Monday Musings: Random Thoughts, or Not

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{via here}

Summer is in full swing and I already feel it slipping away; just as quickly as the first half of the year has gone by with the blink of an eye. Which brings to mind New Year’s Resolutions. Lots of LOLz from me on this. (If you didn’t know, laughing is often my go-to coping mechanism.)

Sitting at a coffee shop, I was taking stock of what I had done, what I have left to do (much) and what I need to let go of. And then it dawned on me: ALL of my goals (this year) boil down to 2! I often complicate things when they are so simple. Not easy, but simple. I cannot begin to explain the wave of relief that came over me as I thought of this. But, of course, I need to simplify my goals as I’ve been aiming to simplify my life!

This life-simplification project is not so much about minimalism (there are lots of resources on the www about this already), but more about how I can make the mundane things in my life simplified (like eating, exercising, budgeting, housework and the like) so I can have more time to do the things I enjoy (travel, creating, reading, etc.).

More times than not, I can get quite distracted, but I’m working on a little project to help me out with this. It’s actually been something on my mind for quite some time now. I’m going to make a little project out of it and report my findings; whether or not it works.

How is your season going? For a while there, I was going strong and keeping up my writing and then I had to take a little break. I miss this corner of the world and look forward to re-joining the community and seeing what everyone’s been up to. As it’s been said, sometimes you need to take a step back to move forward. I cannot wait to discover what’s out there: both in the real world and in blogland :)

Monday Musings: Acting Like the Person You Want to Become

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I overheard a conversation the other day that turned from general TV watching (How to Get Away With Murder was deemed too unrealistic for the law-school student present) to politics. Because, you know, politics (like religion) is always a good idea to discuss. Anyway, one of the comments I heard was “Act like the person you want to become.” Just so you have context of the conversation, this was in relation to someone’s friend who wanted to get into politics and how your entire life history is investigated when you do that.

I’ve heard/read this phrase before and in many different iterations (e.g. “Dress for the job you want and not the job you have.”). It is great advice, but one that can often be overlooked or forgotten.  I believe it to be true in any context. Maybe you are happy and content with your job/life and do not want to change anything. That’s ok, too. But, for those of us who are looking for something different or looking to improve our current situations/better ourselves, then it’s advice that should be practiced often.

What do you think? Is this something you practice or believe in?

{top graphic via here}

Monday Musings: Making a Morning Routine

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Two confessions: I am not a morning person and I don’t like routine. However, I have enough awareness to realize the importance of those two things, which is why I want to change my thoughts and practices around them, starting with my morning routine.

I have always been a nocturnal person since I was a little girl. I used to share a bedroom with my sisters and would stay up late reading with my flashlight in hand. It took the entire household plus an army to wake me up the next day.

My current practice goes something like this: First alarm goes off (I have as many as five alarms set at any given time). Press Snooze. Second alarm goes off. Press snooze on that also. Third alarm goes off. Hit snooze again. First alarm snooze goes off. Hit snooze again. And finally, after all the snoozing, I wake up and rush to hit the shower, get dressed, grab my bag and rush out the door to get to the office. On some days, I share dog-walking duties with my husband and other days, I’m lucky enough to work from home. As you can imagine, this “routine” is pretty insane and makes for hectic days.

I want more peace and calm to my mornings and came up with a plan to establish a routine that will provide me with such an environment. First of all, the reason it is so hard for me to get up is because I stay up late. I have a really hard time falling asleep (though Bikram yoga is helping somewhat). I’m going to tackle that as well. Here are some things I plan on making my morning routine:

  • Set one alarm and wake up at 6:00AM without hitting the snooze button
  • Have a glass of room-temperature water with lemon
  • Meditate for 15 minutes
  • Do daily affirmations
  • Go for a walk / run
  • Have a green smoothie
  • Read a page of daily devotionals (I’ve been trying to get through Yoga Vasistha for the last few years now)

How about you? Are you a morning person or a night-owl? Do you have a morning routine or just fly by the seat of your pants? Have any good advice to share? I’d love to hear from you!

Monday Musings | You Are F*ckin’ Awesome and Don’t You Ever Forget It

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One of the best things I read last week was this:

“As women, we feel insecure for the things we don’t do or cannot do, but we need to start feeling secure about the things we’re really good at.” ~ Joy Cho of Oh Joy!

Well said, Joy! I couldn’t agree more. I admit, I’m guilty and have been plagued from time to time with insecurities. And, it’s been crippling and not fun. Are there things I could do better? Sure. Are there things I’m f*ckin’ awesome at? Absolutely. And the point is, to focus on the latter.

