Here’s to the man..

Who at around 8yr old told me: “It doesn’t matter that you are a girl, you can do whatever you want as long as you work hard enough.” (this might be super cheese, but I literally tell myself this almost every day.. especially recently)

And at 20 before I made a terrible decision to get married, when my ex asked my father for my hand in marriage, my dad responded: “I don’t know why you’re asking me, if Kara wants to marry you, she will, if she doesn’t, she won’t. She will do whatever she wants.”

And most recently in the past year, while my dad was visiting, we had lunch with a couple friends of his.. who of course asked: “Is she seeing anyone? Married?” My dad Responds: “Why does she need to be married? You don’t need to be married to be happy nowadays.” They then come back with a: “How will she have children?!” (If you know me at all, I pissed myself laughing here) My fathers response? “She doesn’t need to be married to have children, if she wants children she will have them.” The conversation continued with how I’m happy and that’s all that matters.

And here’s to the man who told me once to never date a man like him, because he knew his flaws and wanted better for me. I understood what he was saying here, as I lived through it.. However, I would definitely appreciate someone who is also as open about their flaws, who understands that mistakes do not make us who we are, and that everyday is not perfect.

A man who is definitely not a traditional father – and even through a childhood of slight turmoil and young adulthood of distress, I still learned from this man that I do not need a boyfriend, a spouse, a job, children, money, or any other societal expectation to define me. I define me.

Happiest of Fathers Day to my daddio who is my biggest supporter and definitely helped nurture my independent-bitchy side Lol – And who will always be a reminder that it is I who makes my life, and to make sure I’m happy with all that I put in it, because it is also me, who has to deal with it.

Thanks Dad for making me want to work hard everyday 🙂

 

 

take care of yourself

So I started back at yoga last week! How pumped is everyone about that!?

Lol 🙂 I was going to dive into a 30 day challenge.. and honestly, if I still hold onto that challenge, I’m doing better than when I actually (over)paid to do an actual challenge about 2 years ago. Last time I made it 12 days straight.. then took a day or 5 off.. and ended up only making it through 17 classes in total. So far with this personal challenge, I have gone to 5 classes in the last 7 days, not including today – although I will probably still end up taking 5 classes again this week. So if my math is good, I’m on schedule to make it to about 20 classes this 30 days vs the 17 I did last time. I call that progress!

More importantly, I’m listening to myself. I have a tiny smile in my heart because I am doing what is good for me, and my body. I am actually making time for myself. I actually made plans around my yoga schedule! I think my mindset adjusted a little because so far, in all my classes, (I tried hot-yin too!) all my instructors have ended the final savasana with saying: “Thank yourself for coming to yoga, for taking care of yourself.”

LOVE THAT! Because it’s so true in anything you do – especially physical. I know there are some people who enjoy working out, but let’s be real.. there are definitely some sucky workouts. Sometimes it’s just a bad day, you didn’t drink enough water, your muscles are more tight than usual and you don’t understand why, you are just tired. But any workout should be viewed as a success! Thank yourself for it! Because it’s so true when they say (whoever they are..) “No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everybody on the couch.”

LOVE THAT too! The point is in those savasana words: Thank yourself.. for taking care of yourself.. I don’t know why it took those words for me to understand that workouts and exercise are more than just looking good – because I knew that already – I guess I just never believed it. Because this will be a slow process, but the way I feel after just one week so far, proves that the rest will come. Seeing changes is motivational, but feeling a change, creates longevity, consistency, and continued progress. Because when you feel good about something, you want to keep doing it, amiright!?

