Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

I was recently having a conversation with someone about visualizing your best life and how important it is to have a clear picture of what that is for your personally, and I was surprised at the response that I received. They had never thought about visualizing what their best life would be, although they admitted that they were not completely satisfied with the way that their life was going. The discussion progressed and what stood out to me the most, was how different our views were in regards to what would be our life the best. My best life was based much more on feelings and experiences, rather than possessions. I realized that through my recent growth, being happy had become a much simpler process than it once was. I no longer needed a laundry list of specific items in order to feel satisfied with the life that I was leading. I was feeling pretty damn proud of myself until I realized that I was silently judging the other person for not having the same experience and growth that I had. Talk about a humbling moment! Here I was, in what I thought was a perfect headspace, when I was subtly reminded that in order to really help people, I need to practice what I preach and accept everyone exactly where they are in their own personal journey.  Just because you find yourself in a place of peace, does not mean that others are in that place.

Reflecting on this conversation showed me two things;  taking the time to really think about what your best life truly means to you, is extremely important and that being non-judgmental is clearly still something that I need to work on. I am learning that just because I have the desire to help someone, doesn’t mean that they will be open to help. I might think that a certain lifestyle is beautiful and someone else might not think so. It is not my job to determine what someone else’s life should be like, it is my job to focus on my life and my actions.

What started as a simple conversation with a friend, ended up opening both of our eyes to exactly what we needed to see at that moment.

Stay present and release judgement my friends!

Love thy neighbor.

Do unto others, as you would have them do to you.  I was raised on that principle, as many people are but we seem to have forgotten what it really means. Treating people with kindness, has become a bit of a rarity. We are too busy, stressed or overwhelmed to even think about anyone other than ourselves, let alone do something nice for them! What we fail to realize, is that giving of ourselves actually helps to reduce stress and it doesn’t take a grand gesture, to spread a little kindness.

Its funny how seemingly small things can make a person feel so amazing. I know that receiving compliments, kind words and little gifts always make me smile, and that makes the other person smile! Its a domino effect.

Here are a few things that I have been incorporating into my daily life, to show kindness to others:

  1. Give someone a compliment in PERSON. This is a struggle for introverted people (me), but it is truly worth it when you see how much it means to people.
  2. Leave (or send) someone a nice note! Notes have been replaced with texts, which are amazing but there is just something about getting a hand written note that brings a different kind of joy.
  3. Say ‘Hi’ to strangers. We spend an incredible amount of time looking down at our phones when we are out and about. Start looking up. Start saying hi when you walk by people. Start smiling when you make eye contact with other humans.

When you start making an effort to do this things, you will notice that they all take little to no energy or time. They will start to become second nature and you will notice that your spirits are lifted as well as those around you, and that’s what really makes a difference in this world, right?


If there is to be peace in the world, there must be peace in the nations.

If there is to be peace in the nations, there must be peace in the cities.

If there is to be peace in the cities, there must be peace between neighbors.

If there is to be peace between neighbors, there must be peace at home.

If there is to be peace in the home, there must be peace in the heart.

-Lao Tzu

Baby steps.

Around this time of year, everyone is reflecting on the past and planning for the future. That can be a very overwhelming task! We as a society, generally push ourselves too hard, too fast and miss out on our small victories. This year, when I am setting my intentions for 2018, I am trying something new (for me) and practical.

We have all heard the saying, “If you want to change your life, change something that you do daily..” (or something along those lines) Whenever I hear that, or see that somewhere I always think about how brilliant it is, but I have yet to implement it in my day to day life. Instead of setting intentions that intimidate me, I am going to start with setting things that I can do daily, and then build on.

Here are a few examples of how I am going to change my daily routine in 2018:

  1. Eat one plant based meal a day. It doesn’t have to be limited to just one meal, it can be a completely plant based day, but it has to be at least one. (I have been doing meatless Monday’s quite successfully but I want to integrate it into my daily routine)
  2. Nightly stretching. This is HUGE, especially when you sit all day at a desk job. I will stretch for a minimum of 10 minutes each night before bed.
  3. Bring reusable utensils to work for snacks and lunch breaks. There is so reason that I need to be using multiple plastic forks, spoons and knives each day, when I can bring silverware from home to use. No excuses.

