Healthy Lifestyle

“Just let me be myself

That’s all I ask of you”

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Thinking…..

  • Shame and guilt consume my days and I am working towards making it less so. The way that helps me is saying things out loud to the world that gives me shame/guilt. Sure no one else may care, but it is what I need right now at this point. Usually, when I feel that first ounce of discomfort or pain, I push it away with busy-ness. Yesterday that ugly feeling overcame me, and I let it. I acknowledged it as just a feeling and was able to move on. The first time it popped up was while I was at yoga. During classes, the teachers will go around to students and offer assists. I LOVE getting assists and being touched (shame). It feels excellent and makes me feel that someone CARES about me. I have difficulty with allowing people to touch me and this has been a huge step for me, yet I feel shame. I feel bad that I enjoy it. It makes me feel icky and wrong but it is not. Image result for yoga assists    I am allowed to experience joy, we all are. After that, the next time guilt/shame reared its ugly head was my decision to clean and plant flowers on my balcony ALONE. Initially, I asked my father for help, not because I NEEDED help but because I wanted HIM to feel needed. Yet, it was a beautiful day, I was not feeling rushed, I wanted to continue this pattern without breaking the cycle. My father is very stubborn (like me) and I knew if he was involved he would try to do things his way, which would leave to either an argument or me keeping quiet. I decided to do it on my own and continue to enjoy my calm and slower pace. I immediately felt shame. I acknowledged it and moved on. There were many other moments throughout the day but I continued to acknowledge and move on. One day at a time……
  • I need to practice being more optimistic (read more HERE). I am tired of the permanent scowl on my face. It hurts. This article is a great reminder of the messages all around us! Interesting article and something to experiment with! What’s Your Optimism Ratio?
    IMG_6453                                                      This is a more accurate representation of how I typically feel. Thinking. Wondering, Planning. Tuning out the things around me. The smiles? They are for pictures.  Not an accurate representation (not saying I am miserable and depressed, this is just ME)
  • Being Overambitious is Making You Less Fun to Be Around

    Quoted from the article:

    • Overambition is the Thief of the Love For The Moment and Life Itself

      Definition of Overambition: a state of self-induced attachment to an aim that serves to turn the present moment into nothing more than a cheap stepping stone.

      Definition of Healthy Ambition: Approaching life with intentions that elevate both your present and future.

Dream Life…..

  • I need new sneakers. Mine have a hole in the toe….. I am eyeing these (sustainable!) sneaks, can’t decide on the color, “Glacier” or “Butter” (leaning towards Glacier)Image result for everlane the trainer glacier
  • If I ever visit Idaho, I really want to stay in a ………potato. Yes, that is correct, Big Idaho hotel air bnb 

 

Reading…..

April 27 is National Independent Book Store DayImage result for national independent bookstore day 2019

I mostly borrow my books from the library, BUT if you are thinking of purchasing a new treasure, make sure to support a local book store (Love Inkwood in Haddonfield, NJ)

What I read:

One of Us is Lying – Grade:  D +

This expresses how I felt while reading

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If you like/love YA (Young Adult Fiction) You will probably enjoy this. I just ….DON’T. I need to accept it and STOP reading YA!

And this is how I felt when I finished the book…

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All The Ugly and Wonderful Things –  Grade: B+

Dark. Sad. Depressing, crazy.  Such a great book!  Trigger warning, this may be difficult for those that have dealt with abuse in any form. Read with an open mind. This would make an EXCELLENT book club discussion!

November 9 by Colleen Hoover :  Grade:  A 

I can’t say enough about Colleen Hoover. Her books surprise me every single time! They are so different!  I loved this story about acceptance and love with an unusual and unforseen plot twist!

What I am Reading Now:

Jar of Hearts

The Girl He Used To Know (have to wait for the copy to become available again as I did not finish it in time)

Watching…..

  • Out for depression. In myself AND others.  I have struggled with depression my entire life. It is SO exhausting and tiring. I am tired of it. I feel like I am on a roller coaster, ups and down. I am sure I am not much different from you or anyone else. We all experience these feelings and emotions. This is a great article, PLEASE read it if you or someone you know is experiencing depression
  • How society is now manipulating us by easing away from the word “Diet” BUT disguising it as “wellness” or “Self-care”. NOPE, not going to buy into it. A FASCINATING read and can relate on SO MANY levels!

