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7 Ways to Build a Strong & Healthy Mind

Building a strong and healthy mind is a key factor in leading a happy and healthy life. We must constantly be challenging our mind to expand to new ideas and new ways of thinking to keep growing. The saying goes, “Life is what we make it”, and that all starts in the mind. Here are seven ways that you can expand, challenge and teach your mind to be strong and healthy. 

  1. Read and practice daily affirmations. – Reading and reciting daily affirmations or mantras will help you train your min to perceive the world from a positive view.
  2. Journal and brain dump. – Journaling helps you release thoughts and feelings from swirling in your head. This helps you process them so you don’t get stuck in one spot. Brain dumping (or list making) is a great way to get racing ideas out onto paper. I find doing this every night before bed helps me fall asleep quicker and get a better night’s rest.
  3. Listen to podcasts. – There are so many podcasts out there that you can tap into. I find these are a great place to learn new things and new, positive ways of thinking.
  4. Read. – Reading not only is a great mind-strengthening task but it can expand your imagination and grow your thought process.
  5. Minimize negativity in your life. – When you minimize negativity in your life you give your mind the space to focus on more positive and progressive things. Unfollow those Facebook naggers.
  6. Try something new routinely. – Take a class, try new foods, visit somewhere you’ve never been.
  7. Meet new people. – Meeting new people opens you up to new points of views and new ideas.
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I Hit The Pause Button

It’s been such a while since I’ve written, shared, or to be honest even visited my blog. It wasn’t that I was turning my back on all of you or my dreams. I just found myself overwhelmed with all the things going on in my life. I tried hard at the beginning to stick to my routines and to push through the chaos but I kept sliding, feeling like I was in the middle of a meteor shower with all space rocks being hurdled at me. I learned quite a lesson about how self-care can mutate in our lives depending on what’s going on in our lives. At first, I lectured myself and felt guilty for not sticking to my tasks and my daily habits. I felt down and out and so stressed then I started letting things fall off my plate. (I had quite the process of the last few months happen in my mind). I started wondering that if by holding myself so strict to all of my habits and to my task list was hindering my ability to get through this stressful time in my life. I started allowing myself to let go and convincing myself that it was okay and I could come back to all the things I loved and get back on plan again once things calmed down. As good as I like to think I am, my brain just didn’t have the capacity to process all that was running through it. I needed to set some things aside. This was another lesson in my life about self-love and self-care. Giving up didn’t mean I was quitting, in actuality I was just putting some things on pause. The truth is that even if we are practicing amazing daily habits that are getting us closer to our goals, life still can throw some big curve balls at us and sometimes we need to shelf things…and that’s okay! It doesn’t mean we quit on our dreams or abandoned anyone or anything. It just means we are taking the time and space to deal with what’s in front of us at that time. I still have some hectic weeks ahead of me (I am sooooo looking to some slower schedules come fall!!!) but I’m able to see the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter so I’m slowly adding my habits, my tasks, and my goals back to the planner. I am looking forward to getting back to my routines and with a new perspective on life I am excited to go after them in new light! 

~ Much Love ~ 

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How Yoga Changed My Life

I awoke that morning filled with energy. I climbed out of bed without the aches and pains I had felt so many mornings before. I could stretch my arms above my head without feeling sharpness in my neck, standing tall without the soreness in my knees. I stood in front of my closet that morning trying to find something to wear, none of my clothes fit……they were too big.

Two years ago, I would wake up in pure pain all through out my body. Each day I started exhausted and filled with anxiety about the day ahead. Then I found myself without a job. The main stress driver in my life had been lifted off my shoulders. Without all of that in front of me I saw what I had become. I was 50 pounds heavier, worn out and my Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia had stripped me of some many things in my life. That’s when I knew it was time. I had the chance to reinvent my life, my body and how I chose to feel every day.