On top of feeling good, another thing the instructors say a lot is: “Listen to your body, not your mind.” Because your mind will sometimes tell you, you can’t, but your body can.. and more so, listening to your body will tell you how far you can actually go. For you mental people, another side of this is, sometimes your brain thinks you can but then you injure yourself or push too far. It’s a balance – your mind is logic, but your body will never lie to you. And so that is why I’m sitting in a cafe typing this afternoon/evening. My body didn’t feel that great today for some reason. Maybe it was the recent, drastic, change in the weather? I’ll be in bed early tonight for sure. But in taking care of myself tonight, here’s to feeling better tomorrow to tackle my Tuesday double! I take a 60min Bikram-inspired class (it only adjusts two postures, and removes a second set for the rest) and then 60min hot-yin! It’s a great Tuesday night combo, I feel so amazing after! Tired, but amazing 🙂 It’s like my push for the week, on a Tuesday no less, but then the rest of the week feels easy!

So here’s to listening to yourself and taking care of yourself. Health (and by Health I also include mental-health) is a constant struggle for most of the United States, and I truly hope those of you reading this has something, or finds something, that makes you feel good. Whether it’s yoga, running, volleyball, whatever, just take care of yourselves. Do something good for you, and your body. Find your balance. Our time here is short as it is, might as well try and add one more day to it. And more so, feel good about everyday and find more meaning.

#namaste

 

 

what’s meant to be will be? right?

How do you ever know what you are supposed to do? Not necessarily the “meaning of life” per say, but just in general when you hit some sort of crossroads or obstacle in the road?

This past month, during all these challenges: Lent, Blogging, Kindness/Fitness – I have been putting myself back together so to speak, in that I finally began focusing on my health again. Stress really holds me down from a lot, and seriously takes a toll on my health in general. Stress takes a toll on everything in general! Whether it’s getting sick with a cold, heart palpitations, or eating issues, something holds me back from life.

The past two weeks in particular, I made a mental change to not allow myself to sink into anxiety, and try and get a workout in, even a small one. I was almost mad at the stress, I was done. I had enough! I wanted to be the happy person I am, and I wanted my pants to fit 😦

Today is one of my better feeling days, probably one of the best recently, and it made me wonder about what my next steps are. Do I ride through the storm of what I call work? See if there is light at the end of the tunnel? Work on a way to maybe stay with the company just doing something else? Do I even want to work at this company anymore? This industry? Have all these been additional signs to tell me something? Or are these just tests to prove stamina? Hindsight is 20/20 and I’m definitely not ahead enough to know yet.

How does one know? Or do we even know. Are there even “signs”? Is it just the courage to try something new? To just “feel” like it will all work out? I’m not getting any instinctual feelings lately, thats for sure. I can’t decide if it’s because I’m so overly stressed that I’m numb, or I just have no clue what to do right now. I also pray – I’m terrible at it though, I will admit. I just never know what to ask, and I never realize things until it’s too late. Or more than instinct, prayer, choice.. do I just allow God and/or the universe to guide me where I’m meant to be? And even so.. how do I know?! I just mentioned, I’m terrible looking for or deciphering signs! GAH!

Well, I do know one thing: I feel a change in the air. I am at a crossroads trying to decide which path is best for tomorrow. And whether the change is from me, God, or the universe, I guess we can only wait and see.

 

🙂

another challenge!?

I don’t remember if I had mentioned, but this last week of blogging (daily) I committed myself to a “Kindness Challenge” that one of my fitness friends is hosting. Ultimately the ‘kindness’ portion is more for yourself and treating yourself kindly – because let’s be real, I’m sure many of you reading this probably say awful things to yourself now and again.

But you can get extra points (into a raffle) if you post a random act of kindness to others. I enjoy pretty much all her challenges, but this one is just so fun! Because not only am I being held accountable for what I’m putting in my body, i.e. food and water, but also doing a workout, and keeping kindness on the forefront of your brain.

It’s just a nice little twist to the normal: drink your water, eat your veggies, and do some push-ups! Having an element of positivity keeps me involved, and created a personal motivation to not only being kind to others, but remembering to be kind to myself.

