Negativity

Negativity is a dirty word.  It is also sneaky and can jump into your world without warning.  It can come in many forms as well, people, places, situations, experiences, thoughts and words.  I like to think that most of the time I avoid it pretty easily.  I have managed to create a life that surrounds me with positive people, places, and things that I love.  So yesterday when I went for a drink after work with a girlfriend I never would have imagined how negativity would find its way in to my world by the end of the night.

A guy friend of hers joined us and what started out as nice conversation and a few drinks took a turn very quickly leaving me shocked at the words being said.  When a random person who you don’t even know makes an ugly comment and resorts to name calling it can leave even the most positive person feeling dirty.  I drove home and felt like I needed a shower and a good nights sleep to forget about the negativity that crossed my path.  My friend warned me that his behavior was not unusual and I know that his words really had nothing to do with me but it still left me feeling tainted.  What is worse is I didn’t sleep well, I felt such a bad vibe surround me and it has followed me into the next work day.  I woke tired and feeling ill and realize, maybe I have surrounded myself with such good vibes that when a truly negative person infiltrates my zone it affects me on a much bigger level than it used to.

When I have a weak moment and allow a person to get under my skin it is frustrating to me because I work so hard at trying to maintain a happy, healthy life in every aspect.  We should not let the behavior of others destroy our inner peace.  So today I am working through the negativity that seems to have hit me harder than it should have.  I am going to nurture myself with beautiful music, making a list of things I am grateful for, eating very healthy and drinking plenty of water and tonight I will meditate and pray before I go to bed in hopes that tomorrow my positive vibe will be restored.

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With love and positive vibes sent your way…

Stacy

Live High

Take a moment to ask yourself what kind of people you surround yourself with.  Do you look at your friends and co-workers and instantly feel like you are doing great in life because they are couch surfing, pay-check to pay-check, smoke it if you got it types?  If so then maybe you need to raise your standards.  If you are working to be better each day then surround yourself with people who will push you to be better.  People who have great jobs and are constantly educating themselves, growing, and learning through new projects and ideas.  People who have great relationships with equally awesome, motivational and inspirational people who take care of their bodies and minds by surrounding themselves with goodness.

What we consume mentally, physically, emotionally, nutritionally and socially are all part of our overall health.  If you are around negative people who feel they are stuck in a dead end job or relationship and constantly bitch and moan about it but never take action then maybe you should re-evaluate your friendships.  Surround yourself with doers not wishers.  You can be a person who sits on the couch drinking a six-pack and thumbing through a travel magazine talking about all the places you wish you could visit or you can create a plan on what it will cost to take that trip and go buy an awesome new set of luggage.

Live high with people who choose to actively progress up the ladder of success with words and actions.  Be with the people who talk about the great trips they are actually taking, not just the trips they wish they were taking.  Surround yourself with people who are actually writing the books, going back to school, showing up at the gym everyday and volunteering their time….not those that just talk about those things.  When you surround yourself with people who are living high on life they will automatically raise you up to their level.   Nobody wants to have to face a successful group of friends who are talking the talk and walking the walk everyday unless they are doing the same.  Raise your standards and surround yourself with those you aspire to be more like and in turn you will see your life change.

To living happy, healthy and high…

Stacy

 

Self-Talk and the 5 Second Rule

I would say that self-talk is probably the most important conversation a person can have in their day.  The phrases we repeat throughout the day can make a difference in every aspect of our lives.  Even the little half-humor/half-truth jokes we say out loud, like I am the forever single crazy cat lady.  If you constantly say out loud to yourself and others that you are forever only going to be in the company of your four-legged furry friends, well then, you probably will remain that way.  Even if you don’t really want to be the single cat lady and you are just making a joke about your current situation, it can be causing damage…mainly it will just continue to be your situation.

