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Live FIERCELY.

Hi guys! It’s Tuesday Smile  In my Literature and Business course we recently were asked to read an excerpt from the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and while there were definitely some good and interesting points discussed… it just didn’t do it for me. I’ve written some posts on this blog as motivational sources for both myself and my readers. I’m currently working on a side project also and have taken some of a couple of posts to make one big post which I’m sharing today on living fiercely and my personal vision of success and life purpose. These are my opinions and views, so take with you what works and leave what doesn’t. After all, everyone is different in terms of what motivates them.

Ready? Set go.

OK wait… first some tunes for reading. Please please don’t tell me I’m the only one who needs good jams.

Always be yourself, that’s what everyone says. In a world committed to beating the guy next to you, striving always to get ahead, to have the balls to go after your own dreams is a novel idea in and of itself. It’s a hard choice to keep up the pursuit of your dreams, goals, passions, hobbies, the things which light your soul on fire. However, a crucial one nonetheless.

What gets in the way? Why do people feel it’s necessary to just live inside the bubble society has created and continued to morph as the years go on. Why do we conform ourselves to the needs of society versus the needs of ourselves?

Self-limitation. Self-sabotage. Whatever term hits you the hardest – go with it. Boy is that a concept. It’s also something most people do on the regular, whether or not they are actually aware of it. It’s hard not to. We are brought up in a society that tells us as children that well, we are amazing and can do whatever we set our minds to. Which if you ask me, that’s great. But what’s not so great is that as kids get older the support and the “you’re the greatest” start to leave the scene, and rather quickly. We end up with young adults who are trying to find their life path and also simultaneously being bombarded from every angle with messages about how to be richer, prettier, skinnier, how to succeed, how not to succeed, what you’re doing wrong, why you’re not X/Y/Z, how to be “healthy”, and the list goes on and on. Then of course there are the more important things like actually being a responsible adult, having and maintaining a job, college, graduate school, starting a family, ect. It’s a lot of pressure, so it’s natural for people to be hard on themselves and doubt their abilities. Things cost money, it’s easy to question if something is worth it and subsequently talk yourself out of things. It seems safer to go with the flow of society rather than carving your own path. Safer doesn’t always equal easier.

What we are not taught? How to listen to our inner fire and let go of our inner critic. Now that’s a concept worth actually pursing.

The one thing I have learned over the years is that it’s best not to run from your demons. Running from the negative doesn’t typically create a positive. It creates a void, a void that most people don’t know how to work with. Instead, work without them, accept them, be at peace with them, and if you really must – use them… but, don’t let them use you.

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I think we tend to get so caught up in the past and the future that we forget we are actually living currently, in the now. It’s a constant challenge to keep the mind focused on the present moment and you might find yourself present one moment, and then thinking about next Tuesday three minutes later. It’s natural for the mind to shift, to oscillate between past, present, and future. Our brains have so much going on, so many functions, things to process, and information to relay to us. I think what’s essential however is to be content and happy with the now so that the reason our mind is wandering isn’t to escape the present moment.

How to be successful in your life? Accept that it’s worth it.

It’s worth it for fucks sake. Whatever the idea is that you have in your head, pursue it. What if you are successful? What if it makes you happy and in love with every.single.second of your life? If it doesn’t… well you tried and after all it’s all about experience. TRY IT. Take a chance, or two, or three. Go out on a limb and explore new things, new boundaries, new places. You might end up finding yourself in a place you’ve only ever dreamed of being. Explore your limits. Explore your comfort zone. Say YES. And then say yes again. Listen to your soul, your body, your desires and get after them. Set up your day to day in order to reach your goals. Nobody is going to get you there except for you.

One of the hardest parts about reaching a goal: allowing yourself to try. I’m not talking about the give it a week or a month of slowly and ever so casually working on a goal. I don’t mean give it a week, then fall off the wagon, then two weeks later get back on the wagon. I mean give it all you have. If you want something bad enough give yourself the true opportunity to reach that thing.