According to Christy Harrison, a registered dietician and host of the popular podcast Food Psych, “Diet culture is a system of beliefs that,” among other aims, “worships thinness and equates it to health and moral virtue,” “promotes weight loss as a means of attaining higher status,” and “demonizes certain ways of eating while elevating others.”

There is not a day that goes by without mention to the “Obesity epidemic” or how “Americans continue to get fatter”, yet the problem with these reports is that it fails to portray any sort of reason or balance. Who said FAT is bad? Fat has nothing to do with your health.  That is a proven fact. Losing weight and “thinness” does NOT equal health. What is being forgotten is that emotional health is a HUGE factor.

Take a few minutes. READ THIS . Ask yourself…….I constantly question myself with these

Are my choices around food guided by rules that aren’t medically necessary? Could I instead explore what it means to listen to and heed my body’s desires? Is my fitness practice transactional—one in which I exercise so that I’m allowed food? What might it look like to engage in movement from a place of excitement, rather than penance? What are my motivations for how I eat and exercise? Do these routines make me happy in and of themselves, or do I see them as a means to an end? We’re taught to do so many things for the end result. But what if we just did something—ate a cupcake when we craved one, took a passive instead of a strenuous yoga class—because it brought us joy?

Grateful For…..

Time off. I loved having off this week for Spring Break. It was a mix of productivity, time spent with my parents and lots of thinking, reading, and yoga’ing ❤  I thought I would feel less “introverted” but I do not. I definitely love my quiet time! Finally some peace! Trying to soak it up as much as I can before walking back into the chaos!  3 causes of Introvert Burnout

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From Monday’s excursion to the Mutter Museum #coffeechalk’sDAD. My favorite  STILL is the wall of skulls (description of the person and cause/way of death is included)Image result for mutter museum wall of skullsimg_0427

Spotted during my walk, full bloom!

 

Inspired By…..

The men I have dated and the relationships I have had

I am so grateful for all the experiences I have had. I have been married and dated throughout my 38 years. Each person and experience was a lesson, bringing me to where I am at today. I have recently actively stopped dating and looking I have been taking time to explore myself as well as the many lessons I have learned over the years. I am finally seeing what has been holding me back. Acceptance Of myself. All of my romantic relationships have had one thing in common. I was not genuine or true to myself.
I have settled for things and turned the eye on things that were deep values for me.
I have said yes to many things I did not want to do
I have agreed to things I did not find agreement with
I have not texted or called for fear of seeming needy
I have spent time trying to pick the perfect restaurant or place for the other person. Not me
I pretended I enjoyed sports. Late nights and sex more times that I’d like to admit
I did not speak up when I should have for fear of seeming “difficult”
I let things continue and go on longer than I should have, trying to convince myself there was something wrong with me for not liking this “perfect person”
I have felt fat, ugly and undesirable and kept it to myself
I held back anything that made me seem selfish
I did not speak up when something did not feel good or right                                                    I have minimized myself and accomplishments in order to not hurt the other
I have hidden the things I love to eat in fear of being judged as overindulgent or weird
I have worn things based on what I think they would like
I have shaven my legs when I didn’t feel like it
I have spent money on things I would not normally spend on
I have said sorry for things I was not certain I should even be sorry for
I have changed my mind but kept quiet for fear of being called unreliable or wishy-washy

I slowly acknowledge these things and am practicing being true and genuine to myself and others around. Even if it means walking away or being walked away from

I will not be quieted or do anything that does not feel good to me or my body and that is the one thing I can be certain about that feels good . You don’t own me…..

I am so thankful for my past, BUT I choose NOT to carry it forever (read this here)

  • Creatives CHECK THIS OUT!  I am a “maker” (I am determined and will get things done. I struggle to listen to my intuition and experience joy. YUP)                                This was so much fun (and visually appealing) to do!

Sharing…..

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This is a new section. This is SO hard for me. I hate, hate, HATE, sharing things I love, use, etc. I think deep down I feel it will take something away from me, my uniqueness. Yet I constantly remind myself, there is enough uniqueness in the world that I can and WILL still be me (reality check!).  If someone else can experience the joy I do, why not share it!