I had bought a yoga mat a several years back and it sat stored on the top shelf in my closet, still in the wrapping. I started doing yoga at home twice a day, in the morning and in the evening before bed. I started with just 10 minutes a day using a Yoga app I found and downloaded to my phone. A month later I attended my first class at a yoga studio. I was amazed I could do tree pose without completely falling over, though I still wobbled (and still do today). Six months later, I was down 40 pounds and off the pills and injections for my Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia. I found myself filled with more energy and happier. I had a thirst for life and adventure again.

Today I’m two and a half years into Yoga, still learning, still growing, still consider myself a newer yogi. I have fallen in and out of daily routine and each time I tell myself the story of how Yoga changed my life to remind myself why I practice.

Photo Credit: Anthony Machcinski. Check out more of his work here – Photos by Anthony Machcinski. His work is beautiful and each photo has a story behind it.

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A Delayed #ArtThursday

So super late, must admit, the last week has felt a bit overwhelming, just so much that has crept up on my plate. In some moments I feel like quitting and crawling under the covers and sleeping right through all the chaos but in most of the moments I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. When I finally got home last evening I was having a “ah, forget it, I’m so tired moment” but then some little things with big impact to me happened…I received two of my product shipments for my upcoming store launch (more news to come in the future about that!) and I saw my latest unfinished painting sitting on my dresser where I had strategically placed it to finish for an upcoming local art show with the very soon deadline of midnight last night, and I felt a little bit of inspiration creep up inside me. I realized I couldn’t catch up on it all last night but I did pull out my paints and I felt motivated again.

Sometimes lining up the art show deadlines on my calendar can add to the stress…but the actual part of letting loose in my artwork is where my therapy comes in… last night I sat down on my bed, watercolor pencils in hand, with no definite thought of where I was going to go with my painting, other than it was a bug and I had decided I was going to paint a praying mantis. The thing I love about diving into my paintings is that I find freedom and escape there. The more I let loose, the more exuberant my paintings become. My paintings are teaching me that the process is many times more important than the end result. I’m learning to live more in the moment and to focus on the process in all areas of my life through my art sessions. You can check out more of my artwork on my Artist Instagram account

Do you paint, do you draw? What activities do you find escape in? Share your arts and craft projects!!!

Link Up! 

(And because I was late, I extended the open party!)


Next Link Up June 8th!!!

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15 Things To Do When You’re Feeling Lonely

Sometimes we find ourselves feeling a bit off, feeling a little lonely. Finding a way to reconnect with loved ones, the world, and with yourself will help qualm these feelings.

Here’s a list of 15 activities to help you beat those blues and reconnect with yourself and the world around you. 

  1. Message a Friend.
  2. Read a book. (Here’s a great list of some wonderful Self-Care & Self Love Books: 15 Books to Bring Self-Love & Self-Care Into Your Life)
  3. Put on music and dance around the house. (Something upbeat to get you moving!)
  4. Go to the gym.
  5. Call your Mom or Dad and catch up.
  6. Watch a funny movie.
  7. Paint or make a craft. (Creative expression is a great way to get your feelings out and your mind into a positive mindset.)
  8. Journal.
  9. De-clutter your closet or pantry. (A feeling of accomplishment is a great way to beat the blues.)
  10. Garden or plant something. (This helps you connect with nature and will help you feel like you are part of something bigger.)
  11. Bake goodies for the office.
  12. Take your pup for a walk or snuggle with your cat.
  13. Write out an adventurous Bucket List.
  14. Have a solo yoga practice.
  15. Take a nap. (Sometimes just a good rest and some great dreams does the trick!)

 

10 Ways Art is Therapeutic for Your Mind, Heart, & Soul

Today’s #ArtThursday is brought to you by me…and the benefits of Art Therapy. Did you know that practicing art or even by doing a craft it can act as a meditative practice for you? When we channel our energy into creating something it can have many therapeutic properties.

1.) Art is relaxing and has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety and decrease worry.

2.) It can teach us insight, empathy and acceptance.

3.) It promotes self-expression and can help us express and process emotions or stress that we may have suppressed.

4.) Art therapy stimulates the mind.

5.) It can encourage self-discovery, self-observation and encourages the discovery of our subconscious.

6.) Art empowers us.