I think that’s where most people miss out. We are naturally inclined to help and be there, and take care of the one’s we love, yet when it comes to self – eh, I’ll just go binge-drink wine and eat mac-n-cheese all day. Not only that, it’s also personal testimony. Ever heard that saying:

brene_love

Or furthermore, “Would you say those things to your best friend? Daughter? Son?” Why don’t we say enough wonderful things to ourselves? We should love US. How is it we live where we give and love, and give and love, but yet we don’t give or love to the ones person who needs it in order to continue giving? Maybe that’s why relationships struggle, or we burn ourselves out. Because it’s one thing to receive from others, but in giving to yourself is a whole different feeling.

This little challenge was a wonderfully fun reminder of how important we are, and how important it is to be kind to ourselves, and take care of ourselves. I hope you all get to add a little kindness challenge to your lives as well ❤

 

🙂

the countdown begins

How ironic that the 31st is a Friday.. this challenge is also helping me get through the week!

2 things here:

  1. I finally finished the Positive Psychology book. The last few pages spoke about the workplace and how managing in a more “positive” mindset creates progress and success. It went into a reminder that as humans we all have different strengths, and to function properly in the workplace, one must manage according to those strengths. The book ended with a recap and another reminder that in life, this theory of Positive Psychology doesn’t mean you can’t be sad. It doesn’t mean bad things won’t happen. It also doesn’t meant that just because you are thinking positive all wonderful things will come. It’s an ongoing study of how we think and see things. And in that study it shows much better outcomes on a positive mindset (even during times of tragedy or sadness) versus a negative one. Also in that as humans, we are prone to default to the negative, which creates a sort of “reason” or excuse to things, rather than ownership and understanding. Overall, I liked it, and am a believer. Interestingly enough though, having the workplace be a subject towards the end of the book, brings me to my next point.
  2. Work is creating health changing stress. I finally got my check up for my wildly break-dancing heart and found once again, it is all stress induced. My Dr. literally said to me, “No I’m serious, Drs orders on going to Yoga. You need it.” My only thought was, can I get that in writing!? I would love to be able to leave on time – without feeling like the weight of my job isn’t about to crush me – just to be able to make it to a class with a tiny bit of motivation left. It was sort of comforting to know that at least this isn’t like a cholesterol issue or something a little more scary that may have been created. I am still waiting on blood work also, so we will see what that tells us.

So here’s to the first day of my last week in this blog challenge. With Monday under my belt, nothing can stop me now! Except maybe terrible blood results, lol 😐

Time to go decompress and try to meditate to slow this sporadic thumping in my chest.

 

one down, one more to go!

I can’t believe there are only 6 more days left in March! Never mind my concern of time going to fast as mentioned in a previous post, but I just can’t believe I have made it this far and only missed 4 days of posting. On top of that, I didn’t miss a day because of being lazy or taken over by stress and anxiety, it was because I was actually out and about with literally no time to actually blog.

And I’m sure there are the whispers of “you have the app and can blog anywhere and any time!” Did you not read how I feel about apps!? lol – I don’t care how mobile they are, they will not get in the way of me interacting with real, actual people!

Secondly, I’m just about half way to Easter! Which means Lent is half-way over! Crazy! Sort of, lol, because as of yesterday, I have definitely started craving some bread items.. or maybe just pizza.. hehe. Still I can’t believe it took me this long to finally get that itch.. Just goes to show you I guess, how capable we can be with the proper mindset. But man, I will be pumped to have pizza when this is over lol.

Overall, Lent aside (because I mean, I do that every year) I am pretty proud of myself for being determined enough and focused to come home, as stressed as I have been, and still be able to put some thoughts on the screen. It has also made me a little happier too, not that these days of writing have created masterpieces by any means, but just so happy that I proved I CAN make time to blog when I have real issues or ideas that I want to share. The best feeling is when you make yourself proud, or prove yourself wrong 🙂

Thanks again to my readers! Lets see what these last 6 days will bring 🙂

 

🙂

beauty sleep

Omg. So I get home at around 5pm-ish, make some dins.. and I’m literally in bed by 6:30p! I tried to finish the Positive Paychology book.. AND FELL ASLEEP. 

