess what I found out, it actually wasn’t just who I was, and I started to be able to feel empathy and just listen – something that was hard before because I very often could see something and want to just fix it.

Whatever you have going on in your life, I hope that you will find at least a little motivation from my posts and quotes…and if there’s a topic you would especially love to see – i’m all ears!!

Happy Monday!

XOXO