How Indulging in Your Guilty Pleasures Keep You Happy

I’m sitting here eating my third piece of cake this weekend thinking about what I want to write for my #loveblog prompt, guilty pleasures. Yes, third piece of cake. Saturday it was a rollerskating birthday party for my son’s step-cousin with a gorgeous unicorn cake with amazingly delicious fondant and icing, Saturday night it was the fried cheesecake I finished off for my son after his birthday dinner, and tonight it’s the slice of Oreo Blizzard cake to belatedly celebrate my son’s birthday from last week. Yup, I did it all, dove right in. I can’t say I won’t feel the affects of it when I step on the scale tomorrow morning but I’ll say it felt good to let loose this weekend and gobble it up! Guilty pleasures don’t have to be life ending, actually I think it’s healthy to have some guilty pleasures, whether it’s just on special occasions or it’s something that you can make part of your weekly routine, it’s important to have some of those that you can indulge in, something that makes you feel good. I think having a (healthy or not-too-bad) guilty pleasure is good for you. Maybe it’s long, relaxing bubble baths, or allowing yourself to buy that expensive bag you’ve had your eye on for a while (saving up for it of course – I’m not suggesting you skip paying a bill to purchase it), or having that dessert once in awhile, it’s important to allow yourself to have things in your life that really bring you joy. We call them guilty pleasures but do they really need to be? Do we have to feel guilty about something that brings us pleasure? (Now all this goes with saying that it’s not something that is destroying your life…I’m going to be frank here, if it’s harmful to you or others then it has lost its shine and it’s stepped past the boundaries of just being a guilty pleasure.) I’m the kind of person that believes that our lives should be lived with passion, pleasure and joy. We should be setting out to do things that feel rewarding to us, that make us smile, that bring light to our eyes.

I drink way more hot tea than I probably should in one day – like 8-10 cups per day is kind of my normal.

I can Netflix binge for days on if I didn’t ever have to leave the house.

I have a bit of a collection of paintings I’ve done filling corners in my bedroom and I’ll keep on painting and stacking them up.

I love brownie batter…so I just don’t keep the mix in the house too often…like I’ll mix it up just to eat the batter, I am perfectly happy skipping the cooking part.

I collect quotes like it’s nobody’s business…they’re in all of my notebooks, scribbled in my planner, taped on my wall…anywhere I can write or stick a quote I will.

I kind of like the word sh** – maybe it’s because I was a Navy brat and well it was my first word, in context from what my parents have told me (my toy wasn’t working so out of frustration I slammed it down and yelled “sh**”)…it’s just stuck I guess, I’m sorry…come on, it could be worse.

The truth is, my guilty pleasures can vary from day to day or week to week, it depends on what presents itself, it depends on how my day is, or what’s happening in my world. Sometimes after a long week, my guilty pleasure is turning my phone on silent, staying in bed and disappearing from the world for a bit. And I’m okay with that, sometimes I need that to recharge. I need to give into my guilty pleasures now and then, I need to allow myself that freedom, that flexibility to be me and only me.

What guilty pleasures do you have? How often do you allow yourself to give into them, to enjoy them?

Tonight’s post was prompted by my participation in Brita’s #LoveBlog2018! I am so excited to have the opportunity to participate again this year! This series has opened some wonderful thought processes for me in which I was able to learn more about myself and tell my story to my readers in a new light. Check out this year’s prompts here

Meet Your Hosts

Brita from bellabrita.comBrita Long is the pink and sparkly personality behind the Christian feminist lifestyle blog, Belle Brita. While her first love will always be Paris, she lives happily with her husband Daniel Fleck in the Atlanta area.

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Laura from dofivethingsaday.com. Laura is a big dreamer, full time marketing manager, blogger, and part-time artist. She aspires to inspire people in their everyday lives and help them to live towards their dreams and making the most out of every day by sharing her own experiences and stories.

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Ivana from provocativejoy.com. Ivanna is a registered nurse who loves expressing her creative side. She enjoys thrifting, learning about sustainable living, and anything purple. She writes on Provocative Joy about living unconventionally, and loves to inspire people to realize their potential to be world-changers.

