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Why I’m Putting Myself First

Earlier this week I wrote about the anxiety I was feeling and how much it had been kicking my butt and overwhelming my brain. This week I made it a goal to focus on myself and my goals, after all it is a new month and for me that always presents itself as a new beginning. It has made a huge difference in my thought patterns with putting myself back in focus.

So this week I made it all about me. It was tough at first because I felt selfish and it felt out of character for me a little. The challenge is finding the balance. I can get so wrapped up in doing things for everyone else that I end up leaving myself in the dust. I needed this week to find myself again. Putting myself first didn’t mean I was neglecting everyone else but it did mean I had to say no to some things that weren’t what I needed that moment and it meant that I said no to negativity and it meant that I needed to make time for the things I wanted to do and needed to do. I still spent time with family and friends this week but I also made it a priority for “me” time. I made the time to have a counseling appointment so I can work through my thoughts. I made time to go to the gym. I spent the time with my friends walking instead of drinking a beer and eating all that yummy not-so-good for you food. I made it a priority to blog each evening – which I did at the kitchen table with my mom so we could chat too. I said no to eating out last weekend so I could be home where I wanted to be…and I cooked which was relaxing.

I just got home from the gym from my first personal training appointment. Fitness is something that I know is important for me to have in everyone of my weeks yet so many times I push it aside to make time for other things. But because this week was all about me, I was able to commit to something that I needed to commit to and it feels awesome. I feel more energized, my mind is clearer and I’m motivated to do more. This week I started a new fitness journey with my personal training and I’m really excited about it. Although I do have the physical goal of toning up a bit, my real goals are to build strength, endurance and energy. I learned this morning that I’ll be learning to do RDLs and Deadlifts – who would have thought a couple years back that I’ll be weight-lift training?! 

See here’s the thing. We as a society want to do so much for everyone else which is amazing and we should but what we many times don’t learn is that we have to take care of ourselves too. Putting yourself first isn’t selfish if you do it the right way. Self-Care and Self-Love are not narcissistic, they’re part of a healthy life and routine. In truth if you are truly loving and taking care of yourself, you’ll be able to do so much more for everyone else and you’ll be able to do it for the right reasons.  Spend time with loved ones because you want to not because you feel obligated. Go to the gym because you want to better yourself not because you want to fit in. Eat healthy because you want to fuel your body not because it’s the trendy thing to do. See where I’m going with this? Let the love you build for yourself energize your day and your actions. Be nice to people because you want to be a nice person. We spend so much time looking outside of ourselves for motivation, strength and hope but really it’s all inside of us.

What I found out this week is that a lot, well most, of my anxiety was stemming because I had fallen off track, off my track, my path. I had stopped thinking about me, or I was thinking about me in all the wrong ways. I got stuck thinking about what mistakes I had made instead of looking forward to what I was working on. When I looked back I saw things I did wrong instead of the lessons I had learned and how far I had come. 

My “Me” Goals:

Exercising several times during the week. Being active daily.

Journaling – whether it be writing or art-journaling, something to relieve thoughts and emotions from my mind.

Choosing to eat healthier because I feel better when I do – minus the McDonalds I indulged in yesterday!

Stop focusing on what everyone else thinks and just be myself. The only standards that really matter are the ones I set for myself. 

Work towards my goals and dreams every day, no matter how little or how big of a step I make forward, to do something everyday. 

When I focus on taking care of myself, everything else falls into place. 

My advice for the week: Go look at yourself in the mirror and say this: “I am beautiful. I am strong. I will overcome this and anything else that comes my way. Pain and troubles are temporary. Today may be hard but another day will come and I will beat it.” 

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Dandelion Wishes & What They Do For Us

Wishes make me think of dandelions…like when we were young and we would grab as many as we could gather in our hands and blow the seeds around and send out the simplest wishes. Wishes are magical sparks that dance around our mind like sparklers. They are the easy breeze that blows through the leaves. They are the little blocks that make up our dreams. Wishes are like little fairies skipping through our imagination.

wishes: plural noun : desires or hope for something to happen

Our wishes change as we grow. When I was little I wished to grow a mermaid tail and I wished for wings. As I grew older I wished for a family. Now as I pursue my life goals, I wish for success and drive. My wishes become dreams which become goals which become building blocks for my life. I find that having wishes keeps me feeling alive and keeps me motivated. I still wish upon shooting stars, I still make a wish each year on my birthday, and every now and then I still grab a dandelion. I believe that to keep dreams alive we must keep our wishes alive. Wishes can give us perspective, they can give us hope, and most of all they give us the magical spark we need in life. 

