It is that time of year again!

It is that time of year again when I am planning a beach camping vacation and I need to purchase a swim suit. Last year it was a well thought out plan but one I wasn’t looking forward to. I am completely the person that will compare my body with those immediately around me and if they are slimmer then me I automatically cut myself down to the size of a grain of sand. My self worth becomes non-existence because I dump on myself for not being thin as well. (so keeping my fingers crossed for the exploration with body positivity)

I wasn’t planning to buying a swim suit yesterday but I made my way over to the rack anyways and said “why the hell not, maybe I will get lucky”.

Get Lucky

 

And I DID! Maybe it was because my goal going into the dressing room was I will be happy if they just fit, they don’t have to look good, they just have to fit. With goal one in check, I started to check out all the other angles and of course looked to play up the assets and down play the mid-section. Check points on both and I went home with 2 new bathing suits that are very comfortable. I even purchased a panty style bottom which I rarely purchase or wear, I am a skirt bottom kind of girl.

I have to confess the bathing suit I purchased last year looks good but it is like getting into a SPANX. After I wrestle with the top and figure out which way is the front and get the straps situated, I want to fall exhausted on the bed.  I didn’t wear this suit once when I was in the Bahamas this Spring. There is no last minute, “let’s go for a swim” and just toss on your swim suit. It takes time and patience and you need air conditioning blasting on you because look out if you are hot and sweating this suit is not going on easy.

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Off to the beach I go……

 

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What I have learned about blogging.

Having been blogging for over a year now you learn a few things a long the way. Here is what I have learned, where I am, and my thoughts.

  1. If you want to blog about beauty even occasionally you are going to spend a lot of money. Beauty blogging is popular and informative. I really enjoy reading about new products and trying new things. When I see several people rave about the same product I am usually hooked and it goes on my wish list. My highest ratings on are beauty posts.  It is however going to cost you money because unless you are willing to put in the time and effort to take your blog to the next level companies are not going to be sending you free product. If you start beauty blogging to receive free product, it is probably not going to happen over night and it takes a lot of work. In the last year or so I have been contacted by a few companies wanting free post and advertising and thanks to fellow bloggers I turn them down because I don’t work for free. If beauty is your passion and you are buying product anyway go for it, but it is easy to get caught up in the deals and bonuses and always, always new products to try. Beauty blogging must be a dream come true for companies. I am sure it increases their sales significantly.
  2. If you want to increase your traffic photos are everything. People are visual and you hook them with good photos.  I purchased a new camera and have yet to really learn how to use it. I don’t have the skills or time to create the amazing photos I see on some blogs. I still hope to get there, someday.
  3. Blogs and writers come and go, some never to return. Many people blog as a creative outlet ( like me! ). They have big, busy lives outside of the computer and sometimes that life takes over and blogging gets put on the back burner. I wish I could write more because I started this blog to write about all the great things in my life, its purpose was to celebrate all things I love and enjoy and I want to document those things. I really enjoy writing about my adventures with my family and personal growth but of course real life takes over sometimes and what is wrong with that?!
  4. New blogs are popping up all the time and sometimes you lose contact with those you have started to communicate with as their real life took over and now the blogging world you once knew is completely different and feels like a room full of strangers. That can make you feel like you have to start forming relationships all over to keep your readership alive. Which brings me to the next 2 points.
  5. If you want a “number” successful blog, it takes time, dedication, consistency and hard work. It doesn’t happen overnight and life can’t take over. I think it is possible as many succeed.  I personally don’t have the drive to take my blog to the next level, at this time, I am not driven, it is not a personal goal. I am in awe of those bloggers that have created a business and career of blogging.
  6. Remember why you started blogging in the first place, go back to your roots. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone wanted to listen and read your posts all the time? Who doesn’t want to be heard? Who doesn’t want what they have to say be heard by others? We want to be listened to. We want to be liked. Humans want validation.We want our words and self to be valued. Personally, I have to remember this blog for me is creative expression and documentation of all things good.

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I Don’t Make New Year Resolutions Volume 2

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I don’t make specific New Year resolutions because I know you can’t keep them just as I know diets don’t work. With every loss cell of collagen as you get older you actually do get wiser. Cost, benefit relationship.