Clearly it was an exhausting week. Aside from normal stress, I was active in the event this past Wednesday, and did enjoy my “night out” yesterday.. but I was still in bed by 10:30p! 

Man, sometimes your body legit just yells at you and forces you to rest.. I woke up around 8p, and have been on-and-off since.. I think I’ll have some water and just go back to bed at this point lol! Let’s see what time I wake up in the morning..

Maybe this is a reminder to slow down and listen to my body. Rest is important, not only to function, but also mentally and emotionally right? It’s all connected. Maybe if you’re reading this, it gives you a reason to slow down too, and take a nap 🙂 
🙂

..let it rain

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Love this! I found this as I wanted to talk about time..for one thing, this perfectly describes the weather today 🙂 but more so, my current idea of ‘time’.

I mean, can we just talk about how we wake up, blink, and it’s all of a sudden 7pm?! Like, what did I even DO today!? Maybe it’s the feeling of being at work for 8 hours that takes away the meaning of a day.. and by ‘meaning’ it’s not to say that the day doesn’t mean anything, it’s just that when it goes by, I almost feel like I missed out on living.

Because for real, as much as I love Fridays when they come, I also love Mondays, and Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.. Because everyday is important – so how all of a sudden do I feel every day just slipping away? It’s like the days have just gotten faster on me.

So this rain quote I found, one that I now love, sort of presents a good way to look at time. As time goes by, let it go. Because we can’t control it, it will just keep going without us! Let’s remember to see days as moments, not minutes. Even through a stressful workday, find time (how ironic) to make moments – coffee moment, co-worker moment, moment for yourself.

As time keeps moving on without our permission, all we can do is make moments to keep us feeling alive. It’s a great reminder to be present, let it rain, let time go, be grateful for the weather, be grateful for now.

 

🙂

“heartbeat! you make me feel so weak!”

Taana Gardner, I feel you girl! Not sure if I mentioned from when I wrote about my stress and anxiety a couple weeks back, but my heart palpitations have come to say hello again. This second time around isn’t as scary, although it does make me feel weak! Because I am a little afraid to run or do anything that exerts energy.

I’ve been meaning to make another doctor’s appointment, but you know, when you for some reason work in an environment that frowns upon time off, and takes no consideration when you do take time off, (in regards to work load) it’s a little difficult to make that a priority or focus. This brings me to one of my favorite quotes:

dalai-lama

My man, The Dalai Lama ❤ I so love this.. and it’s funny because as I wrote those sentences above this quote immediately popped in my brain. Why is this not memorized as a daily mantra?! Because my HEALTH should be my priority.

Ugh. When I have been doing all I can nutrition-wise all the way to drinking up to 50-oz of water a day again, and yet my skin is still dry, brittle, and sunken in.. You’d think I would be more in-tune with the issue at hand. Stress, anxiety, and now these awesome – what I like to call – mini-heartattacks. Why does life need to cost money?

Thankfully, aside from this stress that is pretty much making me sick – wait, you know something?! I was looking at past social media posts recently.. and I kid you not, in the past 5mo I counted being sick about 4 times. FOUR TIMES. That’s almost once a month! Maybe it’s not the weather after all! – I do try and live in the present at all times. Thanks to my 5-minute Journal and noting down what I am grateful for on a daily basis, it does help me to stay present and do my best to take advantage of Today.