  • The comfiest sports bra I am currently loving, it is from Target (not sustainable 😦 )  But it is priced right at $16.99. It is seamless and oh so comfy!  It offers just the right support and coverage too!
  • The Ordinary skin care products! I recently purchased a bunch of items from The Ordinary, which is a lovely skincare company, that is priced Right!  Stayed tuned for my reviews. So far, I am in LOVE with Marula Oil!!! I am hoping it works well for me because I love the glowy hydration, but this has me concerned ….

    Organic Marula oil has been used by North African Ovambo women for centuries as their secret “elixir of youth” skin care weapon. The oil is derived from the nut of the South African marula fruit (said to contain over four times the amount of Vitamin C as an orange) and offers benefits to just about every skin type. High in oleic acid, organic marula oil is easily absorbed by dry skin and provides hydration throughout the day by preventing water loss without leaving an oily residue. The Vitamin E, phytosterols, amino acids, and the powerful antioxidants found in organic marula oil create a potent anti-aging elixir which boosts collagen production and fights free radicals. Because of Marula oil’s high Vitamin C content, continuous use has been shown to significantly improve skin elasticity and (with the aid of monounsaturated fatty acids) even reduce the appearance of cellulite. Marula oil has a comedogenic rating of 3-4, which gives it a high likelihood of clogging pores. If your skin tolerates coconut oil well, then you should have no problem using organic marula oil. Otherwise, try using marula oil as a light night mask or spot treatment at first to see how your skin reacts.  Pure organic marula oil is rare and can be quite expensive

 

YOUR TURN

  1.  Have you signed up below to follow coffeechalkblog? If not WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR, do it, for your chance to win a copy of “The Idea of You”
  2. What is something you feel shame about?
  3. Are you satisfied with your own “wellness” outlook and thoughts?
Healthy Lifestyle

Sympathy vs. Empathy

Book Giveaway!  See details here, or just scroll to the bottom of this post and sign up for email notifications!  Good luck!

Thinking

  • Upset with myself, for once again buying “Crap ” for the kids for Easter. Ugh. I just don’t like following and caving to consumerism, yet I still see and realize how difficult it is for others to do and follow this. I understand.  I do not have children, so it is much easier for me to follow this, it must be so hard to try to practice this when you have children that are influenced by other children classmates friends, etc. Start small be an example!Image result for easter basket

I should have done this………..maybe next yearImage result for bookworm easter basket

  • I am ANGRY. As adults, we have so many titles and duties. We have to be near perfect because of course, we are shaping our future, children. We have many duties, responsibilities and now I am going to add one more thing to your list, BUT I feel it is very important. Be careful about the messages you send. What works for you, may be completely absorbed differently by another. My anger at the moment, is, of course, diet/fitness related. Please be mindful NOT to say things and stereotype foods as “good and bad”, “Healthy or unhealthy”. Not only in front of children, but in general. Food is NOT the issue. It is our thoughts around it. We grow up believing a variety of things because of the atmosphere we are in. We have been instilled with thoughts and beliefs (many untrue) that we keep moving and pushing forwards. everyone struggles with food, diet, and exercise at some point in their life. We need to work on obtaining and maintaining healthy thoughts about food. Food is fuel, it is pleasure, it is wonderful. Nothing should be off-limits (unless you truly have an allergy/aversion/true dislike ) Can we focus on sending that message instead of “Don’t eat that it is BAD for you”. “I ran 4 miles today, it is OK for me to eat that ice cream”. JUST STOP. Think about what you are saying and doing. Is it working? Nope, disordered eating is at its highest. Just please be mindful, because it is alarming what I hear people saying and doing . (Off my pedestal, carry on)
  • How to change the way you feel, without actually changing anything. Great read and reminder!
  • Sympathy vs. Empathy. Woah. This is so good, I actually tried it yesterday, with a child and it was incredibly productive. This is going to be my challenge or the week, not only with children but EVERYONE. Everyone deserves to be heard, not fixed.

