Importance of Self

Remembering What You Have

We have all been there. Some more than others. We are introduced to something new and suddenly everything about our genuinity and standards fly out the window!

What the hell is that about?

Sometimes going from our crappy studio apartment to a week in the Bahamas, staying at an all inclusive can give us a big head. The great part about vacationing is you can really be anyone you want. You can blow your spending money on whatever you want. You can finally let loose, get drunk, go wild and crazy, and dance with that hot foreigner who’s staying at your same hotel. Vacations are amazing!

But sometimes, ending a vacation is easier than ending the vacation mindset. We bring the attitude back in our carry-ons. We go home and demand more, ask less. We get into the habit of talking about ourselves more, as if the people we’re around everyday really want to hear our life story – again.

It’s natural to want to keep the vacations going. When we go on more, the dream of another one never goes away. In fact, sometimes we dream of vacations and “a better life” so often, we let our real life go by in a total blur. We dont realize how great our current life is. How much we love cleaning our place up, or working out for two hours at the gym, or cleaning up after the kids. We go through the motions and neglect the people, things, and activities we care about most.

Always dreaming of something more stops us from enjoying the moments we currently live in. We forget to make our moments special. Thinking only a vacation can give that to us.

Well, if you have been guilty in those thinking traps, you’re not alone. It’s a common phase we all go through once or twice.

So in those moments of loss, remember some of these helpful tools that even I live by:

1. Taking Time To Be Grateful
Every morning when I am sitting at the trax station, waiting for the train, I spend the 15-20 minutes usually expressing what in my life I am grateful for. Sure, I wish a lot of times I was back in China. Yeah, I would love to up and move to NYC or Seattle. Go live in South America just to learn the language. I want these things so badly that sometimes I can lose sight of what I already have. So I give thanks. I thank God everyday that I have a chance to live with my mom for the time being to really solidify our relationship. I thank God for all the blessings, friends, experiences, jobs, and wisdom life has given me. I am grateful to grow up and live where I do, because I truly think there is no better place.
Once you start giving thanks for what you do have, versus what you don’t have, you will see life in a new way.

2. Pretending You’re On A Vacation
Now I know this one may come off a little weird. Sometime about a year ago, I read a blog from marcandangel.com about ways to be happier. Number 19 on that list was to pretend you are in a different place. So sometimes, as I ride my bike, I look at the environment as if I had never been there before. Not that I purposely get lost, but I pretend like I am getting to know a new city. The beauty of somewhere different. For example, a lot of the times, I imagine I am in London. The days we have a beautiful cloudy sky, the mornings with fresh Snow….. I do pretend I am across seas. Not only am I openly happier about each situation that comes up, but I am more inclined to build rapport with strangers and am able to make their day as well (or vise versa). Making yourself happy and being able to make someone else happy, is one of the greatest feelings I believe a person can get.

3. Evaluating Self-Progression
As we have all heard – we are where we are today because of our choices. With every action is an equal and opposite reaction. What goes around comes around. What you put in, you get in return. There are hundreds of different ways to say it, but point blank – Whatever successes or failures we have this very moment is because of what we have decided to do. President Obama didn’t sleep his way to the White House. The RZA didn’t just build one of the greatest, most influential rap groups in history just by chance. And Michelangelo didn’t make a masterpiece in one night.  They worked their asses off to get to where they wanted to go. If they weren’t progressing or if they felt stuck in life, they took a step back and calculated every action up until that point. They thought about what was working, what was the worse of the two decisions, and what they could do differently to keep climbing that mountain.

So if you notice that you are routinely doing the same things everyday, while your mind is dreaming up new and exciting things – experiences and goals you want to work on and explore – you need to take a seat, maybe get out a pen and paper and write down all the things you are doing now. With another column down the same paper, make a list of all the things you want to start doing. With your last column, maybe on the bottom part of the paper, between the top two, make a list of how you are going to make it happen. You need to decide which things aren’t exactly time beneficial, such as 3 hour naps a day, 2 hours of TV time, 2 hours of mindless internet gazing. What are you doing now in the day, that you could replace with something productive? Something that will allow you be the better and more successful person you can be?

Remember: Wishing won’t accomplish your goals. Dreaming won’t make your success real.

Working hard and putting in 100% effort will bring you everything you want out of life. No matter what it is you are doing.

4. Taking the Focus Off Of Yourself
Naturally, for most human beings, we are our favorite subject to talk about. But the minute you start asking questions and taking the attention off yourself, the more you learn about other people, other places, and other things. Your imagine grows. Your conversational skills advance. You grow more trust in people and in turn, people pay more attention to you. You start coming together to make things happen. You build lasting friendships and fantastic first impressions. We are not the most important thing on this Earth.