I wish to be surrounded with vibrant colors.

I wish to have great adventures in life.

I wish to fill my life with love.

I wish to own a boutique and art gallery.

I wish to be an author.

I wish to be an artist. 

I wish to be the mother that my son can look up to for inspiration. 

I wish every night for a good night’s sleep.

I wish to stay healthy for a long time.

I have many wishes and each day I add a new wish, and each day I keep working towards making my wishes come true.

What wishes do you have and what are you doing to make those wishes come true? 


Today’s #LoveBlog2017 prompt was wishes. This prompt spun me back to childhood memories <3

Meet Your #LoveBlog Hosts:

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Brita 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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Tayler is a motherhood and lifestyle blogger at The Morrell Tale. She loves raising her kids, Rhys (2.5 years old) and Evelyn (1 month old). She also writes about her time as a teacher, her Mormon religion, books she’s read, and recipes she and her husband have created.

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Charlene is a 20 something wife and fur mamma living in Ohio. She uses her blog, “Enduring All Things” to inspire young wives to keep God first and their husbands second in everything they do.

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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 their lives. She has been blogging for about 6 years now, more recently finding her glorious niche’ of sharing her stories and thoughts of life and daily inspiration.


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The #LoveBlog2017 giveaway starts 02/01/2017 and runs through 02/28/2017. While we love our international readers, this is limited to US residents only due to legal restrictions. To learn more about all the sponsors, check out Belle Brita all month long!

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The Purpose of Memories

Memories……

We carry so many with us, it makes me wonder where they all stay. Some locked away only to be recalled by a certain spark. Some that bring strength, some that bring joy and just the slight smile, and some that still sting like the prick from the sharp edge of a dagger. I would not return any of them though, for they make up a part of me. 

I still remember the steadfast words that my grandmother told me while I sat by her hospital bed, “Everyday just do your best and that will always be enough.”  – This brings inspiration and purpose to every one of my days. 

I still remember the Fourth of July night that my mother and I sat on the porch with glasses of wine laughing about our trials of life and watching the fireworks. – This brings a smile to me every time. 

I still remember my first kiss under the play set on the playground. – This brings a memory of a sense of discovery. 

I still remember the first time my son told me hated me. – This brings strength and courage to me. 

Our memories are part of our story, they shape us and they remind us of where we’ve come from and what we’ve learned. 

Memories……

Some cherished, some painful…but all a part of us and that makes each one so beautiful and so powerful. Each one of our memories provides us a lesson in our lives. 

“Sometimes you will never know the value of moment until it becomes a memory.”

“Dream Within Meditation” Remembered and Reflected Upon

I have always been in love with mermaids…some days thinking maybe I was/am one – who knows… I have a pretty imaginative mind. More recently I have been exploring my design of mermaids, through my sketches and my paintings. As I sketched and painted, it brought to me to a memory of a dream within a meditation I had a couple of years ago. I thought it’d be fun to share for a #throwbackthursday post. My dream spoke of pain and love, of disaster and beauty. It is how I feel the world is balanced, that even though there may be trials and sorrow, in the end there will always be love and light. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grey swirls interrupted by shrouds of deep orange filled the sky. She watched in awe, mesmerized by the passion it exuded. A lonely arrow shot into the sky slashed through the sun. The sky grew dark.

She dove, her fins pushing her deeper and deeper into the ocean’s captivity. A lonely glow shone down to her. She followed the warm trail back to the surface. Thrusting herself up from the water, she found a solo lantern sitting on the stone ledge. A sharp ache spread throughout her as the second arrow pierced her chest. She fell back into the sea. Red poured around her as she sank.

His arms wrapped around her and he pulled her up towards the waves. They reached the break and he slid her up onto land. With his hands placed on her chest, he pushed down hard, a vivid glow radiated from his hands upon her. She opened her eyes to see him.

The dark sky now awoke. A dazzling yellow globe filling it. They lay, intertwined, souls touching.