As the kids get older the parenting gets less  intense, less hands on. They get more expensive, I wasn’t quite expecting that. They don’t need me like they use to. That brings about some sadness but at the same time I enjoy their independence. They need to be independent, honestly, before you know it they will be flying the coop. They need to know how to survive. I need to call off the helicopter and active the GSP. I will be broken hearted. Which is why I also must prepare and begin working on my life after kids. Saying that, I so wish I could freeze time. We are all at the perfect age. They need me but not too much, they are great to travel with, they can be left alone for periods of time, they are still young ducklings, not too grown up yet but able to make themselves a sandwich and not starve.

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So, why and I talking about my boys in this “I don’t make new year’s resolution post? ”

Because I want to freeze time. I have had an amazing year. I feel that despite the challenges I have, I have pushed through, maybe this year the pushes were less or the door wasn’t always as heavy. I just know that I am happy most of the time and I  am not afraid all of the time.

Aside from jetting off to live in some tropical destination to pursue my dreams of acting and singing. Splitting my time between living off the grid and in the penthouse in Las Vegas. Being happy most of the time and not afraid all the time is good enough. I will take it! Good enough is great. I did the hard work and the past year feels like a reward.

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Since I am not Elsa, from Frozen and I can not freeze time, only my fingers on the steering wheel. I know this year is coming to an end on the calendar. My boys will keep growing which makes me sad but I am excited about the adventures we will all have as a family.

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So once again for 2016 I declare…….

I declare I will be free from anxiety and fear.

I declare I will be an active mother to my children.

I declare I will raise Godly sons filled with love, kindness, gifts and talents.

I declare I will have a loving, vulnerable, fun marriage with my husband.

I declare I will have a happy, comfortable home that brings joy and peace to my family and friends.

I declare I will make a difference in the lives of children, leading them to their gifts and talents. Showing them that they can move above and beyond their circumstances.

I declare I will travel to new places and experience the world and activities that God has created for us to enjoy here on earth.

I declare longevity for my life.

I declare perfect divine health, free from all sickness, illness, infirmities, cancers for me and my family.

I declare I will have a true kindred spirit best friend.

I declare I will use my voice in song to bring others in the presence of God.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

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Hidden Talents….Man, they are hiding really good.

Do you ever wish you could do somethings just a bit better? I understand that none can be really good at everything but just a little better at somethings would be helpful. Are you following me?

Here are some examples….

I wish I was better at make-up application. Okay, I wish I could do it like the pros. Why can’t I get that dewy, I look 10 years younger look?

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I wish I was better at cooking.  I can cook and it taste good but I really don’t like it. Maybe I should rephrase. I wish I enjoyed cooking. I wonder what it is like to actually enjoy the cooking process. How wonderful would it be to get home from work and be excited about cooking a meal? Actually excited about it, instead of dread and hiding from the kitchen.

I wish I could decorate an amazing cupcake. I don’t need to be able to do the whole cake just one little amazing cupcake.

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Fashion. I have in my head what I want to look like I just have no idea how to do it. I mean I really have no idea. Zero, zip, none.

Painting. I envy people that can paint. Not so much draw but dip the brush and go to town on the canvas. People are incredible who have  this talent.

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Sing. I can sing and if I train my voice on a constant basis I can sound pretty good but someone always sound better, has more talent. God I hate those people.

Sewing. Again people that can sew are amazing. Make a quilt or sew a dress and I am in awe. I have made a few things in my day,  curtains and one skirt. I can hem pants, most times.

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Sure  I have talents, well….maybe not, definitely not around the arts. Honestly, what happened? For goodness sakes people put your children in some art classes.

 

Summer Reflection Part Two: Pure Loving Self Kindness

IMG_6018Who does it?

What does it?

 When does it happen?

How does it happen?

Where does it happen?

Why at some early point in our life do we begin to feel unworthy?

It is these questions that will begin the discovery to identifying the people and events that have contributed to feelings of unworthiness.

