#0006 Know Your Happy Place

Where do you go to escape it all? What is that one sacred place to you in life? Is it somewhere specific? Is it the idea of somewhere? Can you go there and escape a Tuesday just in your mind? Even just for a few minutes indulge with me where ever it may be for you.

For me I’ll take you to the water, to the beach, to the ocean. Ever since I was a little girl the water has been one of my favorite weekend excursions. Whether it was going out on my dads boat to one of the many lakes scattered through West Michigan. Or it was going to visit my beloved aunt in Florida where we would swim together for hours in the pool at her retirement community.

As I got older I got to go to the water seemingly less and less. Weekends got busy with other things, jam packed with work sometimes and cleaning other times. So now moving across the country to a totally new place where I know nearly no one and I get to rebuild my life in a new settings. I have made the decision to do those things more that set my soul free, one being to be near the water more and get back to those roots of mine. What better place than the OC to do that, right? With those endless shorelines and mild temperatures year round, it shouldn’t be too difficult. 

No matter how you spin it, the water is my happy place. I am into those chill days listening to the waves crash all around me. Those are the days made for me with each crash I let go a little more of whatever the week dealt me and remember how small those moments are and how important this time truly is to my soul. I hope where ever you go to feel free, you go there more and you truly soak it all up.

Best water in my world (so far):

  1. Anywhere in Laguna Beach with John and Russ 
  2. Duck lake on my dad’s boat fishing & tubing all day
Laguna Beach, CA PC: John- he takes the best pictures

As always live lightly and love courageously dear reader.

#0005 Love your Skin Now

If I could just lose 5lbs by next week. If I could just get rid of this nasty muffin top. If only, if only,  if only we could just love ourselves now! If only we could stop putting these contingencies on our own self acceptance. These ideas that we would finally be happy if we made these small changes, but that isn’t how life should be. Life should start with each of loving ourselves, now!

Accept your body as it is today. I beg you, each of you to do more things from self – love. You are absolutely amazing, each of your bodies is so unique and diverse, with intricacies that I can only begin to understand. A little secret, the most beautiful people don’t have everything, but they carry themselves knowing that what they have is enough. I find that confidence and self appreciation are beautiful.

It’s therapeutic to let go of trying to be someone else and to fully accept who we each are now. To accept those little imperfections that crooked smile, muffin top, birthmark, whatever it is that you can’t stop trying to hide. Why? It is each of those little pieces of us that are the most magical and the most intriguing. They are the things that we should be highlighting, that make us each so incredibly special. So start being proud of who you are, of the freckles, ths crooked teeth, and even the bushy eyebrows. My hope is that we all can see how beautiful our wonderous body`s truly are today and how they always have been. It saddens me to see so many friends who are constantly tormenting themselves over weight loss or other body shaming exercises.

I am not saying we shouldn’t make new goals or even that sometimes those goals won’t be to be healthier and maybe lose some weight. By all means make new goals to make yourself healthier, to be a better you, but let’s do those things out of self-love instead of personal torment and self destruction. I know it is easier said than done and that I too fall victim to self criticisms often, but today I challenge you to look in the mirror and focus on what you see that you like most. Say “I love my eyes” or “I like the way my butt looks in these jeans,” your body is endlessly complex and breath- taking. Let’s build ourselves up, like John Mayer said “your body is a wonderland” so own it, and love it!

  1. Love your skin
  2. Tell yourself compliments
  3. Stop being so hard on yourself

Most importantly, always live lightly and love courageously my dear readers.

#0004 Indulge in your Passions

Life is busy. Sometimes it seems like there is no time for sleep let alone anything outside of work. It can be hard to find a balance of energy sometimes, between the things that we have to do, the things we feel obligated to do, and the things that we love to do. However hard it may be, this balance in life is crucial. It is a healthy balance that helps to make sure that we do not fall into a robot like state-of-being where we simply wake up, do stuff, sleep, repeat.

One of my goals for the last few week has been to focus. To truly take time and first think about the things that give me life and make me the happiest. Then to just focus on doing more of those things. To truly indulge in things that I appreciate, to make myself feel more well, myself. I have found that doing so has felt both relieving and rejuvenating. For these things that I have been focusing my energy on are the essence of who I am and in turn who I want to be more often. Sometimes we push those things away and say belittling things about them. We say things because to other people maybe they aren’t important, which is ok. Your thing doesn’t have to be everybody’s thing and vice versa, those intricacies are what make you more unique and special. Stop saying things about your passions or about other peoples passions like: “it’s stupid,” “it isn’t important,” or “I can do it tomorrow.” Instead, let’s say “it’s special,” it’s my thing,” or “I love doing it” stop shying away from yourself or feeling selfish for doing things for yourself. I am an advocate that it is ok and more than that it is wonderful to do things for ourselves.