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5 Powerful Steps to Reaching Your Dreams & Crushing Your Goals

As you get to know new people, you will find that we each hold our own story of tragedy and sorrow, we each have experienced challenges and trials that have helped shape us into the people we have become (or are becoming). Some stories are longer and more intense than others and some are shorter and more gentle but we each have our own. At the end of each story though, isn’t about what had happened, it’s what we chose to learn, what we chose to make of it all, what we chose to become from it. I recently met a beautiful woman through a Facebook Group named Kylie Travers, she has quite the story to tell, facing many challenges in the past several years, challenges that could have sent her spiraling down but instead she took her obstacles and used them to propel herself to a multiple international award-winning CEO, author, speaker and charity ambassador. When I reached out to her to guest post for www.dofivethingsaday.com, to share her story with all of us, she didn’t come back with a list of all of her challenges, she came back with a focus on action steps on how she became who she was meant to be. It reminded me of how strong we can be, on how if we choose to control and shape our perception then we can make anything possible. 

The past few years have been some of the worst and some of the most successful years of my life. I have gone from a homeless single mother of two to multiple international award winning CEO, author, speaker and charity ambassador, in under 4 years. During this time I also overcame Borderline Personality Disorder, started a new relationship, had paralysis issues for 7 months, a cancer scare, a few surgeries, moved across the country and helped my daughters overcome their learning disorders which were classed as extreme.

Despite facing multiple obstacles, I have a life better than anything I could ever have imagined. Instead of focusing on ‘my story’ (which if you want to know more details about, you can find on my site), I want to focus on what I did to turn my obstacles into opportunities.

1.) Have an attitude of gratitude
As hard as it is when you face issues in your life, being grateful changes your perspective. Find something to be grateful for every day. I keep a gratitude diary where I write in it 3 things I am grateful for every day. Keeping an attitude of gratitude helps maintain a more positive outlook on life, which assists in problem solving the issues you face.

A week after my daughters and I left their dad (my ex husband), we were robbed of everything in our new home, including my underwear. At first, I broke down. It felt like too much to handle with what I had already faced leaving an abusive relationship, being stalked and assaulted.

I managed to pull myself together then wrote a gratitude list outing what I could be grateful for in that situation, what lessons I could learn from it and what opportunities might come as a result of being robbed. I managed to come up with quite a few things including the fact we were not home when it happened, it was only stuff and we had insurance, I hated everything I owned because it was remnants of my marriage, now I was able to replace it with insurance money instead of having to save up my own money and replace things as I could etc. As you can see, once I got into that frame of mind it became easier.

2.) Use affirmations and positive quotes
I used to roll my eyes when people suggested it, until I found myself crumpled in a heap on the bathroom floor sobbing my eyes out and the only thing that seemed to calm me down was repeating my favorite quote “I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.” by Carl Jung. I needed to believe that was true. I needed to know that despite being at rock bottom – abused, robbed and homeless, I could change my life.

I had my favourite quotes stamped on some bracelets for my wrists. I wrote quotes that inspired me in permanent marker on my mirrors (it wipes off with window cleaner) and I kept them as screen-savers on my devices. These constant reminders helped shape my thinking.

3.) Be clear on where you want to go
I have always had goals, but in this situation I got more strategic about it. I worked out my core values, created a personal mission statement, set goals in 7 key areas of my life (family, finances, career/business, travel, health, personal development and organisation), then using those goals I create a vision board.

I would spend time every day envisioning what my life would be like, looking at my vision board and actively taking steps to get me closer to my goals. All the planning in the world will do nothing if you don’t take action. Get clear on where you want to be, write your plan and go after it with pure determination.

4.) Meditation

I allocated at least 20 minutes a day to meditation, which I still do. It relaxes you, makes it easier to think and I notice it on days I don’t meditate. I struggle, have less energy and can’t think as clear if I don’t meditate in the morning. Not all mediation is about sitting there and saying ‘Om’. Find the method that works for you and implement it into your daily routine.

5.) Take care of yourself

I allowed myself to get too busy and overwhelmed running a business, doing public speaking, rushing from event to event, taking my kids to school, therapy and extra curricular activities. I said yes to everything anyone asked me to do and in the end my body decided I couldn’t continue. One morning I was getting ready and my back seized up. I thought I had aggravated an old spinal injury and asked my very new boyfriend to take my kids to school, assuming I would be ok the next day. I was unable to walk properly for 7 months. If I stood up or spoke at an event it required nerve blockers, pain killers and resulted in 4 days in bed after the event with excruciating pain and paralysis.