5. “It Could Always Be Worse”
Enough beating around the bush…. STOP COMPLAINING!! Whether it’s the co-workers who make you want to pull your hair out, or the gossip that goes on in school, or the fact that “Oh my God did you see who Travis came to Monica’s party with?” or even the traffic that takes 30 extra minutes because of a highway accident…. whatever you are complaining about, STOP IT NOW!!! Think about it this way, You should feel lucky that you even have a job. You can make the decision to ignore gossip. And who cares who Travis is with? If he is gonna play you, gurrrrl, you are better off being single. So you have a longer commute to work, so what? That gives you more time to double check if you are on the up and up, listen to that kick-ass new song on the radio (or any music source you have set up), or drink your coffee.

Whatever is going on in your life that you feel makes it sooooo horrible, just remember that somewhere – millions of people are unemployed. Some people don’t have cars. Some people don’t have food or houses or shoes. Some kids will never get the chance to go to school. Some kids never see the light of day where they have friends.  A lot of people in this world live an unfortunate life that we can’t even fathom. Sometimes in China, their streets are actually covered in mud and sewage. That’s right. You walk in poop. Feel lucky you can flush toilet paper down the toilet. Be grateful you have a dryer and a stove, because some places, don’t provide those in their countries.

Whatever problems you’re facing in your life, don’t ever forget that things could always be worse. That could be you in the car accident on the highway. Would you be mad then? Would you wish you could stand up and shout to the other cars slowly going by “I’m sorry for the hold up but I just went through my own winshield!”? I know I would.

 

 

One of the best pieces of advice I received was both from my mom and close friend Wang Dong Mei. They told me, “Ashlyn, before you take any action, on whatever it is, think, think, re-think, and think again.” Only after that was when I could take action, if I still believed in my heart of hearts it was the right one. When I do these five things, I fully enjoy my life more. I don’t need the world anymore, because I have the most important people and things around me. I have the relationships I have always dreamed about. I complete the goals I want to complete. I take fault for my actions. I own up to my life and realize that even though I am not rich or have a trust fund or that I can’t afford all the name brand I want to, I still live a pretty kick ass life, and no material item or all inclusive hotel that top that. Those are just bonuses. Because we can’t take the beauty with us when we go. We can’t take anything. So enjoy it while you can and remember what you have.

Make It A “Me” Day

I’m sitting at trax reading all my favorite blogs, one by one on my Google Reader. The best blogs I know of (thus far) all in one place for my viewing pleasure. As I go through them, I star my favorites into a sub-category.

As I was just reading The Skool of Life, by one of my inspirations, Srinivas Rao, I thought to myself, “I should take one day and go through my list of favorite blogs. Re-read them. Re-amp my own fire.”
Because up until this point, I haven’t re-read a single starred post; completely destroying the whole point of the Favorite system.

On top of that idea, I decided, the day I do that, I will also pamper myself. Continue a book I’ve been reading. Take more time for the one I’m writing. Paint my nails. Relax.
That day, I’m going to make it a “me day”.

I’m been slackin on this day, myself. But I think we all deserve a day to ourselves. A day to not worry about our work life, our finances, or the news. We need a day to just “soak in a bath.” (or however you choose to spend it)

“Me” Days are important because they are a big part of our revitalization. They help us get it together. They can really help the motivational aspect of our lives as we take that day to remember what’s important to us, where our priorities lie, and what exactly we’re doing in life.

They help the moms feel individualized again. They decrease the stress in lives of workaholics world-wide. The help the crazed feel beautiful again. They help the men and woman in relationships focus on themselves again.

I guess you could say they are a fantasy day. And hey, whatever you want to name your “me time” is up to you. Name it whatever gets you excited for it!

As we go through life, we tend to get so caught up in the outside world. We worry about traffic, bills, other people’s problems. We complain about simple things. We look at the beauty of it all less, and stare into a black oblivion more. We forget about ourselves. What makes us go, what makes us feel great inside and out. We let things slide.

Well not anymore! You owe it to yourself to make a day, right now. Make one day, once a week, to dedicate to yourself. Drink some wine, relax, and do what YOU WANT.
Not what you need.

Have you been letting your hobbies wither? Have you forgotten about some passions in life? Have you been thinking about something lately that you just have an urge to do?

If the answer is yes to any of these, then today is the day my friend! Go spoil yourself. Make it your day and wash your worries away 😉

Just Do It.

We have all seen their shirts and heard the words.
But how many of us have really thought about the message that Nike is telling us? When you hear the famous phrase, “JUST DO IT” what do you think about? 