People underestimate the true amount of time, effort, hard work, and pure determination that go into reaching a goal. It’s easy to leave out the key pieces, to not go full throttle. It’s easy to quit and say “it’s just not for me” or “I’ll try again next year”. Stop limiting yourself. Stop limiting your life. Stop taking it easy when the going gets tough. Choose the hard way. Choose to create a better life. Choose to reach what it is you truly wish to reach.

Throughout my experiences one of the hardest things I’ve come to terms with is what I feel that I *should* be capable of. I would take ego, standards, and previous accomplishments and hold myself accountable to what I believed I needed to be doing. I felt I needed to be the best at competing, a straight-A student, working full-time, always performing better than any other individual at a given moment – all while keeping myself together. I tried to be invincible, like super-woman. For a period of time I was able to adapt to these extreme standards, but soon enough I started to show cracks. It’s quite difficult if not impossible to maintain near perfection in every realm of life at each given moment.

Where did I learn these beliefs? Why is it that I hold myself to standards set higher than a majority of my peers? But better yet, why is it that I’ve met other people who have similar if not identical lifestyle patterns? In my opinion, it’s about trying to prove ourselves as human beings. It’s about your worth as an individual.

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All in all accept yourself, continue to grow into who you are and be a better version of you not your neighbor. Find what makes you come alive as a person, what it is that has you thriving in life and do that thing. Don’t be the reason you didn’t reach your goals. Stop holding yourself back because of trying to be the best at everything versus trying to be the best at your thing.

You have innate value because you are alive. Accept that.

So decide what you want to do. What’s important. What you want to work on. Decide what defines you, your life. Be extremely stubborn about your goals but stay adaptable. Keep evolving, both internally and externally. Mentally, spiritually. Focus on your shit. But be aware that other people have their own shit. It’s not yours to fix. Just be capable of listening. Make your work ethic respectable. Be humble. Remember the game when the going gets tough because it will get tough. Understand your thoughts, your emotions, your needs. Accept them. Don’t let them control you. Work with them. Use your voice, collaborate, help others, be kind always. Tell people how much they mean to you. Love every single part of yourself. Surround yourself with people who support your most difficult dreams. Keep reflecting and adjust what needs adjusting but make sure it’s for you – know your vision. Take a deep breath. Inhale. Exhale. Let it go. Laugh. Don’t be so serious. Seriousness can come across as being an asshole. Figure out your shit. Don’t lie to yourself. Roll the dice and play the cards. Be capable of inspiring yourself. Know when it’s time to put your big girl pants on and know when it’s time to say fuck it. Be what you want to be.

xo, S

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Prioritizing needs + goals vs. ‘wants’

Hello there! Good morning and it’s Sunday funday 🙂

Today is a day full of all sorts of things including taking a few minutes (times like ten) to post on the blog. After this is done I’m getting ready for work and then after work it’s right to finishing up my genetics homework due Monday morning! Sunday’s are such an interesting day – a majority of people have the day off, but yet I find those who work it typically don’t overly mind doing so. Or maybe that’s just me. It’s probably just me. I don’t know it just seems logical because I don’t have class on Sunday and if I weren’t working I probably wouldn’t get much studying done anyways so I might as well just do a shift? It’s not like my job is overly challenging, I’m a barista for crying out loud. It’s fun. I get to play around with fancy espresso drinks and make sandwiches all day, which ultimately results in me smelling… well… not that good by the end of the day.

12142195_976074989120494_1805269812_n Current view. I’m ok with it 😉

Onto today’s topic – prioritizing needs and goals versus “wants”. First off, let’s establish what I am referring to by saying needs and goals and then what I think of as wants. This is probably fairly easy to guess but I want to make sure it’s clear for everyone. I”m not referencing the little things such as food, water, sleep, ect. I’m after the deeper stuff. Needs are the things which are physically and/or mentally/emotionally necessary or else overall wellbeing would be affected. Goals are the things which our innermost being wants to reach. They are the things which keep people driven and in pursuit. Goals are fire, fire to keep going. Goals are the things that our hearts feel complete by reaching. Goals help make us better versions of ourselves. Wants are the things which while maybe they would be nice to have/reach but aren’t necessarily in line with our truest self, or would require letting go of something more important in order to get them. Wants are what we think we need but in reality actually don’t. Wants can be ego, desire, envy. Wants aren’t based from internal “needs”, rather they are external “needs”.