Each of the above changes might seem small, but they will make a big impact on my life and that will in turn, impact the lives of others. I love setting intentions and goals, making plans, creating lists and maps for the future, but there is such amazing power in changing our daily routine. That is ultimately how we end up achieving what we want to achieve.

Side note- do not forget to acknowledge the good habits that you have formed and plan to continue those through the new year as well. I am going to make myself a list of all of the good habits that I have created over the past year, for motivation and encouragement and as a reminder of how far I have come in 2017!

Cheers to the end of an amazing year! Make this last month count 🙂

Expand your knowledge.

Raise your hand if you like(d) school? No? Neither did I. Now, my parents might beg to differ because I excelled but I did not in fact enjoy school, what I did enjoy, was learning new things (I was also a perfectionist that was obsessed with straight A’s and winning student of the month, but that’s an entirely different topic for another time) and there is a HUGE difference between the two.

As an adult, I find myself with a certain yearning to go back to school. Why on earth, would I want to electively do something, that I don’t enjoy, if I don’t have to? Isn’t adult life already filled with enough things that you have to do against your will? I discovered that what I really needed, was to expand my knowledge, and learn something new, but on my terms. When I attended college, it took me years to obtain my AA degree, and once I transferred to get my bachelors, I only lasted for a semester and a half before deciding that maybe college wasn’t for me. So here I am, not wanting to go to school, yet wanting to learn something new and something that I could use in my daily life. I decided that I wasn’t going to force anything, that I would let opportunities to learn, come to me. Once I stopped obsessing over it, I slowly started to realize that there are countless opportunities to learn, they just might not be traditional and you might not earn a degree from them. I had been so jaded in my thinking that the end goal had to be a degree, that would make sense and make you earn additional money, that I had missed the entire point of what learning is really for. Our brain is a muscle, and needs to be challenged and “worked out” to stay in shape. If we do not expose ourselves to anything that stimulates our brain, we will eventually get bored and boredom leads to ruts, depression, etc. I realized that the term ‘studying’ had a negative connation associated with it, but it really shouldn’t. Studying doesn’t have to be linked to taking some test, that sends our anxiety into overdrive, it can simply be reading about a topic that you would like to know more about! Taking a class doesn’t have to end with a stressful exam, you can find a class at your local community college or community center about anything from learning how to meditate to learning how to bake a pie.

I am in no way discounting a traditional college education, I am simply encouraging you to not feel like learning is out reach. I know that going back to school can be intimidating. Its important to remember there are many other avenues to take, in order to exercise your brain and get the fulfillment that you need. For example, I love yoga, and I wanted to gain knowledge and understanding about the practice, so I researched and took notes on different poses, the origin, and how it has impacted peoples lives in a positive way. That was my studying for that day. I am also extremely interested in mental health, so I bought a few books and plan to make time to “study” those on a weekly basis, and journal about what I learn from them.

Our brains are amazing, unique and complex! So, if you are getting that urge to expand your knowledge, learn something new, or brush up on an old hobby or topic you once loved, do it! Register for that class, sign up for that workshop, read that book! Your brain will thank you.


How to pull yourself out of a rut. 

I make a ton of excuses for why I don’t do certain things. I am too tired, too busy, I had a long day, life is stressing me out, etc. Admitting that you are making unnecessary excuses is never easy, because that means you are acknowledging your own personal negative behaviors. The more that I grow and mature, the more that I catch myself doing just enough to get by, instead of giving a task my full attention. I have never been one to just coast through life, so why am I starting to do that now? As I examined my behavior, I realized that my lack of ambition was due to the fact that I had gotten too comfortable with how my life was going. I had gotten comfortable with being “fine”. I had followed through with the intentions that I had set,  and I was failing to push myself to set new intentions, for this new season in my life. Honestly, I was mentally and emotionally tired of pushing myself to improve and to try new things. I needed to find some sort of middle ground to avoid burn out but still move forward.