As Joy pointed out, we make time for the things that matter. And, whatever that may be to you is your choice. Don’t live life according to someone else’s standards and don’t judge someone else for the way they live their lives. One thing I want to be really conscious of is to live life by my standards. I’ve had so many moments of doubts and insecurities (which, let’s be real, in this age of Instagram/Pinterest/Facebook “lives”, it can make it really easy to have those feelings), but I know what I want. I may not know the exact route to get there, but I’m confident in myself that I can keep trying and picking myself up no matter how difficult the road is or if someone is trying to steer me in another direction. I’m a late bloomer, but the positive in that is that I’ve had so many trials and tribulations and failures and I’m still here. I’m still standing and I’ve learned so much!

So, all of that to say, if you don’t know what you want in life, take time to figure it out and while you’re at it, keep reminding yourself of everything that you’re good at. Don’t wait for someone else to tell you. Tell yourself — your voice is validation enough! And, if you find you are lacking, know that you can learn just about anything. We are living in the information age! Don’t get bogged down by life (problems with money, relationships, etc.) because that stuff will always be there anyway. Wouldn’t it be better to have those problems when you know you’re living the life you want for yourself?

Lastly, there have been people in my life who may mean well and have tried to steer me in other directions, but time has taught me that this is my life to live and not theirs. So, if you have anyone in your life like this, cut them loose and if you can’t cut them loose make it very clear that you are going to live your life the way you intend to. And then go keep finding ways to grow and be awesome!

Monday Musings | Life Lessons From Two-Year Olds

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{Two little monkeys jumping on a bed. One fell off and landed on the floor, but she’s still smiling.}

I have a niece and nephew who are 2 years old and were born 9 days apart (they have different baby mommas) . I call them “twin” cousins sometimes. It’s fun to watch them grow. They each have their own unique personalities, but there are so many similarities due to their age. Here are four things I’ve observed that perhaps we can all learn to live by:

1. They live in the present moment – No matter what happens to them, whether they fall or fight, they may cry or throw a tantrum, but they snap out of it (almost) immediately and get back to the present moment. They don’t dwell on the past or worry about the future (except maybe if they’ve been promised a treat and are anticipating it).

2. They practice joy all the time – Though they may not be aware of it, they live to be joyful. The other day, one of them started laughing for no reason, which caused a domino effect to have everyone laughing for no reason. I believe inherently they know it just feels good to be happy and choose to do so.

3. It’s the little things or moments that make them happy – Give them an ice cream cone or read them a book and watch them squeal with delight.

4. They easily forgive and forget – They are two, so of course they will fight or may throw tantrums. However, as easy as it may be to rile them up, they just as easily forgive and forget and begin to live in the present moment again.

Monday Musings | Life Lessons from a 22 Year-Old Pop Star

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{via here}

Did anyone catch the Grammy Awards yesterday? My favorite speeches were definitely Sam Smith’s second and last, when he won for Best Pop Vocal Album with In The Lonely Hour and Record of the Year with Stay With Me (Dark Child Version). And, I swear it’s not only because he won ALL.OF.THE.GRAMMYS and was the only one doing speeches.

They were really short and succinct, but the messages were spot on. In the second speech, he talked about the many ways he tried to get his music heard, including losing weight, but it led to him doing awful music. He said it wasn’t until he started being himself that his music started to flow and people started to listen to his music. He is all of 22.

What a gift to have that knowledge at such a young and tender age. It’s such a great reminder to just be yourself and your life will unfold as it’s supposed to. Sometimes it’s hard to do that, especially when you are trying so hard for something, but really, all you can do is just be you. If you are honest about who you are and true to yourself, people will honor that. And if they don’t, they do not deserve to be in your life.

Things may not always go your way, but if you stay true to yourself, then you can see other opportunities much more clearly and make better decisions. Besides, it’s too much work trying to be someone else. Save the energy for your true passions.

In his last and final speech, Sam said he wanted to thank the man who broke his heart and inspired the album that won him four Grammys. Just goes to show you, there is a silver lining to everything, even if we don’t always see it immediately. All the emotions that we feel is just energy. If you’ve ever had your heartbroken, then you know what it feels like to be sadder and more hopeless than you could have ever imagined. And, it’s easy to take those feelings and channel them into something negative. However, it’s your choice. You can choose to do something self-destructive to make yourself feel better temporarily (because, in the end, you’ll only feel worse); or, you can choose to do something productive, like write an award-winning album.

If you missed it, here is Sam’s second speech (I can’t find the last one, but I’ll add it if it comes up):