Sometimes we don’t realize the constant repeat cycle that goes on in our thoughts and consistently rolls out of our mouths out of habit.  This constant repeat cycle is no different than repeating a positive mantra.  If you say it enough your mind and body will start to believe it.  Be more self-aware of the thoughts and words you put out into the world and into your self image.  Replace those negative little jabs at yourself with something more positive and goal oriented.  If you truly want a guy in your life then stop making remarks about the world not having any good guys left.  If you truly want to lose weight then stop making food jokes about liking fitness…like fitness whole burger in my mouth!  Too often I see people use humor to hide something they feel bad about.  So don’t be afraid to get really honest with yourself and call yourself out on the bullshit.

This brings me to the second rule.  Sometimes we just talk too much to ourselves.  We talk or think about what we want, what we don’t want, what we should do or should stop doing….we can end up talking ourselves into and out of a lot of things instead of just acting upon it.  Mornings a great example for most people.  How often do you plan the night before to get up the next morning and be productive by doing a workout or meditating before you start your work day?  Then the next morning rolls around and you are all warm and cozy in your bed and the damn self-talk starts…I deserve a little sleep in, its only Monday and Mondays suck anyway, I have 6 more days in the week to workout, its cold and I don’t really feel good….Nope, nope and NOPE!  Don’t let this even get started.  It’s like your 7-year-old self has made a entrance into your adult life so when this kind of self-talk enters the picture you need to treat it just like the whiny little kid you are being and count to five and take action.

Each morning if you put the breaks on the self-talk and just hear the alarm, turn it off and immediately start moving…get out of bed, go pee(you know we all do that first), start the shower, as it warms up make your bed, then jump in that nice warm shower and wash that 7-year-old out of your head and jump out of that shower ready to tackle your day! Make a full on game plan for yourself the night before….have your workout clothes laid out by the bed your work clothes laid out in the bathroom and your breakfast and lunch prepped for the next day.  When you wake-up don’t think about other options…train yourself to believe that there are no other options.  Just jump out of bed and put on the work-out clothes and hit it.  As soon as you complete your workout shower and get ready for work, make your healthy planned breakfast, grab your lunch and before you know it you will be on your way to the office.  Creating habits is about routine and taking action each day in the same order.  Those first five seconds that you wake-up is about action, not thought.  You can create good or bad habits in this way.

How often do you get off work and immediately think of going for drinks and food at the local place with friends; or go home and get into comfy clothes and sit in front of the TV eating a snack even if you are not really hungry….we just do so many things out of habit.  So you have to take action and create new ones.  Find your triggers in the day and look for ways to change them.  If you get off work and automatically drive to the local hang-out, then change the drive route to the local park for a walk or to the gym for a quick work-out.  If your trigger is to go home after work and sit in front of the TV then change it to immediately grabbing the leash and taking your dog for a walk or grab a great book you have been wanting to start and go sit on the front porch.  The snack trigger is sitting in front of the TV so avoid that trigger by going somewhere else in the house.  I am big on creating a meditation space and when I feel the need to hit the reset button I go to my zone.

When we pay attention to our self-talk , take action and reroute our triggers for the day then we are on our way to a happier, healthier lifestyle.

With health, happiness, and positive action and self-talk,

Love Stacy

Small Wins

When I was younger I would set big goals for myself and think about the process it would take to accomplish that goal and feel a bit overwhelmed.  As I became older and wiser I realized it is always best to set a goal and then set smaller ones that lead to accomplishing it.  The small wins in life are what really add up to big success.  I find this to be true in every aspect of my life.

I have recently tackled a project of cleaning up client accounts at my new job and it has been a bit time consuming and tedious.  At the end of the day I feel mentally exhausted, which I believe can feel worse than being physically exhausted.  I thought this project would allow me to reconcile approximately 30 accounts a day, at the least but I realize I grossly over-estimated my ability to balance other daily office tasks while tackling this project.  So I had to adjust my timeline and set my bar a little lower, which is hard for me sometimes.  I feel like I have failed in some way when I can’t accomplish everything I originally set out to do.  This mentality is something I think many of us struggle with and I had to take a step back and ask….if I am still making steps towards completing the goal is it really a fail?  No, it is not!