Inspired By

  • Reminding myself I am who I am, stop trying to change that.
  • edging myself closer to a social media break. I am so tired of the constant, never-ending posts of accomplishments, successes, etc. Then the opposite of sharing too much in the heat of it and in the moment. I feel like it is being forced upon us from all directions. Not to blame or shame anyone. I am not angry or blaming or calling anyone out on this. It just is a fact, we all do it (So do I!) I am just tired of it
    I miss the times where things were not so easy. As amazing as technology and social media are, it is only going to continue to evolve. Every day I feel like there is something new to try. I don’t fault us, I fault the creators who are trying to profit off of all this. Yet I can’t control this, them or you. I can only control myself.
    Every day I read about a new app or site that is being introduced to help us. Whether it is convenience, entertainment or information. It is exhausting. It creates FOMO (Fear of missing out) I mindfully choose not to participate because I know how easy it is to conform and get sucked into yet another habit that I don’t really want or need.
    I personally, find my introverted self, wanting more and more to pull away from people. I don’t know whether its the overload and frustration of all the social media, societies constant messages to make ourselves BETTER, or the emotional drain I put upon myself. I am feeling it though. I want less and less to spend time with others, which is draining, and more and more time to myself. I should rephrase, I want to spend time with people, just not those that are draining (I guess we all feel this way)Reading a book, writing, being outside. Those things feel GOOD to me. Those other things…… feel confining.
  • Not being good, great or excellent at something really………SUCKS. Loved this article , how to find JOY at things that you are not currently amazing at (yet or ever)

Reading

Need help figuring out WHAT to read next?  Fill out this form and let me help you pick your next read!

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November 9 by Colleen Hoover – 4 stars.

I love Colleen Hoover, her writing and books really draw me in, and keep my attention quite well (Ohhh is that a bird??)  I liked this story and then at the end I LOVED It.  It’s about a young girl that gets scarred from a fire, although grateful to be alive, she feels ashamed and not beautiful. Her dreams of becoming an actress quickly fade, no help to her discouraging/practical? father. She meets someone who truly accepts and loves her and as they are both still so young when they meet (18) they devise a plan to meet up every year ONE day (November 9) to pick up where they left off until they both turn 23. THen they can decide what to do Many ups and downs, heartbreak, laughter, love throughout. Reading this, felt a bit unrealistic at times. I do wish the main characters were a bit older to start with because they are both very mature for 18…. honestly I struggle to meet people in their 40’s and 50s with that maturity and understanding. However, the story unfolds and it makes a lot more sense. Great quick read! I enjoyed it!

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things 

a friend LOVED this book so much, that she has inspired me to read it (or re-read it)  Excited to get through it so we can chat more about it, and our love of psychological thrillers!

One of Us is Lying

hoping I love this one and it is a quick read!

The Girl He Used to Know

 I am hoping to love this as much as some of the reviews, I am only a few chapters in, and it’s good, but it’s not one I “Can’t wait to get back to reading”.  I hope it picks up for me soon!

Watching

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You want ME to watch T.V.??

I am struggling to get myself to watch something on television!  This week I am on Spring Break, and a friend recommended the movie “Mine” on Netflix. I am hoping that his encouragement and the fact that we can have a discussion about it after I watch, will be enough to get me through it!  I’d rather go to the dentist than watch T.V. (ok, so my dentist is pretty awesome, but STILL) My parents watched this recently and gave it a thumbs up and said I should watch it as well!

Also, my French pen pal suggested a Comedian on Netflix, Gad Elmaleh in American Dream, for me to check out.  LOOKS like I have my homework cut out for me this week! WISH ME LUCK!

Wanting/Intentions

  • to detail my car – so many early morning coffee spills that need attention!
  • New spring sheets. These are beautiful
  • On a mission to find some ARTWORK that I truly love (and can afford)
  • Bike ride at the beach
  • Mutter Museum trip
  • Get plants for my patio planter
  • Spa day with mom (self-made)
  • massage
  • Read at a cafe/coffee shop
  • Spring Clean my home 
  • Continue writing my snail mail letters

 

Dream Life

Grateful For

My family and friends.

I had the BEST Easter and holiday weekend! It consisted of friend time and family time. More and more the two feel to be crossing paths and becoming the same “feel”

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Photo credit to my cousin, Mike, Wow, way to capture the moment!

 

Healthy Lifestyle

Book Giveaway!

I love psychological thrillers, so when I came across this book, I did NOT think I would like it.

I was right. I did NOT like it, I LOVED it!  It is such a ridiculous concept, but such a fun read!