My list of things include:

  • Yoga
  • Playing with my dog
  • Making things: macrame, mugs, candles
  • Going to the beach
  • Exploring new places

What’s on your list? Whatever it is I am happy and hope that you look at those things as personal treasures to keep near and dear to your heart.

I admire those people who make time for the things that they love. I look up to people who are driven by their passion to do more things that make them feel alive. That is my type of people. We are all busy with this or that- jobs, housework, and other responsibilities, but what do you do for yourself. What do you do that lights a fire in your soul? Whatever it may be, do it more. Make time for things that are important to you, those are the things that life is all about those are the things worth doing in your life.

Don’t be afraid to take a day and go sit by the beach to just be. Or sit on your porch during a thunderstorm and read your go-to book. Or sit in your hammock nestled deep in the woods somewhere, where no one can find you and you can just breathe in the cool October air. Or do whatever the hell it is that really makes you feel the most content and happy about yourself because you deserve it damn it.

It is important to really focus on what you love, to milk it and give those few things the majority of your energy. Don’t feel like you have to love everything or be good at everything, it is nonsense to think that any one thing is for everyone. Love what you love, and appreciate others for the different things that may bring them joy.

A few thoughts I hope you will all take with you:

  1. Stop feeling obligated to do so much.
  2. You are never too busy for what you love.
  3. Do more things that light a fire in you.

See you next week and like always live lightly & love courageously my dear readers.

#0003 A Lesson on Soulmates

Soulmates, maybe you don’t believe in them. Maybe you think that you choose who you love and there is no such thing as fate. Well, I can’t say I didn’t agree with you for a long time. You can absolutely choose who you want to love and to let someone be in your life, but you can not choose when it comes to soulmates. And once you know, you know. It’s this seemingly uncontrollable draw to one another, something like magic really. You understand things about each other no one else could, you don’t have to explain yourself because it is as if you have found another piece of you. Someone to dream with, someone to grow with, and someone to live with just enjoying ordinary things.

It’s a beautifully scary thing to find your soulmate. You want to hold on to them so tightly and keep them with you always once you find them. All the while knowing you can’t do that and more importantly you don’t need to cling to it because it is a force the universe is pushing you two together. You have to let each other breathe and grow individually just as much as you should be growing together as a couple of young and in love wild things.

Just a couple of things that I have found throughout these first few months:

  1.  You will undoubtedly be incredibly hard on each other. Knowing each other’s full potential and never wanting less. Relentless. Pushing each other to be the best version of yourself. It’s exhausting at some points. But it is so natural and inescapable.
  2. You will bicker almost right off the bat about the silliest things. Stop. Try to push those silly tendencies away, as hard as it may be.
  3. Do nice things for your loved one. Do little things for each other: make breakfast, slip a card in their bag before work, buy them their favorite ice cream. Whatever it is, something that is important is to think about someone else as much as you do about yourself, better yet think about them before you think about yourself. It is a truly beautiful relationship that comes from small acts of kindness to each other and focusing on the other person’s needs before your own.

And to my one and only, soulmate. Thank you for having so much faith in who I am. Thank you for continuing to dream another dream with me. Most importantly though, thank you for being a constant light in my life, one of optimism, courage, and compassion. You truly are more than I ever could have dreamed.To all of you out there wrestling with anything less than this, let me give you a few new ideas. Leave. Don’t settle. Stop being scared.

Move forward with your life and making it everything you ever dreamed of or even more than your dreams. Please don’t think someone that is enough is your soulmate. There is SO much more out there, you can have the life you always wanted if you allow yourself to. If you wake up in the morning and you think you are with the wrong person and too scared to leave, take it from me and just do it. You will thank yourself as soon as you make that huge first step towards your better tomorrow. It is never easy, but love is always worth the risk.

I am always rooting for you. I am always rooting for love. I am always rooting for another better tomorrow.

Please always remember, live lightly and love courageously my dear readers.

#0002 Embrace You Now

Embrace it. Own it. Live it. However you say it, say it with conviction and know that whatever it is, is you and you are enough. I know they may be simple phrases, but they are big too. They can be tough ideas sometimes, yes, but they are always so important and especially when we are young. If I were to keep it simple right now, I would just leave it at- you are enough, so embrace whatever it is that makes you, you; but, nothing is actually that easy so I will go on to say a few things on the idea of feeling like enough in this big, beautiful world we live in. 

So whether you are a barista or a secretary, that is enough. Or maybe you are doing something that you always dreamed of doing, but still feel a little underwhelmed and apprehensive as to where you are specifically, that’s ok and that is enough too. Whatever you are doing is enough, after all, life isn’t all about what you do from 9 to 5 (or whatever variation of those hours that you may happen to work). Life is about what you make of it. Life is about the experience and focusing on making lasting and life-altering moments out of the right here and right now.