Just because we may not be where we want to be in life as quickly as we originally expected doesn’t mean we are a failure.  I look at my life and if I judged by that yard stick I would be a very depressed individual.  Instead, I have decided to look at the small wins in life.  I did not go back to college to finish my degree until my late thirties.  I did not find my wonderful relationship and love of my life until my late thirties either.  Up until that point I was learning many lessons the hard way and my success was very slow moving.  I knew I wanted more but I felt it was impossible to accomplish everything I wanted to do in life because I felt so far behind the curve.  Most people by their late thirties are well establish in career and have a good relationship, kids, house and the American dream going (at least that is what I told myself).

I went back to college and worked hard while working full time and raising my daughter.  I bought a home in that time and have steadily been remodeling it over the last 6 years, and recently made a career change that has complimented my education putting me on a faster track to my big goal.  Through the whole process I just focused on each little win.  Whenever I would look years ahead and think about all I had to do I would get anxious and feel over-whelmed.  I just kept telling myself, I have to make it through this semester of college, keep paying my bills, and keep my relationships strong, nothing else matters.  Keeping my priorities straight has been an important key but each day I make a list of what I need to do, things I want to accomplish and as I check them off I know I am still making those small wins that count towards the bigger goal.

Some days I may not feel good, I may just not want to exercise or I may choose the cheeseburger over the salad, some days I may not complete more than 5 accounts on my work project, some days I may just have time to send an I love you text to my friends, family or significant other….but every little positive effort counts no matter how small.  So when you feel like maybe you are failing at life because you haven’t accomplished BIG things…slow your roll and think about the small wins of the day and know that its the little things that really matter.

With love, health, happiness….and the small wins of life,

Stacy

Changing Your Mind

I joined the Beachbody program and my new coach, April, has been very supportive.  I started a very beginner level workout yesterday and did a little more advanced today.  Funny how the most basic moves can make you sore the next day.  I am definitely not using all my muscle groups as often as I should in my day to day life.  I am sure I will be even more sore tomorrow.

I find myself looking for ways to stay motivated and determined in this process.  I don’t want to make excuses and skip a day of exercise or allow myself to eat something I know I shouldn’t.  I am realistic and know this will inevitably happen at some point in this process and probably more than once.  So I have started research, because my psychology brain knows this is a mental obstacle.  Our minds and bodies revert back to what it knows when times get tough.  Well, my body knows that eating tacos and chips with cheese dip with an ice cold beer is what I normally do when times get hard.  It also knows that curling up with a good book or watching a movie is more my jam after work than getting in front of the TV for a workout.  So how do we change our mind and condition ourselves to revert to new norm?  How do we create better habits?

I believe this is where phrases like, practice makes perfect, or stated facts like, it takes 21 days to create a habit, come in to play.  My research has brought me back to a book that I bought on audio a few years ago and never started.  I recently completed Girl, Wash Your Face and loved listening to it on my way to work each morning.  So now I am going to start The Power of Habit:  Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business, by Charles Duhigg.  Maybe in this book I can gain some new knowledge that I can apply to my current attempt to get healthier.  I am always looking to learn new things to apply to my life, and I need all the help I can get when it comes to creating healthier eating habits and exercising more regularly.

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How have you stopped bad habits and created more healthy habits in your life?

With love, happiness and healthy habits,

Stacy

 

 

 

 

Weight….What?

A letter to April….