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My Thoughts & Realizations about ‘Adventures for Your Soul’

I spent January reading ‘Adventures for your Soul’ by Shannon Kaiser. This book was filled with reminders of how to push towards your dreams and live to your full potential. She reminded me that to truly find our passions and live them we have to be true to ourselves, we have to love ourselves honestly and openly. Shannon outlines ’21 Ways to Transform Your Habits and Reach Your Full Potential’ breaking it down into action items for the reader to put into place right away, creating new, positive thought patterns. She shares examples in how she actively changed her life to a life she loves by sharing her story and how she overcame her challenges. I loved how Shannon included notes of awareness of habits that are creating blocks of the happiness we desire and motivational mantras.

Some of my favorite parts & Lessons:

“Emotions are the way that you assess or react to a situation. Emotions are rooted in assessing situations, whereas feelings are grounded in truth in the moment. Emotions are often in your head, whereas feelings are inspired by your body and heart……Distinguishing between the two is an important step in moving forward in life with clarity and confidence.”

“We lean into love by recognizing that everything is in our life for a reason, that we are in those situations to help us grow and to learn……They lead us to new opportunities and to new doors that may open, but life is an ever-expansive journey where we are growing, changing, and morphing into what we want to be based on where we have come from.”

“Accept where you are fully to reach where you want to go faster. You are not broken; there is nothing to fix.”

“……it doesn’t matter what our life “looks” like, it matters how our life feels.”

“…….ask yourself what you want, and what feels good for you in the moment. Aligning with your own truth in each moment will help you become who you want to be.”

What I realized reading this book is that I shared so many of the beliefs Shannon was sharing in her book but I have been limiting myself. I have only been going halfway in. I need to commit to my beliefs, my passions and my dreams, go all in, allow them to lead me in my life. 

You can check out more about the book here.

All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive payments for leads/sales. For more information please reference my disclosure page.  

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-

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.

10 Positive Quotes for When You’re In a Rut

I get by with a little help from my friends.” ~ The Beatles

The past couple of weeks have been a bit of a roller coaster for me. From feelings of stress to excitement to anxiety to rejection to frustration, it was quite the ride, I was all over the place. Just a passing time in my life. We all have these times, these ruts, those moments – and it’s okay, we’re human. I allowed the lack of balance in my life in those couple of weeks to get the better of me. I became overly self-critical and frustrated with myself. In reflection, that was the time I should have been more patient and more forgiving with myself. 

Yesterday I let it all out to my friends. It was like a I opened a stuck pipe…it was amazing, full of release, full of realness, it was like an ahhhh moment. It’s okay to need to lean on others sometimes. It’s okay to be in a funk and need a little help getting out of it. I don’t know about you, but I can get caught up trying to be so strong that sometimes I forget that I don’t need to do it on my own. Being truly strong isn’t about being on your own all the time, it isn’t about being able to carry the world on your shoulders and being able to take everything thrown at you in stride. True strength comes from being open about your vulnerability, it’s being confident in being able to ask for help when you need it, it’s about being honest about where you are in that moment. 

I’m glad I had that spurt of a rut. I’m glad that I had that learning opportunity. Because in it, I learned to be stronger, how to be more me, and was reminded how much love already exists in my life and around me. Being positive, being strong, and being a good person doesn’t mean we never have bad days or even weeks. It means that we can turn them around and that we can see a positive opportunity and lesson in them. 

1.) “Believe you can & you’re halfway there.” ~ T. Roosevelt

2.) “No rain, No flowers.” ~ unknown

3.) “Even the smallest steps move you forward.” ~ Oprah Winfrey

4.) “Every bad situation will have something positive. Even a dead clock shows correct time twice a day. Stay positive.” ~ unknown

5.) “Life is tough, darling, but so are you.” ~ Stephanie Bennett Henry

6.) “Whenever you find yourself doubting how far you can go, just remember how far you have come.” ~ unknown

7.) “Sometimes surrender means giving up trying to understand and become more comfortable not knowing.” ~ Eckhart Tolle

8.) “It’s okay to be a glowstick. Sometimes we have to break before we can shine.” ~ unknown

9.) “Tough times don’t last but tough people do. Never give up.” ~ Robert Schuller

10.) “Maybe life isn’t about avoiding the bruises, maybe it’s about collecting the scars to prove we showed up for it.” ~ unknown

 

15 Books To Bring More Self-Love & Self-Care Into Your Life

Ready to fall in love? Fall in love with yourself, strengthen your self-care routines and rise to your best self! 