During this time a test came back positive for the cancer my mother died from. After a surgery it turns out I have a rare condition that presents itself the same way and I have to have annual surgery. I had surgical treatments for my spine and the whole year was stressful. My new boyfriend was my carer and immediately a dad to my kids instead of us being able to get to know each other slowly.

By not taking care of myself, I nearly ruined us financially (he was now unable to work as he had to care for me, and I barely worked because of the pain and issues) and nearly destroyed the relationship completely. I was unable to be the mum I had been and that broke my heart, seeing my kids play and having them be sad I couldn’t do things with them anymore.

Put yourself first. Exercise, eat right, get enough sleep, ask for help when you need it, outsource the cleaning or anything else you can to free up your time. Life is too short, don’t make it harder on yourself by overwhelming yourself.

You can achieve anything you put your mind to. How have you turned obstacles into opportunities?

Bio:

Kylie Travers went from homeless single mum of two daughters because of domestic violence to multiple international award winning CEO, author, speaker, marketing specialist and charity advocate in the space of a couple of years. Through all her work she focuses on sharing practical advice on ways to make and save money, turn your obstacles into opportunities, practice gratitude, travel and create opportunities to improve your life and excel in the areas you want to.

Her areas of expertise are marketing, social media, blogging, finance and travel. Her company specialises in digital marketing with influencer programs, marketing strategies, training and consultations. Personally, Kylie likes to focus on public speaking, freelance writing or consults around finance, travel, lifestyle or blogging, along with being actively involved in charities that help end homelessness and domestic violence.

As a result, she has been the recipient of many awards, including The Plutus Foundation Service Award for 2015, Finalist Young Australian Of The Year, ACT, 2015 and winning Best International Personal Finance Blog twice, among other awards.


You can find out more about here at http://www.kylietravers.com.au

Social links: 

http://www.facebook.com/KylieTraversAus

http://www.twitter.com/KylieTravers_au

http://www.instagram.com/KylieTravers_au

 

*all images used in this post of ownership of Kylie Travers.

I Do Not Want To Be Finished…I Want To Be The Mess.

“Embrace the glorious mess that you are.” ~ Elizabeth Gilbert

I am a canvas of life, an amazing piece of art still being created, a creation that has the ability to transform into anything I can dream of each and every day. Just as paint starts in a tube and then becomes a magnificent blob of wet paint on a palette, spilling and pouring among the surface which it lays on until a paintbrush picks it up and splatters it onto the canvas, so fluid, so free – that is what I want to be. I do not want to be a complete statue in a museum, to be looked at in awe, not yet. I want to be the wet clay still being molded. I want to be the photographs still developing in the dark room. I want to be the uncompleted drawing. I want to be the ever-moving stage during the play.

Right now, I just want to be the process of the artist because when I do pass, I want to be the great masterpiece of my long, vivid life.

Believe In Your Blessings. They Will Keep You Strong.

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       I’m sitting in bed with my laptop on my lap, staring at my editorial calendar and the asterisk marking that I’m due for a blog post tonight, thinking what do I write about tonight, coming to the realization that I’m just feeling a bit drained. My thoughts continue on what to write, I search through my list of blog ideas on my Evernote App and I have plenty of ideas, but I’m just not sure my thinking process is there to fill them out… I continue to drift into thoughts of what is all on my mind. These past two weeks have been harder than others, emotionally I’ve been up and down, not sleeping well, but still finding myself driven to chase my dreams through it all, and knowing that I am strong enough to get through all of this. My daily mantra is that no matter what is going on around me, focus on myself, growing myself, focus on the positive things in life and working towards continuing to develop a life I love, and then everything else will fall into place around me. I sat down to review my day for tomorrow in my Happiness Planner and as fate may have it, tomorrow’s quote is “Ego says, ‘Once everything falls into place, I’ll feel peace’, Spirit says, ‘Find your peace, and then everything will fall into place’ ~ Marianne Williamson. The Universe has a way of putting exactly what we need right in front of us. When it comes to people, and to life, truth is that we cannot fix people, we cannot control them, we can only love them. Therefore I choose to be love. I choose to love those around me with all my heart, I choose to love life, and I choose to love myself. I know I will have days that are good, and I will also have challenging days, but I can choose to love each of those days, to cherish the lessons I learn, to appreciate the strength I gain from each and every moment. Tonight, my thoughts are scattered (as it shows in my writing I’m sure) but they will organize themselves, they will become clear in time, tonight I just need to let them go, let them run wild and just be. The holidays stir up all kinds of feelings inside of us, they remind us of what we are thankful for, they remind us of lost loves, and of so much more. I find myself becoming reminiscent, of wonderful moments but also of old emotions but I will continue to remind myself that, happy or sad, they are of my past. I get to live here and now and that is my greatest blessing, having a present to be in and a future to look forward to, wherever that future may take me. I am blessed with so many things, so many wonderful moments, so many great people that are in or were in my life. Initially when I started this post with the confusion of what to write about I was going to create a ‘What Am I Thankful For’ list post but I find that question hard to answer, not because I have a lack of blessings but because I have so many blessings, and that is what I am most thankful for. Several years ago, I may not have had the same outlook but I decided to make a choice to view my life differently. Whether I find myself with a lot or with a little there can always be a lot in my heart if I allow it to exist there and that makes all the difference. So tonight as I lay down to sleep (after I finish my Lifetime Christmas movie of course) I will go to sleep, leaving my scattered thoughts to sit, and replace them with thoughts of love, hope, and faith.  <3 