I enjoyed it so much I am giving away a FREE copy to one of my readers!

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For your chance to win your own copy of The Idea of You by Robinne Lee,  scroll to the bottom of the page and FOLLOW ME BY EMAIL (If you already do, you will automatically be entered!)

Good Luck and Happy Reading!

Also, if you are looking for your NEXT book to read, I am making recommendations, HERE!  Let me choose your next BOOK

 

*Winner will be randomly selected
Healthy Lifestyle

BeautiFULL – Full of Beauty

Inspired By

Some days, I really feel like I have lost all hope of finding someone that “Gets me”.  Someone that I actually WANT to spend time with. Someone that listens, understands, unconditionally love. This beautiful response is SO, so, SO inspiring.  Wow

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Isn’t it funny how we can often see and notice the beauty all around us, yet we fail to see it in ourselves (or fail to believe it?)

I can so easily point out the beauty in nature, my friends, family, strangers. Yet I am so hard on myself. I deny myself that beauty, and I also am unwilling to accept it or believe it if others tell me so. This definitely comes from within. My own life situations have formed this idea and image.

This brings back so much feeling from my past. In school, I was teased constantly about my looks and appearance.  I internalized this and felt shame. I felt like something was wrong with me and if I could only FIX it, things would be different. I tried different hairstyles, different clothing, different reactions. None of which were authentic.  I believed if somehow people could like me, people would finally see the beauty inside me. I quickly became an easy target, because I allowed it. I allowed others to dictate and tell me what I should see and failed to see the real beauty I had. I believed them. NOT MYSELF.  I started a mission to create and show that beauty. “I can be beautiful too”. Well, this did not end well. It turned into many years of disordered eating, exercise addiction, low self-esteem, unhealthy relationships, and so much more.

After my teens, when I began to date, I would often times feel great when I left the house. only to arrive at a bar, restaurant, party, etc, and immediately began to compare myself to others.

“Wow, she has that amazing outfit on, mine is from Target”, “Wow look how she did her makeup, I wish I knew how to do that!”  , I noticed my boyfriends, dates, etc, looking at others, this immediately made me feel less. I felt invisible. I WANTED to be looked at! I did again what I did best and spent my childhood doing…….. Internalized all those things and told myself I was not good enough. #BULLSHIT

Those thoughts and feelings were just that….FEELINGS. Yet I took it upon myself to make it more than it was. Letting others insecurities become my own.  Image result for your own insecurities are not mine

I recall a time in my life when I worked weekends doing photography as a second job. I wore black pants and a black shirt for all events. I was rushed, stressed, hot, a ball of emotions. I can clearly remember WISHING I could wear one of those beautiful dresses that the host/hostess or guests were wearing.  I wanted that lifestyle.  At least I thought I did.  I look back now and in no way do I regret those times and feelings. They have helped me get to where I am at today. I am far from fully confident, but I am so happy with who I am and can honestly say there is NO ONE I would want to be. I no longer want all those things, because that is all that they are…..Things.  Things do NOT make us happy. It is a temporary fix that gives us immediate pleasure, then it fades and you are left with yourself and your thoughts once again. This little thought has always worked to make me feel better in the moment:
“If I had the money, time, resources that those I envy did, I would be able to look the same  Saying this to myself, knowing that I too COULD look or act a certain way, made me feel better.  Then I realized something. I don’t even want to make that effort. It is not worth it.  I  CAN choose NOT to.  I don’t want to be like them. I want to be just as I am. This “ME”  is not worried about designer outfits, perfect hair, or expensive jewelry.

 

If someone

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chooses to judge me or not give me the attention I love and deserve, well it is their loss.

Our life is a journey and a process. The more I walk away from and separate myself from society’s unrealistic views, I feel stronger and happier and love myself so much more.

 

Watching

Peoples reactions when they ask me the dreaded question…..”What are you doing tonight?”  I often feel judged or less.  I hear others talking about heading out to happy hour, or a live show,  or something else that sounds like pure. utter. MISERY to me.