I have personally taken this phrase into every action of my daily life.

When I don’t want to wake up in the mornings, just do it.
When I am dreading the many errands I have to run on my bicycle in the middle of the afternoon, just do it. 
When I think about exercising, just do it. 
And especially when I start a project I’m proud of and other people have a negative opinion on it. I JUST DO IT.

There will always be someone down your path of success who will tell you that your dream isn’t good enough. That you won’t accomplish it. They will tear you down as much as possible. Their negativity will come into your world if you let it. A negative influence from somebody else is enough to stop you in your tracks from getting what you what out of life. You can’t runaway from them, but you can prevent more from coming in your life.

Sometimes your dreams may be out of this world. Inventing something no one has thought of before, starting up a company of old collections, or even just having a goat farm. It can be anything! But if it’s important to you NOBODY should have the influence to stop you.

I read a post the other day from TheChangeBlog.com of 11 Habits of Highly Successful Dreamers. The number 10 habit was “Successful dreamers seek out healthy support from others.” If you think you know what I am about to tell you, you might be right.

It’s time to cut the fat.

If you have negativity surrounding you and your bright, innovative ideas; you need to get rid of the negativity. You need to stand up and say, “Hey! This is my dream and if you have nothing encouraging to say about it, you can take your negativity somewhere else.”
Sometimes, you just need to stick it to the man!

Sometimes, we will fail. If that happens, we just pick ourselves up and try again. We take that as a learning curve, something to build on and improve on. We don’t fail from fear. That is where I draw the line. We don’t let the other person win and bring us down with them. That is just unacceptable. You need to remember that it’s not your fault if the person bringing you down is not accomplishing what they set out for. It’s not your fault that they are not working towards their dream or progressing in their life. That is not your fault and you should not be held accountable.

“Your dream is lame.”
“Nobody will come to your event.”
“That’s a stupid idea, you shouldn’t do it.”
“You are wasting your time.”

STOP LISTENING TO THEM RIGHT NOW!

You deserve your dream. You deserve the excitement it brings you and the payoff from the hard work. You deserve being around the people who cheer you on and raise you higher for it. You deserve people believing in your dream as much as you do.

So take a seat and ask yourself some questions that maybe you haven’t confronted to yourself yet.

Am I getting the support I deserve from others?
Are there people around me giving me negative feedback?
Am I letting others influence the direction of my dreams and desires?
Am I letting fear get in my way on my path?

If the answers you’re getting aren’t the answers you were looking for, then you have exactly what you need. You need to go through and find where the negativity is coming from. Once you have pinpointed the negative surge, you need to pour water on it. Take it out. Let it go. And allow more positive energy to come into your life. Unless you take out the bad, there will be no room for the good to settle in comfortably.

Sometimes, you don’t want to tell that person, “Sayonara!”
You’re friends, you have history, but they haven’t exactly made you feel the best when it comes down to the heart-to-hearts. It’s clear you two are on different paths. You need to separate yourself from them and get around people who share a passion for success like you do. Successful Dreamers who are around other Successful Dreamers, together become Successful People. In the long run, getting rid of the negativity will make a big impact on you, almost immediately. The sun will be brighter, you will be happier, and your vision will become more real.

It can be hard to ignore someone’s influence. Don’t take this the wrong way though, make sure you know how they are putting their words. Sometimes, they can be giving you legitimate advice, forcing you to not get so caught up in the dream that you don’t look at both sides. Looking at both sides openly is a smart thing to do. You must analyze all your options and challenges you may face on your path. You must figure out how you will overcome these obstacles and give yourself the right option. That is a smart friend who is only looking out for you.

It’s the people who give no suggestion and no advice. It’s the people who laugh in your face. It’s the people who intentionally create the fear to stop you from gaining your happiness. There is no need to defend yourself to these people or give them any sort of explanation. You don’t owe it to them and it probably won’t change their opinion. You will want to give them the “I’ll show them” attitude. But you know what? Don’t even give them that.

Whatever your dream is, do it for yourself. Do it because it makes you excited to think about it. Do it because it ignites that fire inside of you. Do it because it will make you happy. Pump yourself up, encourage yourself and surround yourself with other encouraging, happy, driven people. Follow your dream no matter how crazy it is.

If it makes you happy and it’s important to you: JUST DO IT!

Sometimes

 

Sometimes, you just can’t let other people affect the decisions you want to make in life. Sometimes you have to remember that living your dreams, no matter how wild and crazy they are, does not mean you have to lose friendships. And people you surround yourself can either accept it or pretend you will always be there. Nobody ever said moving, exploring, or adventuring throughout one’s lifetime meant you had to become a stranger. I don’t want to spend my whole life living in the same city and doing the same thing for the rest of my life. I can do that when I have kids.

