Why It’s Important to Nurture Yourself First

This phrase has stuck with me for several years now, “The grass is greener where you water it.” 

So many times we look at others and their lives, especially with all the social media “glamour” out there nowadays, that we wonder what it would be like to be in their shoes. The thing is, we don’t know their story, we don’t know what they went through to get to where they are. We cannot be anyone other than ourselves in truth but we can focus on nurturing ourselves and building our lives to be what we want and get what we want out of life. That’s where the truth comes in, that if we water our own grass we can make it the green we want it to be. If we are not taking care of our own selves and focusing on our lives then our grass will never be green and even if we were to go to another lawn, that grass would soon become dry too.

Look at your self and your life as your lawn – If you water it, feed it, take care of it, it will be healthy. If you feed it poison, allow it to be dug up, and do not give it the nutrients it needs then it will not grow, it will not flourish. This quote taught me to stop looking outward and to start looking inward. What was it in my life that I was missing? What was not fulfilling? Changes are never easy, but through reflection we can see how necessary they are. My journey has encountered much heartache and many hard choices but I came out at the other end a stronger, happier and better person. I’ve let go of toxic relationships, I’ve learned to forgive, and I’ve learned to make myself a priority. 

My tip to all is that the next time you are feeling down, beat-up, and sad – look inward – what can you change to work towards building a healthier and happier life for yourself? What can you water and nurture within yourself? Do not focus on what you do not have, take a good look at what you do have and work towards growing that. Before you know it, you’ll see things falling into place. You’ll see dreams growing in front of you. Focus within yourself and then project that out. We do not create true happiness from external circumstances, we make happiness within ourselves. 

12 Powerful Ways Meditation Benefits You

Meditation quiets the mind, opens the heart, and lets the soul speak. It is a place where we can find answers, heal our hearts, souls and minds, and a place where we can find peace away from the chaos of our worlds. 

– Helps you with focus and awareness.

– Helps you manage stress and anxiety.

– Increases your energy levels.

– Clears you mind.

– Teaches  patience, discipline, and self-control.

– Can increase your creativity.

– Improves sleep.

– Makes you happier.

– Teaches you how to control your breath.

– Helps you manage pain better.

– Increases self-discovery and self-awareness.

– It strengthens your senses.

Meditation can come in many forms. 

12 Ways I Meditate:

-Sitting still for moments and focusing on only my breath-

-During Yoga-

-Art Journaling-

-Earthing-

-Laying with my crystals placed and listening to meditation music-

-Singing along to my favorite songs-

-Moon Bathing-

-Coloring Mandalas-

-Laying in the grass looking at the sky-

-Guided Meditation Series-

-Mountain Pose in the shower-

-Painting-

14 Reasons You Should Be Going Bananas Every Week

Bananas are an quick and easy go-to snack or addition…I love some in a bowl of cereal! 

Bananas fall onto the Power Foods list for many many reasons:

  • Most commonly known for being high in Potassium –
    • essential for good heart health
    • helps maintain healthy blood pressure levels
    • Potassium also helps you be more mentally alert
  • A great source of fiber (about 3grams per medium banana)
    • helps aid and regulate digestion
  • A calcium rich fruit
  • Low in sodium
  • Low Fat
    • Bananas do contain a type of fat called sterols though, which helps keep blood cholesterol levels controlled by blocking the absorption of dietary cholesterol
  • High in vitamin B-6
    • helps in the production of white blood cells
    • strengthens the nervous system
    • studies have shown it to help in protecting against Type 2 Diabetes
    • helps reduce swelling
    • Aids in weight loss
  • They are high in antioxidants
  • Bananas are high in pectin
    • Pectin helps with digestion and gently removes toxins and heavy metals from the body
  • Contains high levels of trytophan which converts to serotonin (the happy good feeling chemical in our brain)
  • Are high in magnesium
  • Higher in sugar with approx 14-15 grams of sugar per medium banana, but the sugars are of low glycemic value.
  • Contain fructooligosaccharides which act as a natural prebiotic
    • helps maintain good bacteria in our lower intestines
    • supports overall digestive health
  • Are a natural antacid
  • They help restore electrolytes to the body

So to sum it up they are a yummy treat that helps keep your gut healthy, your sugars in check, and give you energy!

Here’s my Grandmother’s Banana Bread Recipe for you to try too : Throwback Thursday Recipe Post – Grandma’s Banana Bread

 

 

* Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or a medical professional. These are healthy suggestions based solely on personal experiences, personal opinions, and light research. 

Inspiration & Motivation For When It’s Tough To Keep Going

I was browsing through some old posts, doing my monthly reflecting thing, and I came across this one. I wrote it in September of 2014, a true turning point in my life. With Easter soon here, it brings thoughts to mind of hope and new beginnings, a thought of how true pain can bring upon us glorious resurrection. I can’t say that my life became easy, or that heartache stopped to exist in my life after this turning point, and maybe some days I still don’t take it in the best stride, but I do come back from it every time, stronger than I was before. I can’t help but imagine that I am being trained for something so much greater out of this life. In the last three years, I’ve suffered more loss and held greater heartaches but I will not give up hope ever. I refuse to believe that life is anything other than a gift, that our suffering is anything other than lessons. I refuse to roll over and lay. My spirituality has shifted some as I grow but my core beliefs remain the same and I still believe. 