What’s on my reading list: 15 Books To Bring Self-Love & Self-Care Into Your Life

(Click the titles for more details and easy shopping)

 

Radical Self-Love: A Guide to Loving Yourself and Living Your Dreams – When you love yourself, life is limitless. You can do anything you want. In Radical Self-Love, you’ll discover exactly what makes you so magnificent, and you’ll gain a litany of tools and techniques to help you manifest a life bursting with magic, miracles, bliss, and adventure! Featuring fun homework exercises and cool illustrations, this book will take you from learning to fall madly in love with yourself, to loving others, to making your world a more magical place through style, self-expression, and manifestation.

 

 

Rise Sister Rise: A Guide to Unleashing the Wise, Wild Woman – Rise Sister Rise is a transmission that calls the innate feminine wisdom to rise. It is about healing the insecurities, the fears, and the inherited patterns that stop women trusting the Shakti (power) and wisdom (intuition) that effortlessly flows through them. Full of tools, calls to action, contemplative questions, rituals, and confrontational exercises, this book teaches women that it is safe to let Shakti rise, safe to trust their intuition, and safe to take leaps of faith – because in healing ourselves we are healing the world.

 

 

 

50 Ways to Yay!: Transformative Tools for a Whole Lot of Happy – In 50 Ways to Yay!, Alexi helps you with fifty motivating, empowering, and thought-provoking lessons and exercises to help you break out of the ordinary and jump into the extraordinary. With her guidance, you can experience a domino effect of inner peace, inspiration, and a whole lot of happy.

 

 

 

How to Love Yourself (and Sometimes Other People): Spiritual Advice for Modern Relationships – How to Love Yourself (and Sometimes Other People) is a smart, hip guide for spiritual seekers who want to experience more love and stability in all forms of relationships. At its core, this book is about learning to love yourself no matter what. Meggan and Lodro suggest that you are worthy of love, both self-love and the love of others. They aren’t experts on how to get that man or lady to fall in love with you, nor are they experts on how to have “the perfect relationship.” They are spiritual teachers who know that relationships have a life of their own, and can speak to the human element of what it means to experience them fully.

 

 

Rising Strong: The Reckoning. The Rumble. The Revolution. – Regardless of magnitude or circumstance, the rising strong process is the same: We reckon with our emotions and get curious about what we’re feeling; we rumble with our stories until we get to a place of truth; and we live this process, every day, until it becomes a practice and creates nothing short of a revolution in our lives. Rising strong after a fall is how we cultivate wholeheartedness. It’s the process, Brown writes, that teaches us the most about who we are.

 

 

 

Self Care Matters: A Revolutionary’s Approach – For those self-care advocates, ambassadors and leaders in their communities needing a framework for serving others that incorporates practical self-care principles, this book is for you. For natural givers that want to continue giving without running themselves in the ground, this book is for you. For those in a business or personal relationship with someone that has poor self-care habits, this book is for you.

 

 

 

 

Love Yourself, Heal Your Life Workbook – Based on Louise Hay’s bestselling book “You Can Heal Your Life” this interactive workbook is really about change. It directly applies Louise’s techniques of self-love and positive thinking to a wide range of topics that effect us all on a daily basis, including: Health Fears and Phobias, Sex, Self-Esteem, Money and Prosperity, Friendship, Addictive Behavior, and, Work and Intimacy.

 

 

 

The Art of Extreme Self-Care: Transform Your Life One Month at a Time – This life-changing handbook by best-selling author Cheryl Richardson offers you 12 strategies to transform your life one month at a time. Designed as a practical, action-oriented program, each chapter challenges you to alter one behavior that keeps getting you in trouble. The Art of Extreme Self-Care is a sane and sensible program that gives you the permission you need to dramatically upgrade your life!

 

 

The Goddess Revolution: Make Peace with Food, Love Your Body and Reclaim Your Life – 
All women are born Goddesses – but we tell ourselves over and over again that for some reason, we don’t deserve to feel good. We berate ourselves in the mirror, refuse to accept compliments and use food as a punishment/reward system to mask how we are really feeling about our lives. The Goddess Revolution is taking over as the new ‘anti-diet’. This is not a fad diet or a set of rules to follow, but a revolutionary new way of thinking that will help women to end the war on their bodies, start embracing an incredibly rewarding relationship with food, and become happier and more fulfilled than they ever thought possible.