Here are a few things that I do on a regular basis to quit coasting and pull myself out of a rut:

  1. Talk to someone that you trust. It is extremely important to have at least one person in your life, that you can go to with anything and they will listen and support you. That doesn’t mean that they always tell you what you want to hear, it means that they listen without judgment and offer advice when its appropriate. Sometimes you just need someone to listen.
  2. Give yourself a break. If you are like me, and love trying new things, here’s one: Go easy on yourself! Allow yourself to have a break! It’s ok if you didn’t go on a grand adventure this month, maybe being still and relaxing was the action that you actually needed to take. Realize that you do not need to be constantly checking things off of your list, in order to lead a fulfilling life.
  3. Re-evaluate why you set the intentions and goals that you do. Who are you setting them for? Are you setting them because you think that you should be setting certain types of goals? It is imperative that you identify ‘why’, in order to not only achieve what you desire but also to avoid burn out.

We will all experience our own personal ruts, they simply cannot be avoided. How you choose to handle them, is up to you! We are the writers of our own script, we have control over what we allow to control our minds. Choose wisely!



Finding the silver lining.

Things don’t always turn out the way that we expect them to (that’s the understatement of the century, right?), but doesn’t it seem to happen more often to some people, than to others? I feel like I am one of those people, who more often than not, experience life events going in a totally different direction than I anticipated or expected. This ranges from daily mundane tasks going south, to extreme life lessons that feel like a punch in the stomach. I have formed a bit of an addiction, trying to figure out why so many things in my life don’t goes as planned, and what lesson I should be taking away from that particular situation. Please note, sometimes this becomes an unhealthy obsession and I become so fixated on trying to discover what I need to learn, that I miss the lesson entirely and need to be taught it again. That being said, I have shifted my way of thinking (yet again) and instead of immediately trying to find my take away from the lesson, I focus on finding something positive about the situation first. By shifting your thoughts to something positive, you are still acknowledging what happened but training your mind to go to a positive place before diving into what you need to learn. I feel as though I am tested repeatedly in situations that I need to use patience in. I struggle waiting for things to work out as they should. Sometimes my mind thinks that its logical to meal prep for one day and lose 5 pounds, or to journal about a traumatic event and BAM! those sad feelings to disappear. I realize that I am continuously presented with obstacles that test my patience and until I am able to take a step back and really be present to learn that lesson, as well as finding something positive about it, they will keep on coming.

Here is a simple example: When my flight is delayed, I look around and I see everyone fuming. I change the way that I think by being thankful that I am able to travel in the first place and then be thankful that I can take some time to myself and have a glass of wine and a snack while I wait for my plane to be ready to board. Once I acknowledge those things, THEN I let myself vent a little about getting home late and needing a nap. Being a positive person, doesn’t mean that you don’t have grumpy thoughts (I have them all of the time…) The lesson here is: Don’t sweat the small stuff, you can’t control everything.

Here is a more serious example: When you have a failed relationship, whether it be romantically, a friendship or with a family member and you are emotionally hurt. I challenge you to first find one positive thing to take away and then let it be for awhile. Acknowledge the positive and allow yourself time to heal. Then look for the lesson once you are ready. Chances are, and for me personally, the lessons keep unveiling themselves for quite some time but that only happens when you aren’t forcing yourself to find them. The ultimate lesson here is: Stay positive, be patient!

My favorite mantra for this: I am safe, it is only change.


What does self-care mean to you?

The term self-care is pretty trendy these days, but what does it really mean? You see people posting about it every day, but how does it relate to your life? Is it taking the time to get a pedicure? Or to watch a movie?

My take on self-care is simple. It is an activity that you partake in, that helps you reset, take a breath and often inspires you. Another way to reference self-care is TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF! Easier said than done, though right? We tend to forget, that in order to take care of ourselves, it takes more than a massage or getting your nails done. Its about taking care of your body, your mind and your soul. Getting that massage will give you a feeling of bliss, but unless you are nurturing the other parts of your life that need caring for, that bliss won’t last. Be careful not to compare what others use an their own self-care, to your own. Remember that we are all unique and so are, our methods of care.

For example, tonight, I was lucky enough to get a massage which is what sparked these thoughts regarding self-care. I walked out of there and said “If I could just feel like this all of the time, life would be so much easier!” Reality check, not gonna happen. There will be bad days, and mediocre days, dark days etc. but how you take care of yourself will determine how you feel on those days. Clearly, I love getting massages (which is a new thing, because I used to despise having a stranger touch me), I love writing, I love reading…. I am practicing self-care right now, as I type this because it makes me feel more alive. So you like hockey? Head to a game! You enjoy coffee? Find a new local coffee house to explore! From simple, to luxurious, find what excites you and relaxes you at the same time. That healthy medium of adrenaline and inner peace that makes you smile.