Now if I could just find a nice balance of personal priorities and a fulfilling job, I think these palpitations would be gone for good. But why is it of all things that, THAT is the hard part? Why is having a job/career so detrimental to personal life?! When did that happen? Whatever happened to working for a greater good, to make your company proud, to build relationships that last for a lifetime? Now with most people I talk to, it’s not common to have “work-friends” rather just “work-friend” and some times no actual “friends” at all, rather just acquaintances, or just “people I work with”. And many don’t even hang out with these people outside the office or even know anything about their personal lives. We have created an office culture of just showing up to take home pennies with no regard on how this affects us personally (I’m sure certain industries may differ? but my close friends all work in different industries, and it seems to be similar). And by ‘affecting us personally’ I mean working long hours, or running on empty by the time 5pm hits and not putting yourself first.. when the only reason we have jobs is to pay for things.. for ourselves. 

I remember working in environments where managers and employees actually cared about each others well-being. We would get drinks after work on a weekly basis, celebrate birthdays, and baby showers, and weddings! And we hung out on weekends and became actual friends. Because these are the people you see more than your own family amiright!? So it made sense to create relationships.. Or maybe it’s just a New England thing, because I just realized all those work-fam experiences were when I lived in New England. Gah SoCal! 😦 #SoDissapointing

I digress.. sort of.. I just know I’m a little uncomfortable because my heart keeps break-dancing in my chest, which creates fears of being able to make quick movements. And this is created by stress, which is sadly because of my current work environment.

We can do this heart! Got to do some heart-push-ups to keep you strong.. and learn to invest in myself so I stop making you work harder than you need to ❤

 

 

 

continuing on..

So, I’m almost done with this 56-page Positive Psychology book by Hans Henrik Knoop. Lol I want to say I’m a slow reader, but I’m not – this book just makes me have to re-read pages to understand it! I made it to the health section, but what I found even more interesting was a section about hedonic adaptation, which means:

“you get used to good things; they gradually “become the norm” so that you become blind to pleasant and well-functioning things – which seen from the outside could make you seem like an ungrateful wretch.” -HHK

It goes on a little more to talk about, how you may see yourself from the inside during those moments you ask yourself why you are not happier than you are. This was enlightening to me, not because I’ve never heard this before, because I have, but more so, it was wonderful to read that yet another psychologist has to remind us to be grateful for things.  Don’t quote me on this, but I believe it was the Gratitude Diaries by Janice Kaplan that went into more detail about this idea, in regards to: you are happiest when planning something or the anticipation of something. Sort of like planning a trip or shopping.. it’s in the doing that is the highlight versus getting to the destination, or taking objects out of a bag. There have been studies on mental outlook and emotional happiness when comparing these stages, i.e. the doing/planning vs the having. Positive Psychology also mentions this idea, though not as thorough, but the same idea of attaining something versus anticipating it.

I am riding in this boat right now.. I literally just said to a dear friend of mine recently in a conversation, “this is why I can’t have nice things”. Because for me, I am excited about getting something or doing something, but once it comes, I’m like – ok what now? Not only that, my mental state has brought me to a point of going further in the idea that, “something good has happened, now lets prepare for the bad”. I know where these feelings come from, as I wrote earlier in the month, but it still makes me sad. Because if you know me at all, I am probably one of the most grateful people out there. Literally in my 5min journal app (these apps!) every morning it asks me what I’m grateful for.. and the first is always God, second is always “Today”. Seriously, I know that sounds a little lame, but I am that person who reminds people.. there could be the alternative – so be grateful for now, it’s all we have. And maybe my stress has inflicted this, not-as-grateful feeling, or vise versa. Either way, reading another book that discusses this was a lovely reminder.

**Honestly, for those of you reading, if you get a chance, I highly, HIGHLY recommend the Gratitude Diaries. One of my absolute, favorite motivational books. 

I can honestly go on forever about gratitude and gratefulness and how they create happiness/positivity, but I’ll leave you with the basic idea of how Positive Psychology simply explained it:

Remember what you have, even after the planning/buying/anticipating is over. And be grateful for the simple things, always find them fascinating, don’t allow yourself to see them as “normal”. Because normalcy is relative when there are still countries and people without “basics” such as clean water.

When you have the mindset of gratefulness, positivity usually follows close behind 🙂

 

🙂