 

 

Spirit Junkie: A Radical Road to Self-Love and Miracles – In her new book, Spirit Junkie: A Radical Road to Self-Love and Miracles, Gabrielle Bernstein shares the story of how she transformed her life, offering her spiritual journey as a guidebook for overcoming fear, changing perceptions, and creating a life you’re psyched to wake up for. Bernstein has traded self-doubt and addiction for a new kind of high.

 

 

 

 

Start Where You Are: A Journal for Self-Exploration – Start Where You Are is an interactive journal designed to help readers nurture their creativity, mindfulness, and self-motivation. It helps readers navigate the confusion and chaos of daily life with a simple reminder: that by taking the time to know ourselves and what those dreams are, we can appreciate the world around us and achieve our dreams.

 

 

 

I Am That Girl: How to Speak Your Truth, Discover Your Purpose, and #bethatgirl – In a crazy, media distracted world the important questions often get lost like: What’s your passion? What’s your purpose? Who do you want to be? Alexis Jones has built a career listening to and helping girls around the world figure out those questions in order to inspire them to think for themselves, to speak their truth, to discover their purpose, and to dream HUGE! Including stories from thirty incredible women, Alexis has compiled everything she’s learned into one complete guide to being That Girl, the best version of you.  

 

 

 

From Coping to Thriving: How to Turn Self-Care into a Way of Life – From Coping to Thriving is designed to give you the self-knowledge and awareness you need to start making self-care an integral part of your life, instead of something that lives at the bottom of your priorities list. Not only does the book contain hundreds of useful tips and ideas to get you going with a regular self-care practice, it will also take you deeper into related topics like habit-formation, coping strategies, dealing with resistance to self-care and more.

 

 

 

The Self-Care Solution: A Modern, Must-Have Guide to Health and Well-Being – Combining the thoughtful and expert narrative of a veteran mom of four children with the voices of hundreds of moms she surveyed, The Self-Care Solution offers insightful answers to poignant questions about how mothers take care of themselves, their relationships, and their jobs while raising their children―and how they don’t.

 

 

 

 

The 21-Day Self-Love Challenge – The 21-Day Self-Love Challenge will help you to develop self love and acceptance in an easy step-by-step way, Realize the importance of taking good care of yourself and your body, and how to bring this in practice, Let go of self-talk, behaviors, things and people that do not serve you, Understand why most self-love books you’ve read before didn’t work, Develop new habits that will significantly boost your feelings of self-love on a daily base...and much more inside!

 

 

 

 

All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive payments for leads/sales. For more information please reference my disclosure page

Fit Body, Mind, & Spirit: My 12 Rules For A Healthy, Happy Life

I’ve been spending some time reading over old posts and it’s been enlightening seeing how far I’ve come. Nothing brings me more comfort than knowing that I am continuously growing and moving towards become more like me and working towards creating a life that I love and am destined to live. 

In 2014, I wrote a list post “If I knew what I know now (in reference to if I knew what I knew then when I had been nineteen) some particular things stuck out to me:

“I would have spent less time trying to “fix” other people and more time focused on myself.” 

“I would have appreciated the things I already had more and less time worrying about the things I didn’t have.”

“I would have accepted failure as steps to success.”

About a year ago, I wrote a post of things I had learned about myself – What I’ve Learned About Myself in which I discovered more some simple things like how managing my blood sugar levels also helps me manage my moods but also things such as alone time and organization are key factors to staying balanced. 

Once again I’ve come to reflect on how much I have grown, how much stronger I have become, and how much progress I have made with my internal goals…and how much further I have yet to go. 

1. Do not judge. 

2. Let go of anger.

3. Be patient, with life, with yourself, with ones around you.

4. Focus on the present.

5. Do all things in love.

6. Live simply.

7. Only allow things that bring value and joy into your life.

8. Take care of yourself first.

9. Live your life like you are an example.

10. Live with intention not regret. 

11. Take a break once in awhile.

12. Keep learning, keep trying, and keep growing. 

I have many plans in mind for myself and this year that focus will not change. I am very happy of how far I’ve come and that motivates me to continue to strive for more. What do I have in store for myself this year? I plan to work towards a more minimalist lifestyle, continue working towards becoming a pro at self care, continuing to focus on steps to make my dreams come true, refocus on my spiritual studies, and yoga & meditation practices, and become all-around more fit – in mind, body, and spirit. 