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I would much rather stay home, in my sweats, reading a book, and avoid others. This is how I feel most of the time. This is not to say I seclude myself from the world, I don’t do that at all. I love being out in the world, but on my own terms.  I chose my time wisely. I can surround myself with others that can have meaningful conversations together. I can go to a class, store, anything that requires my presence by not necessarily interaction (like browsing a bookstore, taking a yoga class (Just me and my mat), grabbing a cup of coffee and people watching) So I am not avoiding the world, life, people (well ok, maybe a few I am avoiding). I just don’t like or enjoy loudness, crowds, having to interact in ways that are not meaningful to me. I feel that I can respect others that love and enjoy this. GREAT! Go do you, have fun, yet I feel that others are not so accepting of “My Kind”. Image result for hiding from people I realize this is personal and in my head. I need to stop worrying about what I “THINK” others are thinking because we all know what happens when we assume…..Here is a great essay about WHY WE DON’T WANT TO GO OUT

Also, LET GO of those thoughts that make us worry. A lovely and eye-opening article about a monkey…..getting his hand stuck in a coconut 🙂  #Life lesson

Reading

Something In The Water – 3.5 stars. This book had me from the start. I was engaged and found myself constantly looking for a free moment to read. However, it fell short for me with many loose ends (especially the ending).

The Girl He Used to Know I just started this one, but am already loving it!

 

Up Next: Homegoing

Grateful For

minimalism. But guys, minimalism will NOT solve your problems or make you happy.  That comes from within. It is a tool, it is also something that you could easily obsess on (like I tend to do) I have a habit of going to extremes with things. It makes me lose focus of the big picture because it becomes a competition (with myself)  Just like relationships will not make you “happy”, minimalism won’t either, if you are not healthy from the inside first. What I Wish Someone Told Me About Minimalism Before I Got Started

Thinking

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I have this problem. I want to do EVERYTHING. I think many of us suffer from this feeling on occasion (or daily!) It works like this. I wake up, have my coffee, and am filled with energy, motivation, clarity. I begin that never-ending to-do list. I want to do it all!

  • I want to go to yoga
  • go for a walk (because of this weather!)
  • come up with the most unique, effective, exciting lessons to teach my students
  • listen to all of my student’s needs
  • organize my office space
  • check all my emails
  • read up on my blogs
  • spend time with my friends
  • visit my parents
  • start a new project
  • create a wonderful new dish
  • write, blog, etc
  • buy/wear a new outfit
  • organize my house
  • clean the tub
  • spend time with others, yet at the same time crave my solitude
  • read a few chapters in my book
  • visit a museum after work

You get the point.  The list is never ending and exhausting.  All of these things are distractions. Because of the desire to do it all, I fail to give my all in doing one thing at a time. I fail to be fully present. I fail to truly listen to myself or others because I am already thinking ahead to the NEXT THING. I fail myself. I end up feeling terrible, miserable and exhausted. I have been known to cram quite a few of these things into a day or a few hours. Yet I still fail to let go of my ego and allow myself to focus on one thing. I am being very greedy.  Yet. I am aware. This is a daily practice for me. Something I need to constantly remind myself of and talk myself down.  Here are more tips for you , if you can identify

Busy is not the point

There’s a common safe place: Being busy.

We’re supposed to give you a pass because you were full on, all day. Frantically moving from one thing to the other, never pausing to catch your breath, and now you’re exhausted.

No points for busy.

Points for successful prioritization. Points for efficiency and productivity. Points for doing work that matters.

No points for busy.

I try to be understanding about society’s view on fitness, image, and ideals. Yet it is all around us. It is so difficult to love ourselves when we are constantly being told to improve ourselves. It is important to remember that these industries are pushing this because they know what our insecurities are. Our insecurities = their profit. Please, be kind to yourself. Start with building a positive self/body image. You don’t have control of what others do or say, but you are in control of yourself. Start by weaning through your social media accounts (or better off, take a hiatus!)  You may not think something so simple will help, but I can attest, if you remove those unreal images from your world, it allows more space to focus on what really is important. Read this!

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April is National Letter Month!! Who doesn’t love receiving a special something in the mail just for them!  It is exciting and so personal! I will be partaking in this 30 days of letter writing challenge (along with my students! ) If you are interested, you can print the PDF with 30 different ideas HERE!

This would be the PERFECT opportunity to send someone you wronged, treated badly, or unfairly a little acknowledgment or even an APOLOGY. Did you bully someone in high school? Previous job, recently?  Send them a little note telling them you are sorry. I think it would be so meaningful. I personally would LOVE to receive this acknowledgement from some people ….

