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! 

“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.

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.

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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.” 

How To Recognize When You’re Doing Too Much

I found myself on my vacation day in bed sick, stuffy nose, achy, and exhausted. Darn, I had so many plans! I wanted to catch up more on office work, get more forms organized for my Blog, write more Blog posts, finish some paintings for upcoming art shows, start some new paintings, needed to do laundry, had some research topics to tackle, clean and organize my room, post some new items in my Poshmark Closet…the list was forever long (geez I’m tired just typing some of my goals for my vacation day!). Well my day rounded up with me in bed watching Law & Order all day.

I needed to come to the realization that I had worn myself down. Maybe I picked up a virus somewhere too but I had worn myself out with late nights, early mornings, skipped meals, and a go-go-go attitude…and that was really why I was sick. I needed a down day and my body was telling me so, screaming it at me making it very obvious that my focus was to be to rest for the day.

We all do it, we get so excited,  or so inundated with a super long to-do list that we fall into just go do it and don’t stop until it’s done mode, and then we crash. We find ourselves so drained that we end up out of commission for a bit…and then we are at a stall, a stall in working towards our goals, a delay in life. We want so much out of life and we want to have it all done now that we push ourselves so much that we end up not functioning at all. We keep saying to ourselves “I got this”, and “Just push through” to stay pumped but are we doing too much? So how do we get it all done and not crash? We learn to recognize when we are doing too much, and then we shift, we re-adjust. To name a few, ones that I had to teach myself to be aware of:

  1. If you are finding yourself making silly mistakes – forgetting to turn the coffee pot on or put the K-Cup in the Kuerig before hitting brew, or you are making little slips during the like bad simple math solving or forgetting words frequently – then you are doing too much. Our brain starts having hiccups when it’s over-worked.
  2. If you are waking up in the morning feeling drained then you are doing too much. When I’m super busy I hate getting up in the mornings but when I’m on key I pop out of bed early happy to take on the morning.
  3. If you’re finding yourself having frequent negative thoughts or starting to dislike your daily activities. When you are over-exhausted you start to lose your passion, your drive.
  4. When you’re feeling cranky a lot or catch yourself snapping about things.
  5. When you feel so overwhelmed or so worried about meeting deadlines or completing tasks it’s keeping you awake at night then there’s too much on your mind.

So now what? How do we slow down? Each of us will have our own things, our own habits to put in place, that will work best but here’s my tips:

  1. Schedule a lazy day at least once a month. A day with nothing on the schedule, let the day lead you. If it turns out you curl up on the couch and watch a tv marathon then so be it. It’s okay to have days like this, it’s good to have days like this, not every day but a day here and there is healthy. Whether it’s once a week or once a month is going to be up to what works for you. For me I need to have one at least once a month, preferably I like one once every couple of weeks, that’s my balance.
  2. Drink water. I know you probably hear this one all time but hydration is sooo important. Water is a healing element, and it happens to be a big part of our natural make-up.
  3. Make it a habit to eat regularly, choose healthy and revitalizing foods – good proteins, fruits and vegetables, energizing grains. Keeping your blood sugars level will help you process things better and help you make better decisions. It keeps your energy levels even so you’ll have less dips and spikes throughout the day too.
  4. Make sure you do at at least three tasks or activities that bring you joy every day. Keeping your mind happy keeps you motivated and lessens the opportunity of emotional burnout.
  5. Stay organized. This not only keeps you accountable and more productive (so you can get more done more efficiently!)  but it also gives you awareness, it gives you an overall look of what all you have going on so you can assess the big picture. After being stuck in bed all day sick I was able to slow down enough to see how much I was doing day by day. I was able to put things into a better perspective and build a (more) reasonable timeline.
  6. Listen to your body. I’ve heard this so many times but I’ve finally started following that advice and it makes a difference. When my body is telling me I’m tired, I sleep. When I’m sore or achy, I need to rest my body. When I’m sick, I take time to recuperate. I fight the urge to ‘push through’ by reminding myself it’s better to rest now than crash and have to rest for days to bounce back.

I get wanting to accomplish everything, I really do. I am constantly telling myself not to fret that there is another day, “What doesn’t get done today will either get done another day or sometimes just won’t get done. It’s okay”. I have the kind of to-do list that is a rolling list, it just keeps going. This may sound like a very long list (which it usually is) but I’ve found it’s what works well for me. For me I’m creating an opportunity to keep working on this list, creating the expectation that this is a list that moves with me from day to day instead of having an end of day deadline (I put specific deadlines next to the actual task if need be).

Create a balance between a motivated, calm mindset and a well taken care of and rested body. With the Holiday chaos among us, we all know it can get even crazier but don’t set yourself out to have a burnt out January. Put together routines and set boundaries to protect yourself. Pace yourself to the finish line.

“Life is not a race, it is a marathon.”

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.

10 Things To Do When You’re Feeling Down

We all have those days, the days that we just can’t quite feel enough, or maybe you’re just so emotionally or physically drained that you just can’t take anything else on. It’s okay to have these days, it’s natural to have these days…these are signs that we need to take some time to rejuvenate, to refresh our spirits. Take the time and do something that will uplift your spirits. 

  1. Read – Immerse yourself into a fantasy. Take a vacation from reality and dream. This can release your mind from the things troubling you. A relaxed mind can handle the challenges you are facing must easier than a tense mind. Here’s a little list of some great Chicken Soup for the Soul Books to help inspire you: Reading List: Chicken Soup for the Soul.
  2. Take a Hot Bath – Allow your body and your mind to relax. Add essential oils to help alleviate your stress.
  3. Light a Candle or a fresh Incense – Certain scents have been proving to have positive effects on our moods. I love Dragonsblood and it is said to dispel negativity.
  4. Write – Let it out, whether you write in story form or into your journal, writing can help you let go of the bad feelings you have inside of you.
  5. Take a Walk or Go for a Run – Exercise releases endorphins which will improve your mood and respond to stress better.
  6.  Meditate – Meditation has proven to have several benefits including clearing your mind, calming the body, and overall helping you feel better.
  7. Take a Nap – Sometimes you just need to sleep it off. If I am feeling particularly stressed or sad I find that a nap can be my best medicine. It slows me down and takes me away from the world for bit to work through things.
  8. Spend Time With Friends – Go seek time with your support group, talk it out or  just have a good laugh.
  9. Watch a Movie – It may seem silly because it is usually a made up story but sometimes the best inspiration or idea to solve a problem can be found in the most unusual places. Or a good comedy can get you laughing, or a scary movie can make you forget your worries. It’s a great chill activity.
  10. Call Your Mom (or Your Dad… or Grandparents…) – Call a family member, let them remind you that your loved. Let them share their wisdom with you. This can be a safe place to talk or to cry if you need to. I always feel better after chatting with my mom.

Whatever it may be, when you’re having a rough day, find something to make you smile. A smile can give you all the strength you need to keep going. 

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information please reference my disclosure page. All opinions are my own.