Sometimes, you have to live by yourself and move to different countries and get yourself in trouble and danger. You must always be aware and learn how to take care of yourself because sometimes, you won’t always have someone there to protect you. Sometimes though, you must be smarter than the average person and not invite the danger or trouble into your life. You must always remember to forgive someone if they are unable to protect you. It’s not their job in the first place. Sometimes, you just can’t rely on other people, and it would be selfish to hold grudges if and/or when they can’t come through.

Sometimes people can beg and plead with you to please be a certain way, but you must never change for them. You must only change when you if/when you want to and if/when you are ready. Sometimes people will give you life changing opportunities in the selfish hope that you will get your head out of the clouds and get a more stable life for yourself, but what is it worth if you are the adventurous type? What can they do if no matter how much they try, you will leave when you have an urge, have jobs at ungodly hours [and places for that matter], and be around some people who they just don’t like. Given that you remain a certain way, despite the ways you were raised and the choices you have made as you grew up, you must always hold respect for whoever you are around. Don’t ever think you are above someone because of the independence you may hold or the ways that you have set in stone. It’s never wise to battle with people who are like-minded as you are. That would be like slapping yourself in the face under a spotlight. Sometimes, you just have to swallow some pride, find a common ground, and roll with it.

Sometimes, after a long travel, you will come back to realize you just aren’t the same person. You have new hobbies and interests and are wondering who around you has the same thirst for something new. Sometimes people won’t accept it. Sometimes, they will make fun of the way you have become, because to them, it’s unrecognizable. Sometimes they won’t believe there is a change within you, but it’s not your duty to defend yourself, because in reality, you don’t have to answer to anybody if you choose not to. All you can be is who you are, regardless of how alike or different from the people you surround yourself with, there is a bond that should it be broken, was never a strong bond to start with. Sometimes these realities come and other times they don’t. Long travels are always a good way of defining the relationships you hold with others.
Sometimes people will just chuckle and shake their heads at you in complete ravelment as you say the things you say and do the things you do, and maybe sometimes you won’t be able to give them a reason for saying and doing it, but the important part is that you trust yourself. Because as long as you trust yourself, nothing in this world can stop you.

So be a fantast if you want. Be a realist. Be whatever you want to be. Do what makes you happy. Make the choices you make for yourself and nobody else. If you decide something, go in it with your full heart! Don’t look back. Keep moving forward and do whatever you have to, to accomplish the dreams you have. Nobody will ever look down upon who works hard to get what they want. Stick to your personality, don’t back down to other people. Don’t let yourself get intimidated. Don’t change for the moment or the people around you. BE YOURSELF.
Because sometimes, without dreams, we wouldn’t be where we are today; in this exact moment.

How To Beat Getting Off Your Routine

When I moved to China, I thought I was going to change everything about myself. Come back to America as a woman. Everybody at home is anticipating what this new found woman will be like. Poised? Articulate? Responsible? Level-headed?

So one of the first things I did when I arrived was make a list. I wrote down everything that I wanted to work on in China. Faults, weakness, and even strengths that I wanted to gain and grow a better knowledge of.

For the first half of this trip, I was flying by, and getting ahead of things. I was keeping up with every homework assignment and student evaluation at the end of the day. I never had to worry if my lesson was planned or not, because it was ready to go be dropped off in the classroom every morning on my way to lunch. I worked out every night, kept up in my diary, faithfully took care of washing my face, and reading my books as fast as I could. I was learning Chinese and utilizing it anywhere I could, even if I ended up saying “Wo ting bu dong”.

I felt on top. I felt confident. I felt secure and strong and happy as well.

A sense of overwhelming anxiety starting coming to me the second I heard I was going to teach Shop Class. Me? Building things and taking them apart?  I COULD BARELY MAKE A KEYCHAIN! From that instant, I became worried. After that, I stopped working out everyday. After I stopped working out, I stopped turning in my lesson plans on time and then *gasp!* I came to two meetings late. I started neglecting my student evaluation sheets and all the important things I had to do. I still did them, but not to the full extent at which they righteously deserved. I was seeing my friends more instead of preparing for my lessons.

I JUST COULDN’T GET IT TOGETHER! I almost didn’t complain. Admittedly, for the short time, I didn’t mind neglecting certain things. I cauht up on my sleep schedule and finally finished the The Hunger Games series. I knew what I was doing and didn’t feel much remorse on the outside. However, on the inside, I was beating myself up.
Why are you letting yourself get away with this attitude? How long are you going to do this until you bury yourself under last minute stress and procrastination?”
I knew I had to change something. I couldn’t keep pretending I was giving my best effort.