7.) It helps teach us constructive ways to deal with tough feelings and traumatic or stressful situations.

8.) Art Therapy improves emotional, cognitive and sensory processes.

9.) Art can help us see beauty in rough times.

10.) It provides us with many learning opportunities and provides a sense of worth and accomplishment when we complete projects.

Now it’s your time to share! Link up your current artwork and projects! DIY Arts & Crafts, thoughts on art, Art Bucket List, all welcome!

What kinds of art and projects do you do to relax?


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. 

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How To Have A Strong & Balanced Life: A Happy Life As An Ambivert

So many times the conversation comes up on whether I am an introvert or extrovert, I identify with both.

Ambivert: a person whose personality has a balance of extrovert and introvert features. 

Being an ambivert means:

1. I’m not uncomfortable at social events but I’ll get tired and need alone time to recharge.

2. I’m more comfortable meeting new people and experiencing new places with my friends there.

3. I will adjust my energy level to accommodate my company.

4. I can work in a group but I also like to complete most tasks individually.

5. Some people think I’m really outgoing and sociable but others know me as quiet and keeping to myself.

6. I can survive in crowded places but I don’t prefer them and I’ll usually find a quiet corner or stick close to just a few people. 

7. It takes practice to learn to be assertive and stand up for myself.

8. I can be really trusting at times and other times skeptical.

9. I can drift away in my own thoughts just as easily as I can be drawn into an intense conversation.

10. I tend to carry myself differently in a professional office than I do outside of the office with my friends and family.

11. I like to be the center of attention once in a while but not too often. 

12. I can usually determine people’s motivators quickly. 

My ambivert personality allows me to enjoy a varied lifestyle and helps me be adaptable to many environments and thrive in many situations. But being an ambivert has also taught me that keeping balance in my life is very important and is key to my comfort, my happiness, and success. 

How To Keep Joy In Your Life

My ex says to me, “You just want to go and be seen all the time.” His comment really irked me. It made me feel as if he was implying I was a show-off which doesn’t really fit my personality or my values and it bugged me. The comment stuck with me, it kept nagging at me and I kept analyzing it over and over. Driving home from the grocery store, laying down to sleep at night – I’d think of it. Such a simple comment that had become ever-so annoying to me, sticking in my mind. Last night it hit me, he was right – in a way.

I do want to be seen, and I want to be recognized not because I’m proud but because I eagerly want to be a part of this world. We should all want that, being together brings us joy. We were created to connect and to unite and to help each other. And yeah, I want a part in that, a chance to be part of something great, a part of our great humanity. But to understand that I had to change my perspective of his comment. After thinking that out I made a list of my rules for keeping joy in my life around the thought of how we should be living in this world, as part of this world, rules I live by every day. If you want to be truly joyful, you need to shine your light where ever you go, let that bright ray of sunshine from in you fall upon the world! 

#Motivation Monday – Favorite Quotes

Today was a busy busy day, I apologize for the late night post…today was a day of catch up and surprisingly I still have energy left…this is what happens when you do things you love!!! Today is #motivationmonday – I love days like this! Motivation and Inspiration are key factors to keeping us going. I have several motivators – success, praise, accomplishment, the desire to help and inspire people, set an example for my son that dreams can come true, the desire to live life and be happy…there are just so many reasons to live life and work towards your dreams and goals. I promise I still have down days and sometimes it’s tough but I remind myself that I can always change my outlook and make things better, I continue to work towards training my mind to stay positive.

My Quotes List:

  • “A secret to happiness is letting every situation be what it is, instead of what you   think it should be.” ~ unknown
  •  “Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart.” ~ Elizabeth Gilbert
  •  “Let me bring peace into moments of chaos.” ~ unknown
  •  “Work hard. Every day is an opportunity to be better.” ~ Misty Copeland
  •  “Let your past make you better, not better.”
  •  “To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
  •  “The good life is inspired by love and guided by knowledge.” ~ Bertrand Russell

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Spring is a time of renewal and growth. Allow yourself to renew, grow, and transform.