We live by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7)

I have experienced many trials, challenges, and heartaches in my life (so far) but I do not look back at them with regret or resentment.  A couple of years ago when my ex left me three months before our wedding I was crushed, the very center I had built my future around had been shattered. Though I didn’t know it then, I had been saved. When my Grandmother passed away, I was deeply saddened, but with that sadness I found strength and courage. When my son was angry and told me he hated me I felt as if my heart had been pierced but it gave me focus and motivation to show him how much I loved him, to be a better Mother.
We will all have tragedies in our lives. Some we bring on ourselves, some that are dealt to us, but do not look at them as defeat, for there is no such thing as defeat. These are just twists in our path.

If it wasn’t for my heartaches, for the challenges I overcame then I wouldn’t be where I am today, or who I am today (or have the relationships I have today). Some hurdles I soared over, some I barely climbed but I can say with pride and boast that I survived them, I survived. The Universe does not break our lives but will always be there to give us strength to survive. We will be given the tools to rebuild. Life will always have tests – tests of strength,  tests of courage, and tests of faith.
Having faith isn’t about knowing what the outcome will be, it is about trusting that in the end it will all be well. I used to have a close friend that would always say, “It will be okay and if it’s not okay, then it is not the end”. Those words still linger in my mind. I truly believe that we are placed (or sometimes walk ourselves into) situations so that we may grow, that we may better ourselves. Ten years ago I didn’t have that same belief, I thought the world was against me. But then I learned some valuable advice – what makes us strong, what makes us happy, and what makes us wise is not what happens to us but it is in how we  react to it. I choose to be happy, therefore I am.

I don’t know what all will happen tomorrow but I do know that I will have faith to make it through and that I will come out a better person because of it.

I Choose to be, Therefore I am.

9 Reasons I Am In Love With Avocados

With warmer weather in the forecast, Spring finally here, I have been starting to crave those tropical feeling foods. When I was younger, I wouldn’t touch an avocado, fast forward to today and they are one of my favorite foods. Packed with super benefits, tasty, and a great combo to most dishes, avocados have become a staple in my diet.

Avocados are considered a SuperFood because of how high they are in nutrients and studies continue to find new health benefits of it.

Avocados are:

  1. High in healthy fats
  2. Contain no Cholesterol or Sodium
  3. Low in Saturated Fats
  4. High in Fiber
  5. High in Nutrients – Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Vitamin B5, Folate, Vitamin B6, Vitamin E, Potassium (contains more than in a Banana)
  6. Also contain Magnesium, Manganese, Iron, Copper, Zinc, Phosphorus, Vitamin A, B1 (Thiamine), B2 (Riboflavin), and B3 (Niacin)
  7. Shown to help lower Cholesterol and Triglyceride levels
  8. High in antioxidants
  9. Some studies show it has anti-swelling properties that can help reduce symptoms of arthritis
  • Avocados are a great addition to salads
  • Make for a great toast
  • Can be an uplifting snack
  • And…well um guac…yum! 

Recipes to Try:

Avocado Deviled Eggs

Avocado Mozza Puffs

Cucumber Tomato Avocado Salad

 

* Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or a medical professional. These are healthy suggestions based solely on personal experiences, personal opinions, and light research. 

How Powerful Core Beliefs Will Guide Your Life & Happiness

Our beliefs can transform our lives. Many of my beliefs I have carried with me year after year,  helping shape me into the person I am today and the person I strive to be. These beliefs have continued to inspire and motivate me in each of my days. They give me strength and hope and the fire to keep going no matter what obstacles or heartache come my way.

Your beliefs become your perspective. 

What you put out into the world is what will be returned to you. Life is a circle, if you send good energy out, that is what you will be returned with. Although not all things in life will be roses, choose not to only see the thorns. Each experience that you have in life is preparing you for something much grander. If you chose to believe that, then you can be at peace in knowing that good things are coming no matter where you are in life right now. Keep your head up and keep pushing forward towards your goals and dreams and you will arrive when the time is right. Creating a positive mindset will help you get there. We each have the ability to change our way of thinking, to control how much power we give to negativity and circumstances, and the power to not allow situations or people control our emotions, feelings, and outcomes.

Create strong core beliefs and hold on to them to get you through anything. 

The Path of Art Journaling – Exploring My Growth

About a year ago, I started art journaling…I found it a wonderful release of the stress that the day had brought. Since then my mind has opened and the creativity and artistic nature of my personality has unleashed so much more. Today I sketch, I paint routinely, and I dive into free drawings with my pastels when I find I’m struggling to sleep. This #artthursday I took a look back at where I started adding art back into my daily routines…this shows that when we start with just a simple step it can unleash us into many wonderful places as we continue to move forward on our paths.