I spent an entire afternoon in silence. Listening to the thoughts in my head come and go. I didn’t move until I felt I could focus and write out an action plan of what to do and how to do it. I needed to get my priorities straight and realize some things are much more important than others. Although I have made many friends and have the time of my life in this school, I came here to teach. To find myself. To learn. To grow.
What I was doing the past 3 weeks was anything but that.

So after my meditation ended, I got up and wrote my action plan. I turned my music up loud and deep cleaned my room. They say having less clutter around gives you a much clearer mind – and they are right. I packed away everything I didn’t need anymore. I took out all the trash, swept the room, made my bed, and organized everything I could.
I wrote five lesson plans for the week coming up. I washed my face and did ten push ups. I caught up in my diary. I replied to all 13 emails that had the word “draftnext to it from the previous weeks. I skyped my mother to prove to her I wasn’t dead. I washed my hair. I wrote a new chapter in my book. I uploaded pictures to this very site and updated captions.

That day, I got things done. And I didn’t stop until I was satisfied enough to take myself out on the field that night to dance for an hour, as my form of cardio.

LESSON LEARNED:
IT’S ALL ABOUT BABY STEPS.

You can’t expect to do everything in one day. We are not Superman or the Flash. We cannot possibly finish our life’s accomplishments in one week. Just like the yin and yang, once something is done with, something new will need to be tackled. The ever-going To-Do lists of our lives will be with us wherever we go and slacking will only make things harder.

Remembering to take baby steps is a great way to accomplish a goal or to continue on a steady and stable path towards your life’s work. Sometimes we will get distracted. Sometimes emergencies happen. And other times, we realize half way through, “this isn’t what I want at all.” And that’s OKAY.
But that is no excuse to let ourselves fly off the handle into a disarray of stress and worries. Taking tasks one by one, and giving each our full focus will help out in the long run.

WHY DID YOU DO IT IN THE FIRST PLACE?
What motivated you to start a new goal or task in the first place? For me, I wanted to stay on top of eating healthy and working out regularly. In my family, it’s easy for weight to bounce around. We make big meals. Fattening desserts. Treats, drinks, and pastries that make your mouth water. The best I can do is demonstrate self-control. It’s a new skill I have been working on for the past six months, and let me tell you firsthand…. this is easier said than done. If I was one of the lucky people who could devour the world and not gain a pound; never having to worry about cardio or strength training, I would definitely take the opportunity.
But it’s not just my family genes that motivate me to workout. I love being healthy. I love finding new recipes that boost my energy and clear my head. I love drinking my water and running until I want to fall on my face. I love the feeling of being sore the next three days because I challenged my body to new heights of strength I didn’t know I had before.
It’s then, when I remind myself “this is why I love this,” that I can allow myself to re-evaluate my wants and needs and get back to my routine of staying active and healthy.

If you are not one who has the ability to handle dramatic changes (and I applaud those of you who are), weaning yourself back into your routine is the best way to not lose your hair, so to speak. Living in another country for me is challenging at times. There are changes everyday to my routine, but this time, instead of being neglectful of my hobbies, passions, and important alone time, I find a way to keep my routine as recognizable as possible. I have learned to not sweat the small stuff, but yet accept it as it comes and find a way to deal with the changes without dealing with regretful thoughts and actions.

So just remember a few things:

-breathe.
-take some baby steps.
-clear your head.
-remember your passions and activities, and why you started doing them.

Sometimes life gets hard. It is always changing. But it is up to us and only us to deal with it in a way that keeps us sane. Don’t lose your head over one small fear and stress. Work with it. Challenge yourself. And make it into something new and creative. You never know what you can come up.

PS- Now that I no longer am teaching shop (I will begin Arts & Crafts tomorrow) I have realized, it was my favorite subject to teach so far.
Funny how things work out, right?

 

I did it!

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I did it! I reached 5/8’s by my birthday. I started stretching my ears around last August. One drunken night and I went from a regular earring size to a size 8. I started out with wood gauges. I didn’t think I wanted to go any bigger. And then I kept finding styles I liked in bigger sizes. Whoever said the hobby is addicting is right. It’s fun. I picked a size that I would be content with staying at for good and I decided I would be there by my birthday.
Well, my tomorrow is tomorrow and five minutes ago, I reached that goal!

This blog is not about my ears. This blog is about reaching goals and how great it makes you feel.