How to know which is which? How to pursue the ones that will actually benefit you as a person? How to actually prioritize and pursue and not allow doubt, fear, or discomfort push you back towards going after the “wants” because, well, typically they are easier.

10727276_362500790581847_755764727_n (1) Hello, #accurate.

It’s no secret that this semester went nothing like planned for me. Nothing. Dropping from full-time to part-time. Adding a second job. Adding a second volunteer position. Leaving the lab I was volunteering/working in. Deciding that I was pursuing a career too specific because it was part of my nature (another post, too much to explain). Taking a step, more like 100 steps back to really look at my life and figure out what I actually NEED for my life. What’s important to me. What am I doing because it makes me happy vs. what am I doing because I think it makes me happy.

Here’s what I’ve come up with:

Needs // 1. Continue figure out my gut and physical health. 2. Sleep more, drink less coffee, stretch my hips out more, meditate. 3. Pursue the things in school which actually mean something to me versus just make me feel good because I can get an A. 4. Spending quality time with those I love because this helps center me and make everything seem ok.

Goals // 1. Start working in a different lab, one that fulfills my interests because I’m interested not because I think I should be based on my major. Lesson learned. 2. Spend more time with my volunteer positions because I genuinely enjoy them and they involve a community of like-minded people which is a positive influence on my wellbeing. 3. Be honest, nope, be more honest with the things that are in my life that shouldn’t be. Ditch those things, gracefully. Or to be even less concerned just say “bye”.

Wants // 1. I want to get (physically) stronger. I don’t need to. I’m strong. I’m not strong for a girl, for my size, or in comparison to x,y,z. I’m just strong. Could I be stronger? Yes. It is necessary that I am ? Nope. Will it make me a better person? No. This is a want. It’s not a need. It’s not a goal that will make me better. It’s a goal, but not one that should be at the top of the mountain in my case. This kind of belongs between categories because it is in line with my passion but it isn’t critical.  2. I would love to work more. I would love to have more money. But honestly, my mental health and school need to be my PRIORITIES. I’m still working, I’m in college, it could be worse and I don’t have it that bad. I can’t allow this to stress me out (although it totally will). 3. Controlling everything and having a plan for my life. It’s not possible, nor should it be. There are so many variables, ups and downs, factors outside of my control and striving to control everything will ultimately just make me more unhappy.

12142331_404469916417674_1453166683_n Time outside is helpful too. Afternoon walk along the railroad with a good friend ♥ Thanks, Lu.

All of this is really individual. It’s a lot of just gaining the right perspective, for you… and trying to avoid that comparison trap because that’s just a surefire way to get you anxious about your habits and lifestyle. Know where things stand in your life and accept that and allow it to be fulfilling – because honestly if you know what’s important TO YOU and all of your ducks are in a row working towards those things (those needs and goals) then you will ultimately feel fulfilled.

“Don’t sit and wait. Get out there, feel life. Touch the sun, and immerse in the sea.” – Rumi

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Back to school: where I’m at, where I’m going

Hi all! It’s Sunday night and I knew all day today that I really wanted to crank out a post after work and homework. All I have on my mind is things I need to get done, that never ending to-do list that we all seem to have in our back pocket. But I wanted to drop in and talk about what has been going on, more specifically what I’m doing with school this semester and just some fairly broad updates for the site.

So happy Fall 15’ semester for all of you fellow students out there. Cheers to another year of school!