Yes, it is that time of year again…another vacation is around the corner and I am looking at my very no-go bikini bod.  Pale red heads were probably not meant to go to a resort in November.  I mean at least in Summer I had a little color, but if you are a natural red head then that color fades out in about 2 weeks.  So by November I am looking like Snow White.  Needless to say, I need to do some work on myself in the next 6 weeks.  We are talking tan and tone ladies and gents!  So I turned to my beloved friend (whom I have never met in person, but I know we would totally do lunch on a regular basis) in Cali who is obsessed (in a good way) with nutrition and fitness.  I am horrible at sticking to my guns when it comes to eating healthy and exercising regularly.  I mean, I totally come out of the gate like Rocky Balboa…running, weights, competitive and gung-ho 100%!  Then about half-way through week 2 I look in the mirror and think…what the crap?  I have been working my arse off and I look exactly the same!  Screw this, I want a beer and a taco!

So there ya go April, that is the God’s honest truth and I am not proud to admit it, but I am ready to admit I need help.  I am ready the beautiful blonde California girl to motivate me and mold me into something better.  Everything else in life is clicking on all cylinders but my health and fitness has been pushed to the back burner for far too long.  As April guides me through my process I plan to share it with you.  So I plan to be brutally honest with where I am starting and how I progress.  This will not only motivate me to stay accountable but hopefully inspire some of you as well.  Any comments, tips or advice along the way are welcome!

With love, happiness, health and sunscreen

Stacy

Growing

I have been blogging for about a year and a half now and I love spending my time writing about the learning and growing that I have experienced in my life.  Sharing with people makes me feel connected.  So with that being said I have started my own Facebook page where I post great quotes, thoughts, books and other motivational information.  With my transition in to my new job at a private practice counseling center I would like to bring more to the table.  I am starting a new health and fitness journey, more travel and some new adventures in volunteer and fundraising.

The month of October I raised money for a great cause, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.  We did a walk and listened to heartbreaking stories from families and friends who have lost loved ones to suicide.  This month I want to also bring your attention to the boobs in your life….yes the tata’s are important and we need to honor them with regular self-checks and mammograms.  With breast cancer awareness going on this month I have posted my pink flags outside the office and hope to bring a little awareness to the world in my small way.

If my small group of readers is interested in taking our relationship to the next level you can follow me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/lifeunlimited316/

I am always looking to make new friends and connect with other counselors, health and fitness trainers, motivational speakers and like minded individuals.  Lets share our knowledge, support one another in our journey and grow together.

With love, health and growing opportunities

Stacy

 

Learning

Our journey in this great big world should be full of experiences that consist of fun, adventure, struggle, happiness, sadness and through it all we should constantly be asking ourselves what we have learned from each of those experiences.  Every relationship, no matter how short, and every opportunity, no matter how small, is a chance to learn and grow.  I embrace each moment that scares or worries me because at 40-years-old, I realize that those are the things that will probably offer me the most opportunity for growth.

I love to read books, magazine articles, blogs, listen to podcast, listen to audio books, TED talks…basically whatever I can get my hands, ears or eyes on to consume some knowledge and become a little more informed and wiser each day.  When I consume some information that I feel is really speaking to me that is when I like to share it with you, my small little group of readers who get a peak into my soul searching lessons on life.  Today I share with you a best selling book called Girl, Wash Your Face, by Rachel Hollis.  It really touched on a lot of areas that I personally feel inspired to write about in my journey as well.  I think of her as a bit of a soul-sister in her values and experiences in life because her book and her words seriously speak to me on a deeper level.

I find it important to surround yourself with individuals who can motivate you to constantly strive to be a better version of yourself and these people can surround you through media as well.  I read blogs and can feel a connection with people half-way across the planet because they may be experiencing or thinking about the very same issues that are affecting me.  This connection through media today is often looked upon as a bad thing, but I can also see how beautiful it can be when used in a positive way.  Speak your mind, share your thoughts and welcome others thoughts and opinions knowing that every comment, questions and share is an opportunity for growth.  I love hearing about great books, podcasts and blogs that inspire and motivate so please share any and all!

Lets all learn together and from one another because we are all in this big beautiful life together!