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Listening To

Guys. If you have NOT started listening to the O.L.D. Podcast(s), PLEASE do so!! They have 5 different topics themed shows, and present daily excerpts of amazing, inspirational and important information! Great tips on relationships, finance, your daily life, health, and so much more.  There really is something for everyone!  I listen every single morning on my way to work to Relationships and Optimal Daily Living. Honestly, these set me up for a great day with some thought-provoking pieces and concepts. If you listen, let me know which show/article resonates with you!

Dream Life

Loving this smock dress so much!!

Car-free Costa Rica town??? SIGN ME UP!

Really trying to live a more sustainable life. It is hard. The temptation is all around. Inexpensive clothing stores (with adorable and fashionable finds), cheap labor, service, etc. Well, it comes with a price. Sure, it sucks spending your hard earned money on things that you can get much cheaper, BUT You have to remember and not dismiss or avoid thinking about how that cheapness, comes with a hefty price. Unfair treatment, cheap labor, toxic products, the list goes on. Here is an interesting read

  • Would love to grab up a pair of these sustainable (made from plastic bottles!)  and washable shoes, Rothy’s.  I love the point style but my feet would probably thank me for going with the flat 🙂

  • Also trying to make the switch to using “Cleaner” products, skin care, fragrances, chapstick. We spend so much time thinking about what we put INTO our bodies (organic, vegan, etc) yet we fail to give much thought to the products we use ON our skin. That is absorbed BY our skin. Here is a read by Michelle Pheiffer about your fragrances!

Your Turn

  1. What are you reading/listening to/watching?

  2. How do you pick yourself up after a fall?

  3. What are your Easter/Passover/Spring Break plans?

Healthy Lifestyle

“There is a dark side for every light,

but there’s beauty in the darkness.”

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excellent article here.

I tend to fall into all or nothing, black or white type of thinking. Sometimes we forget that when we chose positivity and joy, it does NOT mean that we are not allowed to ever experience darkness. That is just setting us up for disappointment and failure and feeling terrible about ourselves. We all have darkness to us or a shadow self. This is the side we do not want others to see, sometimes even denying it to ourselves.  It is not the Instagram or Facebook posts that show this. It is the deep, true, selves within us.  It is important to note these and be open and honest about them, instead of trying to hide them from ourselves and the world. Hiding = GUILT and SHAME

I  have a strong interest in personal growth and strive to become more tolerant, loving and gentler…….Here are a few examples of my shadow selves:

  • I want to love everyone all the time, BUT I don’t.  I get annoyed, irritated and need breaks from others. I need a lot of downtimes
  • I have people in my life that I love dearly, but I do not necessarily want to spend time with them. I feel exhausted and tired and frustrated and it only leaves me feeling depleted.
  • I want to do so much all the time. Fill up every minute of the day. But the truth is? Sometimes I just want to do NOTHING. I am so tired of constantly pushing myself.
  • I am productive. I get things done. This is a strength. BUT my shadow side is that a lot of the times I don’t want to do those things, but I trick myself and the world that I do.
  • Kids and children are amazing and great. YET they are exhausting. I do not want children of my own. I love my life as it is.
  • I love doing new things, trying new things and products. Yet I struggle with sharing these loves with others in my life because I don’t want anyone else to take away from what brings me joy? I struggle with sharing my joy and accomplishments with others. I want to keep it all to myself.
  • Helping others is great and makes me feel great. Yet a lot of the times I find myself feeling ANNOYED with others when asked for help. “Do it yourself!”
  • Speaking of asking for help. I hate asking for help and am stubborn about this
  • I love being happy and positive and kind all the time. YET I do snap, I get angry, upset and can be VERY hard on others. This is a reflection of how I feel about myself and I hate when I portray that onto others (Mostly my parents.) I always feel awful after

 

Interested in exploring your OWN shadow self, Here are some great ways that may help you identify them (if you are not clear)

And a little test to help you identify your strengths

Dream Life

  • Grammar tips!  Yup, I have been guilty of a few
  • Quiet and stillness. I need time in my own head to just recharge. This week has been hectic and no show of slowing down any time soon!  As lovely as this sounds it is also extremely difficult for me to practice Image result for quiet and stillness reading
  • Prague…..maybe?
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  • Solo yoga/adventure retreat