Let’s go a bit deeper here. I have confidence. I am successful. I am a great mother. I am funny. I am strong. I set goals and achieve them but something deep down says I am not worthy. It happens when I don’t even realize it. If you were to ask me if I was worthy I would say “ Your damn right I am.”  I believe this to be true. I am worthy. But my actions more so my internal dialogue doesn’t think so. Your internal dialogue is that voice in your head that tells you all kinds of things about yourself. Sometimes you have the same tape that plays over and over again with the same message. If this internal dialogue was saying “ your awesome”, “ you look fantastic”, “your the best thing since sliced bread” there would be no problem. But most times it tells us all about the things we don’t like about ourselves and it is relentless. If you haven’t heard you internal dialogue just try to stop and listen to what you tell yourself. Here are some examples. This dress makes me look fat. I am fat, I will never be skinny. That person is skinny, They look good. I don’t look good. I am fat. I don’t look good. I am fat and ugly. Now, how do you feel after all that negative self talk?  You feel fat and ugly. You feel like you are not good enough. You feel very badly about yourself. Stopping this internal dialogue can be very challenging. It can be so automatic you don’t even know really know what is it saying,  you just know you feel really bad about yourself.  Awareness of this internal dialogue is the first step to changing the tape.

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If we begin to practice self-kindness we can begin to change how we feel about ourself. Basically, self-kindness is being your own best friend. When your friend is having a difficult time or is feeling down what do you say to your friend to help her feel better and get her back on track? Most likely, you tell her how wonderful she is, comfort her and let her know that you there for her. You show empathy, understanding, compassion, kindness. Now, how do you treat yourself during a challenge? Do you show understanding or tell yourself to get over it already? Do you show self-empathy? Self-compassion? Self-kindness?

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I have an invisible disability.

I am not understanding of myself in regards to this disability. I lack compassion for myself. I am not my own best friend, in fact I wouldn’t treat anyone the way I treat myself  in regards to this disability.  I was asked if I was not worthy of this compassion and understanding. Once again my first thought is “of course I am” but knowing I am and treating myself as if I am is in conflict. My internal dialogue is being mean, really mean, nasty.

So here is my project to practice pure loving self kindness. This really is not easy for someone that tends to be very hard on herself. Being hard on yourself can have its perks in getting things done and accomplishing goals but not so much when you need understanding. Changing your negative internal dialogue is major work. Listening to and identifying the negative thoughts is a good beginning.

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Summer Reflection Part One: Challenges, Strength, Courage

eb3c280249f1f9f208091fc5195639caWe don’t walk this world and live on planet earth with out each of us having a set of challenges and obstacles. I have learned over time that each persons perception of challenge is different and that we are on a continuum of personal growth.  For instance, one college student may feel that not getting a 90% on her final is pretty much the end of her life. While another college student just wants her boyfriend to stop beating her before he ends her life.

Life experiences

perceptions

personal growth

and life lessons. 

We will never understand in this life why one person’s challenges are so much greater than another. And we should never assume that someone’s public appearance is his/her inward reflection. It is timeless but true; never judge a book by its cover.

BUT

Where does the personal strength come from to overcome our challenges and get to the other side a little wiser, having learned something about ourselves?

There was a interesting conversation going on the other day in our staffroom about each person having a spirit animal. I thought it was so ridiculous I didn’t engage in the conversation at all. However, my co-workers where having a hoot researching each other’s spiritual animals.

This week I also happen to be watching Vevo and watched Katy Pery’s ROAR video. I have listened to this song many times before but this time her words reminded me about my personal strength and COURAGE is a word I have used often and people have used often about me to describe how I have taken on some challenges.

You held me down, but I got up (HEY!)
Already brushing off the dust
You hear my voice, you hear that sound
Like thunder gonna shake the ground
You held me down, but I got up (HEY!)
Get ready ’cause I’ve had enough
I see it all, I see it now

[Chorus:]
I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar
Louder, louder than a lion
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar

When I am feeling strong and victorious I feel like a lion. Courage and strength has helped me over come some of my most difficult challenges.

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What is courage and How do you get it?

Courage is moving forward when everything tells you to run the other way.

Courage is picking yourself up again and again and again.

Courage is making a goal and planning the steps to achieve it.

Courage is facing your fears head on even when you are so very scared.

Courage is loving kindness to self at all times.

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What is strength and How do you get it?

Strength is what gives you the power to be courageous.

Strength is knowing and understanding the alternative.

Strength is choosing the best option.

Strength is derived from those who depend on you.

Strength is self created. ( comes from the creator)

Strength rises from the soul, it is choosing and building your foundation on life, love and faith.

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What is courage to you? Where do you get your strength?