With love, laughter and endless learning

Stacy

Give and Take

Does saying no make you selfish?  If your partner asks something of you and your immediate response is no, does that make you a bad partner?  Often I see relationships where one individual feels it is necessary to put the other persons needs before their own and in some cases I think this is the true meaning of unselfish love.  However, I have also seen individuals who do it to the detriment of their own well-being.  If you communicate that you are tired, overworked, stressed out and need a break and your partner continues to ask for help, you hit a crossroads.  How do you solve this dilemma of wanting to help your partner and realizing that you are just spread too thin already?

The truth is, being a people pleaser can cause more harm than good.  Saying yes to everything out of fear of causing conflict or the other person being upset with you is a mistake.  To keep saying yes and going through the motions of doing can cause resentment to build.  Saying yes to something you really do not want to do does not do yourself or the other person any favors.  The fact is, disagreements occur in every relationship and happy couples do tell each other no from time to time.  Learning to deal with negative emotions effectively will actually make your relationships stronger.  Avoidance only makes the problem worse.

Ask yourself what you stand for.  Is saying no to a request mean you are making time for something that is important to you or are you just being selfish?  Only you can answer that question, but please be honest with yourself.  If you are saying no to a request because you are making time for family, work, school or other important priorities and commitments in your life, then I think you can stand strong in your reasons behind the no.  When dealing with a significant other I think it is good to explain why you cannot help.  If your partner is supportive of you having a good career, going back to school or other commitments, they should be understanding.

In the end, balance is key.  If you over-commit you can end up doing a lot of things for people but only in a half-assed manner.  The goal should be to do your absolute best in all commitments you make.  Communicate and stand strong in the way you feel on the subject.  Your well-being should be a priority as well and if you keep pushing yourself to be there for everyone else you could end up sick and useless to everyone.  It really is okay to just say no.

With love, honesty and respect

Stacy

The important job of R&R

Ever feel like you have been on hyper-speed for too long and you just need to slow things down?  You have work, school, then nights out for special events, functions with friends and family and finally, you hit a wall where you realize you haven’t had one real moment to yourself in a while?  I need my moments of rest and relaxation like I need water, food and air.  I can feel myself hitting the tipping point this week.  I believe getting  a little R&R is like investing in yourself.  It is just as important as the financial investment we make into our retirement fund.  If we don’t take the steps necessary to care for ourselves now, then we will have more of a mess later.

When it comes to getting some down time for myself I love the idea of staying in comfortable clothes all day and not leaving my house.  Occasionally a vacation is nice but I honestly feel there is a lot of work involved when it comes to packing and planning a vacation and then returning to more work.  I don’t want more work, I want to sleep in and then sit and enjoy a cup of coffee on my front porch or back deck.  I want to water my plants and pet my dog and cats.  I want cook a really good meal and drink a glass of wine.  I want to watch Ozark on Netflix and then take a bubble bath.  I want to get in bed early and read a good book until I fall asleep.  What is your idea of a day of R&R?

If we do not take time to recharge our batteries then it can lead to weight gain, mental and physical fatigue, mental fog, forgetfulness, mood swings, bad skin, and a weakened immune system.  Taking a full day is not really necessary to keep yourself feeling good, you can schedule an evening walk, or a massage after work.  Finding little moments for yourself throughout your work week is a great way to keep yourself balanced and energized.  I could go in to the importance of investing in yourself in other ways, such as diet and exercise, but really giving yourself some time to slow down is equally important.

As a single mom, in school, and working two jobs, I need my R&R for my sanity.  I don’t get a full day to do exactly what I want to do very often.  So on my lunch breaks from work I will go to the park to eat lunch and read a book, sometimes it is a textbook, but it still puts me in an environment that feels peaceful.  Balancing productivity with enjoyment is really a win-win for me.  So my words of wisdom on this Funday Sunday is to enjoy life, rest and relax….it’s a smart investment.

With love, peace, and a little R&R

Stacy