On my own, yet around others…..ahhhh

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  • Warmer days ahead = Ice cream cones! Image result for eating ice cream cones

Grateful For

Friends. Seriously I have the best people in my life that I feel get me (and I get them)  I am so grateful for the wonderful people in my life (You know who you are) that give me so much comfort, joy, and yoga 🙂

The wonderfully planned evening by Fred Astaire Dance studios in Princeton and their open house event. Wow. It was above and beyond my expectations. The food, drinks, lessons, and performances (especially LOVED watching my friend T & M perform!!). What a great group of people! So excited that my MOM will be partaking in a lesson! She LOVES to dance and is quite good at it (I did not inherit her love of dance, sadly)

Inspired By

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Looking for a great skin care routine, no matter where you are in life? Check these out.  I love the simplicity, as well as the budget and pricier options! Something for everyone!

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How to be a better listener.  I have a friend that is such a wonderful listener. She repeats things back and really tries to understand. To me, this is priceless AND it makes me feel so HEARD and seen.  What a wonderful feeling, I want to make sure I am giving others the same gift in return! Mindfully practicing being fully present (including with my students)

Have you ever had someone just talk AT you? (Raises hand over here)Image result for someone that wont stop talking memeNot engaged in a conversation with you, but instead sort of self-absorbed in their own little world with what matters to them and what they want to get off their chest. This annoys me to NO AVAIL but I am trying to practice being a better listener in ALL situations. These people want and deserve to be heard too. Maybe modeling effective listening and communication will spark something in them….maybe not 🙂

  • I”m gonna live forever…..maybe not, BUT I am going to practice these wonderful life tips that are practical and simple to ensure I live the best life I can
  • My Amazing friend, K,  is the drama director at a local school. She has put SO MUCH TIME , EFFORT, ENERGY and PASSION into the planning, choreography, teaching, and so much more. I am so excited to see her and her amazing students in action today!

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Reading Now

The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls  I have heard many wonderful things about this book, but quite honestly I am ready to give up on it. It’s not that it is terrible or bad, it just does not have a grasp on me.  I will give it a few more chapters, but if not will add to my DNF list!

A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty – Contemporary Fiction. I like it! I am interested and invested!

The Heart’s Invisible Furies – I feel like this is a great book but I just can’t get into it! The length is unsettling and I am impatient! Going to DNF but hope to pick it up again one day.

Awesome! Got my mom to read both Verity and The Idea of You. She was hooked on BOTH as well!  Verity is the cause of my lack of interest in other books I am currently reading. It’s a book you think about AFTER reading it. I have even found the author facebook page and read through her Q&A’s, but she leaves a lot of unclarity! Grrrr

 

Thinking About

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So annoyed and irritated with myself and the culture/society we live in. There is not a day that goes by that I meet someone that self-hating on themselves. This self-hate disguises itself in exercise and dieting to make them feel better It is so frustrating to hear people suffering through and with these constant beliefs. Believing they are less if they don’t force themselves to do something they don’t want to be doing. To eat how they think they should eat. Not how they want to. All of this effort, emphasis, and battle is the exact reason for unhappiness and unhealthy lifestyles. Health is not about a size or a number or which diet you are in. Health is accepting. Moving. Eating in a way that makes you feel good and happy and excited and fulfilled.

Please step back. STOP. Look at the bigger picture. Are you choosing what you really want and enjoy or are you falling into a trendy trap that our society keeps pushing? Are you allowing yourself to live? Or are you allowing others to live off of your insecurities by giving them money??

Watching

The beautiful trees bloom and bud!!

My parents having a blast on bikes!

Wanting

Smudge-proof mascara

I have pretty much stopped wearing all makeup, especially eye make up. My skin and especially eyes have become so sensitive that it just feels better and cleaner to go without. BUT there are the occasional times I do still get dolled up, want to give this is a try

Apple Air Pods – Do I need these? Will I lose them/break them? I am the girl that ALWAYS losing one earring, I can see myself following suit with these as well!

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Speaking of earrings. These are adorable and perfect for me to lose just one 🙂 In fact, I am loving the site! It is affordable and has many unique things