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Reaching goals is the one thing that will heighten your spirits in a time of need. It’s easy to give up and tell yourself you can’t do something. It’s easy to throw it all away because of the fear of the unknown. But being able to push throw obstacles and negative outsiders is one thing that is sure to not only build your confidence, but give you the boost you need to get the rest of your goal list crossed off with!

Recently, I have been slacking a little bit on my lesson planning. I have been allowing myself to get distracted and have been going to sleep two hours later than my body is used to. I haven’t been drinking as much water. Glad to say, I am still staying active though!

I have been caught up in my new life in China. The friends, the late night chats, the movie nights on school nights. Hanging out when I know I need to get ready for lessons and classes. Just because I have managed to do it, doesn’t mean I needed the stress that follows. That’s one thing I have learned: When you don’t listen to your body or figure out where the stress is coming up, it’s a great way to steer clear of any goal you had in mind.

Not that stretching my ears is comparable to publishing a book after years of dedication of thought and writing and research; however, it is something I have been dedicated at doing. It shows you that no matter what your goal is, BE PERSISTENT.

 

I am not the kind of blogger who can give you a step by step instruction on how to beat getting off routine. Sometimes, in my last posts you may have read, you need to indulge. Sometimes, instead of doing errands and work all day, you NEED that day in bed. Pamper yourself and by all means, never over work yourself into an unhappy situation.

 

The main thing you need to remember and ask yourself constantly is:
“What is the reason I fell in love with doing this in the first place?”
Did it help your morning run smoothly? Did it center your chi? How do you feel when you do this activity that you have been putting off? Instead of the normal activity, what have you replaced it with? Something better? Something worse? How much sleep are you getting over this?

 

If some are yes and some are no, try taking out a piece of paper. Write down all your goals. From when you decided on doing it and the finish date you want it completed by. What has happened in the time since then? What situations have come up that can be ignored? What priorities became undeniably more important for the time being?

AND THEN ASK YOURSELF ONE MORE QUESTION:
Do you like yourself more when you accomplish goals and have less stress on your shoulders? Or are you okay with letting the small things slide and the lack of sleep you are getting?

It is much better to do it as it comes, gaining more freedom; rather to wait and never have a moment to relax.

Magnify Your Calling

Today was Mindy’s birthday. We were scheduled to have another amazing Sunday lunch in the commons when they were done with church at 11am. I made sure to be all ready by that time to start helping prepare the food and dishes.
At 11 on the dot, I was sitting.on the couch, waiting for them to finish. Only this week, Sarah was teaching their Sunday school. I decided to stay, because any company is better than sitting alone, bored, in my dorm.
Listening to her talk, she did a subject on “magnifying your calling” and it more than caught my attention.
I ended up joining the discussion and comparing everything to life, instead of the just the church.

There is one thing to be learned from today….. We must magnify our callings in life! When you want something so bad in life, you will make time for it. You will always have the energy to put effort towards your goal. You will find a way to persist and work dilligently, passionately, and thoroughly.
You can make it to the top by half-assing it, sure, but you will feel ten times better knowing you kicked your own ass to get there.

30 Day Challenge – TED Talks

One of the beautiful things I picked up on from my ex boyfriend, was the greatness of a 30 Day Challenge. You can learn something new in that time, develop a new habit, break an old habit, or even make a complete lifestyle change – in thirty days. It was truly amazing. Back in September when he would tell me of his past challenges, my mind was boggled! I thought immediately of a list of things I both wanted to do and wanted to stop doing.

So, I joined the 30 Day Challenge train and have been doing them since. I boosted my self-confidence with running two miles everyday and found out I love exercising more than I thought I did. I stopped wearing make-up for 30 days and realized, appearence doesn’t matter as much as people think. I actually think I got hit on more and got asked out on dates more, than when I went out with make-up. That was pretty interesting.

My latest challenge was watching one TED Talk everyday and writing down notes on that talk. For those of you who have never heard of a TED Talk, it stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. “Ideas Worth Spreading” is their motto and let me tell you, those ideas are worth spreading. You can pick from different themes, depending on your mood. You can select from a list of speakers if you have a particular favorite in mind, or you can just click on the latest one uploaded.
I found myself picking talks that I knew nothing about, pickinb subjects I didn’t necessarily believe in myself, but it was about opening up my mind. Listening to another point of view. Seeing things from a different perspective.

Now, for every challenge, I ask myself a small list of questions afterwards, such as, “Did you learn anything about yourself in the last thirty days?”
“How has this challenge impacted or changed your life?”
“Is this something that you will continue to do everyday or even weekly? Has it made a permanent way into your life?”
“What was your favorite part about the challenge?”
“what was your least favorite part?”
Questions to make me think and giving myself a chance to be honest with them. There are so many questions you can come up with.