Being Powerful & Inspired: My Quote Wall & Making The Bed

I believe in surrounding myself with inspiration and motivation that fuels me throughout my day. I build my bedroom with the same idea. Every task I complete I want to inspire me…including making my bed… I am given a gift every morning that I awake. I am given the ability to go make my day any way I want it to be, the opportunity to make it an amazing day. I will admit some mornings are tough, sometimes the bed is too warm and the day is too cold, or I’m too tired and I know a long day awaits me, but each day I push myself out of bed.

I’ve been spending some time listening to Motivational Podcasts Every Woman Must Hear by TED Talks and some of the things I hear seem to be speaking right to me. It’s amazing how the Universe will put the message we need to hear right in front of us, all we have to do is be open to receive that message. One of the things that keep sticking out to me is that we can’t accomplish anything if we don’t set out to do it. I listened to one in particular on the way to work today that has really been ringing in my head  How To Stop Screwing Yourself Over . She speaks of how we condition ourselves to think everything is fine even when we aren’t satisfied. I spent the last year learning how to be more accepting of things in life, things beyond my control. I loved that I learned a great amount of patience through that and I learned how to not be angry (or not to hold onto anger) and that I believe has made me such a stronger and happier person but I think I also allowed myself to become complacent in some ways and that is a block. There is a difference between being accepting and rolling over and just letting things be. We must learn to create a balance between the two – allow ourselves to accept what we cannot change but to push ourselves to change what we can. Go after what you want in life!

Well now that I’ve gotten a bit off track in my tangent of motivation and podcasts… I made a decision to surround myself with things and thoughts of inspiration and motivation a while back and I began to build my quote wall. My quote wall lies right behind my bed. Each morning that I push myself out of my warm cozy bed (winter is not really my thing) I in turn get to make my bed and inhale in all the beautiful words I have put among myself. It is invigorating and amazing how my eyes always seem to fall upon the right quote at the right time. Some days, in those moments that I may be feeling challenged, I will come sit on my bed facing the wall and just breathe and let the quotes flow into me. My quotes come from all over, an eclectic collection for each day, for each challenge, that spoke to me in any such moment…

“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

“I’m scared of failure all the time, but I’m not scared enough to stop trying.” ~ Ronda Rousey

“Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart.” ~ Elizabeth Gilbert

“Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace.” ~ Dalai Lama

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up with more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never have enough.” ~ Oprah Winfrey

“Go for your dreams, and don’t let anything hold you back. Keep going no matter what it is you want to do in life.” ~ Layla Ali

2017 Magical Manifesting Diary Review

One of the things I love so much about blogging is the opportunity to meet so many like and loving souls. I met Shan – I felt an instant connection to just in the little bit of time we’ve chatted. I feel like we are kin spirits, aligned in our journeys, with paralleled thoughts. She gave me the wonderful freedom of reviewing her 2017 Magical Manifesting Diary. It really is a magic-making book! 

I absolutely love the theme of this diary, adventure. That is my own theme of life as well, spread love and adventure all throughout your life.

The illustrations are wonderful, simple yet crafty. I truly enjoyed the positive direction of the planner. It is very motivating and uplifting. She keeps the instruction thorough yet simple and easy to follow. I really found myself connecting and relating to what shew was saying. This diary gently guides the reader into a wondrous world of thought and discovery. The poetry of the words make me follow my imagination, feeling like a little kid again filled with enthusiasm and ambition.

I love how she includes great spiritual tips, habits, and practices throughout the diary. They were spread out wisely so not to be overwhelming. This diary is set up perfectly to unleash creativity in anyone, positioning so many great images and space to color and doodle but in a way that creates balance between release and organization. Wonderful list of resources at the end as well for soul-reading throughout the year.

This is a great diary and I am very much looking forward to diving into it!

Get your own copy here – https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/ErthnAustralia

And check out more beautiful things from Shan at – http://www.erthn.com.au/blog/ or on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/erthn

 

My Angel of Strength

“Angel of Strength”

She is always here with me, walking beside me and pulling me up when I need her.

She helps me see beauty in every moment, even in painful ones.

As I get ready to enter into the New Year, I sit and think of the blessings that came out of 2016, the challenges that made me tougher, and the joys that made me see clearer, and the new beautiful friendships I have acquired.

I can feel the magic of 2017 creeping in my bones and am filled with enthusiasm to jump into the new year, a year for more growth and discovery and transformation.

“Angel of Strength”, mixed media, Paintings by LAR.