This round threw a bit of a curve ball right at me. Not even a week prior to the semester starting up I read over the just published syllabus for my  physics course and noted a pre-requisite course listed that I didn’t have under my belt yet. Huh? How did that happen, must be wrong. That’s what I figured. So needless to say I checked out the course listing on the course catalog and the pre-req wasn’t listed, therefore that is how I was able to sign up because the schools web system didn’t flag me when I registered. SO I emailed the prof. and sure thing I could take the class without this other course BUT I would probably do fairly poorly unless I had a solid background in the subject (the class I needed was calculus, which I still need to take, and I am TERRRRRRRIBLE at math). I opted out of keeping going with knowing that I’d probably fail, or at least walk out with a C.

No sweat, I would just sign up for a different course. I am not kidding when I say that all the classes I still need either a) aren’t offered in the fall, b) were full and I did email some profs begging to let me in, c) were held at the same time as my other classes. Yeah. So I ended up putting in for a random nutrition course figuring ‘why not’.

After going through the first week of classes I came to the conclusion that the course I had signed up for out of the blue just wasn’t meant to be – not my interest in the field of nutrition or even relatable to my interests and wasn’t a course I needed for my degree. I was left with three courses equaling 14 credits. I’m not sure how other universities work tuition out by mine does 12-20 credits is the same cost, so if I am going to be a full-timer I damn am going to make sure I’m at 16+ not just 14.

Ultimately I decided to take the two courses (genetics and a university discovery) most needed for my degree and where I am at in the process of finishing my bachelors and then just a simple seminar type course. Long story short, I’m part-timing it.

Meiosis stagesIntro genetics.

To be completely honest, at first I was upset and irritated at all of this. I full on was even like ‘what’s the point of this semester?’. After meeting with my advisor, talking it all out, and going over what I still need we decided it was best to just opt as a part-time student, have a really strong semester, and get the rest of my life a little more organized (a near impossible task for me). Finally, an agreement and a plan. That’s all I need ever is just a plan and then I can get to it. Check. Good. Let’s go.

11202519_449593805215732_704467_n This mantra has also been in the back of my mind on a daily basis. Super helpful.

What else is going on in my life? (because it’s just oh so exciting, complete sarcasm there)… well, LOTS. I’m using bullet points because it’s just so much simpler and easier to get random tidbits and updates across without it being a bunch of mumbo-jumbo and run-on sentences…

  • I accepted an offer to instruct a group fitness HIIT class! My first class is September 22nd! I’m SO excited.
  • I will be coaching the competitive jump rope team I competed with previously. I haven’t been involved in the sport of USA jump rope since 2005, a decade ago exactly, so getting back into it is an amazing, scary, and humbling feeling all wrapped up together and coming across as pure excitement. More to come on this!
  • I started working with a personal trainer. As I like to say, doctors need doctors, hair stylists need hair stylists, trainers need trainers. While I am good at doing my own programming, life can get in the way, as can my ego, and sometimes it’s helpful to have another eye and another mastermind 😉 I’m working on increasing my strength and speed because there might be a part of this statement which ties into the above. Might. Maybe. We will see. I’m probably confusing the utter heck out of you readers.
  • The NEDA conference is in just over 2.5 weeks and I’m pumped. I am beyond blessed to have the opportunity to attend and subsequently visit family who live right in San Diego!!!!!!

I’m feeling really good overall to keep this semester and year going with the same mindset I have right now which is to just accept, adapt, and keep striving. Things do happen when we want them enough AND really really work towards them. For example, I’ve been considering getting back into jump rope for a couple years but only in the past few months have taken the steps to place myself back into that scene. I also remember a year ago how I was ready to pursue my personal training certification and now I am a NASM-CPT and will start instructing a group class and even more opportunities to come. I think that when we are doing what we know in our heart to be right for us, everything starts to connect and become a path to travel because we have formed that path. Sure there will be road bumps, but that’s just life – accept, adapt, and keep striving.

“It simply isn’t an adventure worth telling if there aren’t any dragons.” – J.R.R. Tolkien