March 2016: So one of my bucket list to-do’s is to make an Art Journal. I’ve always thought they were so beautiful and such a wonderful way to be expressive. I have seen tons of great ideas online, you can check out some of my fave ideas on my Pinterest Board – Art Journaling.  I want my art journal to be fun, push the limits of formality and tradition. I want lots of color and funky doodles. I try not to conform to one set style or structure, just let myself explore and be free. I’ve found this a wonderful way to calm myself, a unique way to add to my meditations, a place to release. Some pages take thirty minutes, some take hours, some pages are part of one project, some a single thought.  I’m still quite a newbie and cannot compare to some of the beautiful creations I’ve seen online but my art journal is mine, not a following of any one else’s, my own creation, part of my artistic and spiritual journey… I’ll share as I go along, as I evolve and grow, hoping to inspire and stir ideas for your own…

I continue to grow more and more each day, some days I produce more art than others. Some paintings take months to finish and some I finish in a day. Each month, I find myself trying a new medium or a new technique. I have become more free in my expression and pushing past boundaries and limitations I used to hold myself to. I have opened myself up to seeing inspiration in so many more places and it has brought beauty to each moment in my days.

4 Reasons Salmon is a Top Pick for Dinner

The first fish I ate… Salmon…considered a brain food (oh that’s why I’m so smart!) 

  1. Is a great source of high-quality protein
  2. Contains Omega 3 Fatty Acids which have been proven to protect heart health, lower risk for stroke, improve blood lipid patterns and blood vessel function, and help reduce symptoms of immune and inflammatory disorders
  3. High in Vitamins A, B, B6, D, and Vitamin E (which is a powerful antioxidant)
  4. Also contains Calcium, Iron, Zinc, Magnesium, and Phosphorus

Want a quick, tasty and healthy dinner? Check out my Low Cal, Healthy but still Tasty Salmon Recipe!

 

* Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or a medical professional. These are healthy suggestions based solely on personal experiences, personal opinions, and light research. 

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Dear Grandma,

When I sat down the other night to write my post for #LoveBlog2017 I was tasked with writing for the prompt loss. We experience many forms of loss in our lives. Loss of relationships, loss of time, and loss of loved ones. I read many wonderful posts from bloggers about their losses and how they’ve dealt with their grief and one thought kept cycling back through my mind.

About three years ago my Grandmother passed away, just two weeks shy of thirtieth birthday which was a pivoting time in my life. Her death hadn’t been expected and threw my family on quite the spiral. I found myself sitting in a coffee shop one afternoon writing this letter:

Dear Grandma,

I miss you. Yesterday I turned thirty and I am feeling myself faced with a life challenge; a challenge of love, of faith, and of finding happiness. I desperately listen for your words of wisdom, to lead me down the right path. You were more than just my Grandma, you were my friend and my safe haven. I would look to you for strength, for inspiration. I miss having you here to hold me, to tell me it’s going to be okay, not to worry, to lead me to pray. In my heart, I know you are still with me, forever in my heart. I’m sure you have become a beautiful angel, watching over us all. Even though it hurts so much that you are gone I know that through faith and prayer we will stay together. Grandma, please hear my prayer and be with me, give me strength and the wisdom to make the right choices. Help me live up to be the Granddaughter that you deserve to have and to follow in your soft footsteps ever so gracefully. I will always miss you, I will always love you, and I will never let you out of my heart.

Sincerely,

Your Granddaughter, slightly lost without you but not without hope.

I revisit this letter a few times throughout each year since she’s passed. A year later my Grandfather also passed away, again about two weeks shy of my birthday. I miss her and my Grandfather both so very much. Time does heal things and both myself and my family have come a long way since their passing. The imprint that they had on our lives remains and for that I am ever so grateful. Without my Grandparents influence I wouldn’t be who I am today. When my Grandfather passed I almost unconsciously went into hoarding mode with a lot of their things that remained. In a way I think I thought that keeping all their stuff would keep them here with me. This year I have started going through the collection of items I had taken into my possession. I know it’s time to let go of those material things, for those items are not the memories or love of my Grandparents. Their spirit and love still remain with me, in my heart. I will always miss them but I am allowing the cycle of life to be what it is and to accept it. In loss also comes growth.

How To Use Your Emotions To Heal

 I take pride in being the happy and always optimistic one in the bunch. So much pride that I find myself not allowing myself to feel hurt, feel sad, or to feel angry. But being optimistic doesn’t mean we shouldn’t feel other emotions. Being optimistic means seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, it means knowing fully in your heart that it will be okay, no matter what you’re facing. We need to feel all of our emotions. We need to allow them to process, to run their course, and to pass through us. Each emotion has its purpose. Each part of our mind’s, our heart’s, our soul’s healing. If we skip moving through them the process cannot ever fully complete. Being sad or being angry doesn’t mean I am a downer, it doesn’t mean I’ve lost hope, it’s just what I’m feeling.  Relish each emotion in its moment, feel it deeply in your soul, and then let it go. Let it drift off. And as you travel through each emotion, remind yourself, “Everything is temporary. This shall too pass”, and then everything will be okay.

Sit in your room and scream, let the tears roll  down your face, laugh so hard your stomach hurts, whatever it is, just let it out. And then breathe and be free.