To answer, I learned that not only can I take myself seriously, but so can other people. If I’m discussing a particular subject with friends or family, I can mention a talk I listened to about it and give credit to the speaker, list facts, and even the research I’ve done on it. It has made me care more about the meaning of life. My purpose in life. It has made me more comfortable being me, and making myself happy. I can keep conversations going, I am developing opinions  and flexible opinions, at that. I am more open minded to other’s way of thinking. I am more willing to admit I am wrong about something and praise them for showing me something new, teaching me.
I will definitely continue on listening to a TED talk everyday. I can’t promise with notes, however I thought it was a great idea to take notes, as it helps me remember the talk more concretely. I has made it’s way into ky life because the ideas never stop, the talks will go on forever. There will always be something to learn, something to share, and something to be truly touched by and inspired from.
My favorite part of the challenge was having my mind expanded, my expectations lowered, and my heart more humbled. I’ve been surprisingly more patient, more kind, and know a little bit more specifically of what I want out of life.
My least favorite part was carrying this notebooks on all the trips out of town I have made 😉
I had to make sure I didn’t forget it! Before partying, I sat in the living room of where we were at and I did my talk before joining. If we were extremely exhausted, I did a talk before I went to bed. It did not matter if my eyes were rolling in the back of my head or not.
It taught me discipline. Which is actually, a universal lesson I have been learning from my past challenges as well.

Doing a 30 Day Challenge has so many great benefits! You can learn so many things about yourself. You can give yourself the opportunity to expand and grow an d. progress in one way or another. All it takes is your wanting to do so! Isn’t there one thing you have been wanting to learn? Something you have always had the interest in trying? Something you want to do not so much anymore?
Baby steps are better than standing still.
So my question to you is,
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

Start your challenge, now.

🙂

Don’t Lose Your Spirit!

So I’m sitting at the library today, down in Provo Utah and I’m waiting for my mom to come pick me up. I start thinking about how long I haven’t written a new post in quite some time, and I started feeling disappointed in myself!

As I read more blogs, I couldn’t help but start to think, “mine has to be like that. Why isn’t mine like that?”
I realized, they don’t HAVE to look like a magazine print-out or sound extremely intellectual, or even always have meaning. I’m not that way 100% of the
time, so why should my blogs be? That would be lying to myself.

I think sometimes we as people, lose our spirit when put into a higher situation- me for example, had all sorts of posts on my livejournal. I knew nobody looked at it, I didn’t really care if anybody looked at it, but seeing my own posts made me smile. I liked writing in them wherever I was at the moment. Now that I have my own blog website, I have this weird feeling of “oh, this post won’t be interesting enough” or “this post won’t have great meaning”

But half the reason I love my own writing is because I use my freedom to say and type how I want!
The secret is to finding the style of writing you are most comfortable doing. I still read my inspiring, empowering, and personal development blogs everyday. Now, I have no comparison. They are amazing writers, also with much more practice and experience than I have. I understand that that’s okay. My blogs will always be a little random, a little chaotic. Some will have pictures, some won’t. Some might swear, some might make you laugh. Hell, I don’t need to warn you or prepare you.

The point is, be who you are, always. Love where you are at, and don’t change your personality for anything.

Comparisons will always put you down, stay away from those! They are only those nasty words in your head telling you that you aren’t good enough, one way or another. YOU ARE!

You always have the ability to be great.

Don’t ever lie to yourself. Be open to your own way and put your personality into whatever you do, whether it’s writing blogs or painting art. Make it YOURS! It will be much more respectable and much more appreciated seeing that it came from the heart.

If you have writer’s block (or artist’s block whether it be painting or musical or anything of passion) START SOMEWHERE!!! Doesn’t matter where! When I started writing this ten minutes ago, I had no idea I would be typing what I am now. But here I am, listing ways for you to never lose your spirit.

Use me as an example. Don’t let your passion die. It will be a bigger regret than eating that entire bag of potato chips you had last night 😉

Great Autumn Day.