 

Cheers To Today!

Cheers!

Cheers to being alive,

To being able to love,

To being able to be loved.

Cheers to experiencing adventure in each day,

To feeling everything.

Cheers to the sky, the sun, the moon, and the earth.

Cheers to life,

To having a life to live that is your own.

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This Thanksgiving, when you sit down for your meal remember to feel blessed, for the family, the friends that you have. Remember to feel blessed for being able to have a life to experience. Remember that even when times are tough, there is a lesson there to learn and that there is love in that moment even when you cannot see it. Remember that someone does love you just as you love someone else. Find a reason to be thankful for everything in your life, remember that everything has a purpose. I am thankful for everyone and every experience that I have in my life and I believe that I am exactly where I am meant to be. Today when you sit down be thankful for all, say cheers to all. 

Happy Thanksgiving to all! I am blessed that you are here!

“Be thoughtful. Be genuine. But most of all be thankful.” 

Why It Is Important To Reflect on Your Life

It’s easy to get caught up looking only at the end goal and not the progress. We need to remember that sometimes the journey is what really matters.

Some nights I lay in bed and think of all the things I want out of life, all the dreams and goals I have yet to master, and all the lessons I still must learn. As I continue to think, I start to remind myself how far I’ve come, how much I’ve grown and evolved. It gives me confidence and it gives me courage to not ever give up. I look at old posts and I remember how I used to be and how different I am today. I am still the same plant but one that has bloomed into a beautiful being. How through focus and practice I have been able to retrain my mind. How I’ve survived trials, sadness, and pain to grow into a strong, inspired woman. I’ve changed my doubts and fears into beliefs and success, I’ve let go of anger to cleanse my soul, I’ve risen every time I’ve fallen to become my own super hero. Many things still lay ahead of me yet but I am not where I used to be and that puts me so much closer to who I want to be, to who I will be.

The journey is what holds the moments that are so special and dear to us and the moments we will never forget.

I am not at the top of the mountain yet but I’m much further than I used to be.

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The next time you are feeling less than what you aspire to be, flashback and remind yourself of how far you’ve come. Look down and see how high you’ve climbed.

The Feeling of Flight

Today I did something unexpected, something that would surprise the folks that have known me for so long. Today I climbed into a bi-plane, a plane that had no windows or doors on it today, and I went for a flight. The feelings of freedom I had being in the air overcame my fear of heights. There was no fear of anything being up among the clouds. I felt invigorated, I felt calm, I felt at home. My mind was filled with amazement, my heart filled with courage and strength. It was breathtaking, bringing tears to my eyes. I had never felt so free and alive in my life as I did in those fifteen minutes! I knew in those moments that I had made the change, turned the leaf that I had been fighting to do for so many years. In the air I was struck with the idea, the thought, that this is the life I want to life, the life I’m living, the life in which I can seize every day and love every moment of the rest of my life. This was my freedom. Today I was a bird, flying high and above any troubles. Today I was a warrior. Today I was reminded how beautiful adventure is. The feeling of flight is freedom and freedom is my life!

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