This is just a friendly reminder that not all self-care is physical and your method of self-care only needs to make sense to YOU.


“I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self indulgent, caring for myself is an act of survival.” -Audre Lorde

There is beauty in being transparent.  

I’ve been told that I wear my emotions on my sleeve. If I am feeling something, I don’t even have to say it, because you can see it on my face and see it in my body language. If you ask me a question, I will answer honestly and probably give you too much information. Perhaps I shouldn’t say ‘too much’, just more information than most people would give. I’m brutally honest, and not ashamed to be open. What you see, is what you get. This has allowed me to have some extremely close and successful connections with people that appreciate these qualities, but has also caused a lot pain. There have been many times when I have tried to reign in my transparent personality, and it just flat doesn’t work. What I have come to realize (finally) is that when you feel as though you need to reign in your authentic personality, you are in a situation that you are trying to force. When you try to force something to fit, it never works. Its silly to think about, how we try to force ourselves to fit in at work, in friendships, relationships, but if you can’t get your pants over your hips, what do you do? You simply move on to another pair! It doesn’t mean you are happy about it, but you don’t have a choice! Life is not always as cut and dry as not fitting into a pair of pants, but my point is that, the sooner that we allow ourselves to be transparent and really accept who we are as individuals, the easier our lives will become.

I think that people assume that to be transparent, you have to share every aspect of your life with the world. To me, being transparent means that you have nothing to hide, not that you openly share personal problems and events with everyone that comes your way. Determining what you share, is a personal decision. There are no rules, it has to be what works for you!

So, go with your gut, say what you mean, mean what you say.

At the risk of sounding cliché, DO YOU, BE YOU!

3 ways to help slow your mind down when you are on the verge of having a panic attack (cliff notes)

Our lives move at an incredibly fast pace. Even if you don’t struggle from an anxiety disorder, it is very possible for you to get overwhelmed just trying to keep up with your daily tasks. Here are a few things that I do, when I feel like I am going to lose control, and have a panic attack:

  1. Breathe! Yes, it sounds cliché and easy enough but when you feel a panic attack coming out of nowhere, you need to focus on your breathing. I cannot count how many times I have been sitting at my desk at work, and had to completely stop what I am doing, close my eyes, and only focus on deep inhales and long exhales. If you start to panic in a busy public place, finding a place to sit down and breathe works wonders, especially if you have no idea where the nearest restroom is and hiding in a stall is not an option. Just breathe.
  2. Go for a walk. This is my all time favorite. Something triggers me, I go for a walk. It doesn’t have to be far, but I just need to exit the area that I am currently in, and go somewhere else. I  might only do a lap around the building, but the simple action of getting up and removing myself, shifts my focus and allows me slowly stop spinning and return back to somewhat logical thoughts. Ideally, I am able to not only leave the area, but actually walk outside, in the fresh air. (also an ideal time for some breathing exercises) The movement alone helps, regardless of how far you walk or how much time you are gone.
  3. Listen to music. This one has proven to be a bit tricky for me. I have fine tuned it, so that I know exactly what type of music calms me down, but it is very different for each person. Music in general has healing powers, but if you are looking to distract yourself from a certain subject, don’t listen to something that reminds you of that subject (seems logical, but when you are already struggling it is very hard to think straight!) Lately, classical piano has been the winner to calm my mind and body down. It also helps me regain focus when my mind is all over the place and I am unable to fully complete one task.

Of course, the above are all things that work for me personally and each individual has their own way of coping and dealing with their panic attacks. I chose to list those three ways, because they are ideal for our on-the-go lifestyle. We might not always be able to stop what we are doing to sit down and meditate with no interruptions, or stop to read a book, do yoga etc. These are tricks that have helped me through many moments of panic and anxiety, and have been key to overcoming the fear of “What do I do when I panic and I am not at home” feeling. Try to remember, that you can breathe through anything!

“Life is available only in the present moment. If you abandon the present moment you cannot live the moments of your daily life deeply.” -Thich Nhat Hanh

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