Current Location:

You know when you have one of those days where everything is just perfect for you? (Or as close as perfect can get)

I have had that kind of day. First of all, nothing makes me a happier girl than when I wake up in my cabana with the moist, fresh, crisp autumn air greeting me with the crickets rubbing their wings together and the sun just barely gleaming out of the clouds. The kind of weather that looks cold, but is just warm enough to still wear shorts. I turned over to see the face of my adorable boyfriend, with his arm wrapped around me. He looks so adorable in my girlish bed, it never ceases to make me giggle seeing such a manly man in such a girly atmosphere. Poor boy. He must like me 😛

I got my dream job, working at Victoria’s Secret. It may sound silly, but I have wanted to be a part of the angel team for as long as I can remember, before my obsession with Playboy came about. But anyway, that will be a discussion for a different day. Anyway, we did a lot of hands on training at the store today, which is the #1 store in our entire region. It makes me feel extremely proud to work for such a great company, and I am hoping to stay with them for a long while. I made a friend there who is much different than I am. Jessica is going the LDS Business College and loves BYU. Now, I grew up with more Mormon people and turned out the exact opposite. I experimented, swore, snuck out, and broke every rule I could think of. Yet, when I am around all the LDS friends of mine, I feel so wonderful 🙂 She is such a great girl and means well. She is new to Utah, and it inspired me to be a good friend to her, and show her a genuinely good time in Utah. Since I am doing this whole “Bad Girl Gone Good” transformation, I know I needed to decide who in my life in poison, tolerable, and good for me. So far, I have done semi well.

So, back on subject – waking up to a perfect morning? Check. Go to Dream Job? Check. Make a new friend? Check.

After work, I grabbed my bike just in time for a 7 minute thunderstorm to sweep into the downtown area of Salt Lake. Picking up leaves and papers and bending the trees at just the right amount of angle to worry someone of a tornado. It was pouring rain! And I love that. I used to be terrified of thunderstorms. When they would come, I would run to my bedroom and jump in my bed and pull the covers all the way over me. The breaking of the clouds sent my heart pounding and seeing the lightening frightened me more than the sound of a chainsaw at the Haunted Mazes during Halloween. Once I got over that fear, I played in the rain, slept soundly during a thunderstorm and will now even sit outside and just watch in awe as the natural wonders of the world take place. I watched the thunderstorm today through the glass doors of a corridor, waiting for my amazing friend, Allison to pick me up in her truck. Our stomach’s were demanding we let it feed on Paradise Bakery.

So that’s three other great things! -> Thunderstorm? Check. Seeing good friends? Check. Panini’s and soup? CHECK, CHECK.

I got to ride my bike all around the city today and for anyone who knows anything about me, knows how much I love being on my Trek. The feeling of being on a bike is so free and invigorating. Since the thunderstorm was rather short, the smell of rain filled my nose as I aimlessly rode back down to and around my work, up to the busy streets and would have stopped at my gym to lay in the tanning bed, but forgot my goggles. It’s okay though, skin cancer wasn’t on my To-Do List today anyhow.

I took a great nap with Devan and his greatly big, beating heart offered to drive me and pick me up from my best friend’s birthday dinner tonight. She is 21 today. *HAPPY BIRTHDAY NATHALY! I LOVE YOU SO VERY MUCH!* I had such a good time tonight at Winger’s sitting with her, her son (and my Godchild) Damian, her boyfriend Luke, and his friend Dylan. We talked about hilarious experiences and I filmed Damian taking off his baby wife beater and playing peek-a-boo; his new favorite game. I don’t get to see them all as much as I would like, if it were up to me, I would be living in the same house as them. Every year, I know if we don’t get to see each other, I can at least count on her birthday – NO EXCUSES – for us to have our time. She is one of those friends that no matter how much you talk or physically interact, things are right where they should be. Being there in her presence tonight, made me feel at peace.

So, in conclusion with my story: free bike riding? Check. Nap? Check. Best friend and Godchild time? Check.

 

I’m not saying I have a perfectly happy life. Just like other people, I have worries and stresses and sometimes I feel like my world is about to spin out of control, but it’s days like these where I stop and smile. I tell myself everything will be okay. I remind myself of how many good things I have and how grateful I am to have such a wonderful surrounding of energy comparable to the Sun that controls our very solar system. It’s easy to forget how much we take for granted. Maybe we don’t have the job we want, or maybe our siblings play the “Why?” game too much or embarrass us when we’re with our friends. Maybe you live paycheck to paycheck and are in debt, spending money faster than you can make it. Whatever the case may be, you’re alive. Be thankful for that. Be thankful you have a place to sleep at night and a computer or some kind of internet to read this on right now. Despite all the unfortunate things that may occur in our lifetime to us, these are the days that will mean the most when you’re gone. Not making a million dollars in a year or how many nice pairs of True Religions you own. Nobody will care about that when you’re dead, unless you are Valentino. Then people may care… but until then, stop and smell the fresh air. Smile, because today is a new day to do great things. It is never too late to soak up the goodness.