It is ok not to be everything all at once, you are you and that is wonderful. You don’t have to do everything or see everything, right now. You can take your time, I know it is a heartbreaking thought, the idea of not doing everything you ever wanted in life, but I just want to say it is actually ok. In fact, I don’t think anyone does everything they ever wanted, that is part of the beauty of life, yearning. Yearning for another day, another adventure, another moment. So instead of fretting over the things we may miss out on, let’s all enjoy what time we have here and the many things we do in our own day-to-day life.  I know we all want to travel and do other lavish things and that is beautiful and magical itself, but more importantly is what we do here and now. It is more important to look at yourself daily and know that inside of you are a lot of miracles going on and new ideas formatting that are so out of this world. Inside of you is a whole spirit, so entirely different than anyone else’s and uniquely you. So, share it with others, share those ideas with anyone you can and be open to new ideas of others as they come too. Be content and even overwhelmed with where you are now and what you are striving for in the future.

Focus on the things that are important to you. Let those be the things that you base your life around and make your life choices to reflect. Stop thinking what you love is silly because it is not silly, it is your passion. I urge you, to take control and be as decisive as you can be as you get older with your moves. Don’t do things because everyone else is doing them, do them because they help you feel alive and fulfilled, that is how you truly accept yourself and become the best you possible.

Life is an adventure or rollercoaster or ride, or whatever other metaphor you prefer, they all have a similar common theme: Life is an ever moving event where we must embrace each moment happening and truly milk it for what it can be worth. So you are sitting on the couch right now and maybe watching your favorite sitcom, enjoy it. Nobody said that you have to be completely extraordinary all of the time, it can delightful and monumental to be kind of normal sometimes: To go get ice cream with your favorite niece or to take your dog for a walk and enjoy the time you have with your furry little companion. Whatever you are doing, do it with passion and do it in a way that is so radically your own that you enjoy every moment of it.

Here is what I wish to leave you with today:

  1. It’s ok to be a work in progress.
  2. Embrace who you are now.
  3. You are enough everyday, wherever you are.

What you are doing now is undeniably you, own it!

& Always remember, live lightly and love courageously my dear readers.

 

Lesson #0001: Let Go

A very famous author once said, “I hope that you live a life you’re proud of and if you’re not, I hope that you have the courage to start all over again” -F. Scott Fitzgerald. This happens to be something that I strongly believe in, something that I have said to myself a lot in the past few years while I have been discovering and molding who I am. I hope all of my readers realize that it truly is never too late to start a new. If you find you are living a life that is less than you dreamed of then I  hope you will make changes in your life today to improve your future. Change is such a beautiful constant in all of our lives and yet so many shy away when they hear the word. Well, I want to suggest to anyone who may approach changes in their life with apprehension and fear to in the future try looking at those same moments with excitement and curiosity for the unknown that can be and will be.

Life, specifically life in our early 20’s is what molds the rest of our existence and what shapes our individual future. I know when we are young it can be hard to think about ourselves and to focus on what is best for our future. Instead, we focus our time on what our friends are doing or what other people in our lives are doing, but I want to instill the idea that it is important to let yourself grow into what you are meant to be. Stop focusing so much of your valuable time on what others may need and remind yourself of what you need for personal growth. By doing so, you will, in turn, help others as well. For by being your best self you inspire others to do the same in their daily life.

This year has been an eye-opener, to say the least. I realized it can be so healthy to let go of people who are not right for the life we intend to lead. Do what you need to do for yourself. Leave the guy, if he isn’t right for you. Drop the job if it isn’t a good fit for you. Move on from a town if the ideals are different from yours. Live! Move on! Do what will help you jump out of bed in the morning with the excitement of another day and the idea of the rest of your life being just what you want it because it can be just that. Live the life you want: explore, experience, and learn everything you can.

Have you always wanted something? Well go get it, dreaming about it won’t get you far. And I can sure as hell tell you that it won’t be handed to you. It might seem like people are holding you back, but it really comes down to you holding yourself back and by allowing others to hold you back it is the same damn thing. Let go of people who resist your change, this is your life to live and do what you want and what is right for you. So, be you! It’s cheesy, but it’s vital to remember that this is your life and this can be your moment, you just have to make it be. Life is lived best when we explore the knowledge that we have and invest in being ourselves more each day. Afterall this is such an easy concept and yet so difficult to master.

I wish for you, each of you that you look into the mirror and love what you see. And if you look in the mirror and see anything less, I hope that you will look at yourself softly and know that you can achieve the many things you wish to accomplish in life. Through determined thought for tomorrow make the changes that you always intended to make for yourself. Let go of things that hold you back from the life you want to lead. Stop running from something, because newsflash it is chasing you and right there always like your shadow. Embrace it and accept it- it’s you. Be the person you are running from because it is beautiful to see people being themselves. You are after all so incredibly unique.

Things I want to leave you with today:

  1. Let go.
  2. Be you.
  3. Be gentle.

Please always remember, live lightly and love courageously my dear readers.