How I’m Applying My Premarital Therapy to All Relationships

I’m sure you all know by now that I’m getting married. I’m officially getting married 6 months from now.  My engagement is really flying by and I couldn’t be happier. Richard and I thought it was a good idea to go through some premarital therapy before we get hitched! Who can resist a FREE marriage license, right? While that’s one reason why we went, if I’m honest, we also went because it’s a great thing to do. You want to make sure that you are both ready for marriage. Premarital therapy also helps you to understand why you are getting married and what you hope to gain from the marriage.

When our therapy was done,  Richard and I left therapy confirming the love that we’ve had for 3 years and 8 months. Our eyes were opened to so many things and we are even closer. Of course, this post is about techniques that I learned in premarital therapy, but I think they could help with all relationships, friendships and family.

I want to share 2 simple techniques that I feel will make all of your relationships better than ever:

1 .Starting Out Your Conversation

When you have an issue with someone, you can’t start off your conversation the wrong way or else your conversation will turn into a fight and it will go down hill very quickly. This stem sentence has been crafted to make sure the person with the issue thoroughly expresses their issue that they have to the other person:

When…I felt…I’d like it if you…

An example: When you talked over me, I felt like you were trying to dismiss what I was saying like it wasn’t important. I’d like it if next time you let me finish what I’m saying before you talk so that I can actively listen to you as well.

Using this stem (in a respectful way) tells the person you’re having the conversation with, exactly what you’re upset about and how you felt. It also gives a solution to try for the next time you may have to have a tough conversation. This stem is for both people involved, so don’t get mad if they use it on you as well. Each person needs to be listened to and what they have to say needs to be valued and respected. This also helps you and the other person take responsibility for each of the roles you played.

2. Don’t Criticize, Simply Make a Complaint

There is a big difference in sharing a complaint you have with a person and criticizing them. When you criticize someone it makes them defensive. This will only frustrate you. Your feelings wont feel validated because this person isn’t owning up to what they did. Once in a defensive mood, they no longer care about what you have to say because you were attacking their character and/or their morality. They will only care about “clearing their name” and them placing the blame on you. Let me show you some examples from this amazing book called, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John M. Gottman.

Example 1

Complaint: There’s no gas in the car. I’m upset that you didn’t fill it up like you said you would.

Could you please deal with it tomorrow?

Criticism: Why can’t you ever remember anything? I told you a thousand times to fill up

the tank, and you didn’t. You’re always so careless.

Example 2

Complaint: I need you to check with me before inviting anyone over for dinner.

I wanted to spend time alone with you tonight. I want us to schedule

a romantic evening this week. 

Criticism: Why do you keep putting your friends ahead of me? I always come last

on your list. Are you avoiding spending time alone with me?

I’m sure you can absolutely see the difference between a complaint and criticism. We’ve all criticized before, not knowing that we were setting ourselves up for a fight with our friend that could have ended up very differently.

I really think that following these basic steps will help any relationship, especially your romantic ones. When people ask me, how should I talk to my dad about him trying to control my life or what should I do if my boyfriend and I have terrible fights, I would say start with these 2 techniques. I’m 100% sure both parties will benefit from using these techniques. I’ve already seen it work in my relationship.

Why would you not want to create the best relationships? I say create because they don’t just happen, you have to work on them and mold them to be what you want. You can create the life you want by just changing your words. Remember that words hold power and so does the desire to create long lasting relationships. I hope this was helpful!

Be light,

 

What’s On My Bucket List?

Anyone else out there keep a bucket list of things to do? I don’t! So, I want to start now. There are a lot of things I would like to do before I’m reincarnated into a lobster (perhaps a panda). I don’t want to make this bucket list for no reason, I want to actually follow through with everything on my bucket list.

I’m all about having goals when it comes to work, writing, and my spiritual life, so why shouldn’t I have goals when it comes to all the adventures I want to take? That’s it. You’ve convinced me, along with my need to make another list in my life, I’m going to make a bucket list!

If were you, I would use this as an opportunity to copy my list down because I’m about to have the best life ever. Just kidding! However, you should make your own list and see how many things you can conquer. Who knows, you may even do everything on your list and then add more. That’s honestly what I’m hoping for. Here is an example of my bucket list if you want to do a similar layout:

Place to Travel

Thailand

Bali

Dubai

Singapore

India

Barcelona

South Africa

Cuba

Costa Rica

Fiji

Hawaii

Las Angeles, California

 

Things to Experience

Spend a day feeding, bathing, and playing with elephants

Take a gondola ride

Go shopping on rodeo drive (even window shopping)

Read 20 books in a year

Pray at a Buddhist temple in Thailand

Go snorkeling in a coral reef

Create an organization that protects animals/wild life

Watch at least 40 different LifeTime movies in one year

Write a book (or 10)

Write poetry

Go parasailing on the ocean

Meet Oprah (I WILL MEET OPRAH!)

Have at least one student tell me that I’ve changed their life for the better when they get older

Have a Spanish style home

Hit every continent with my fiancé

Get married

Have 2-3 children

Have 2 dogs

Go on an Africa safari

Get 10k follower on Instagram

Have 15k subscribers to my blog

Go indoor sky diving

Well, there is my list. I hope I’ve pressured…I mean…encouraged you to make a bucket list. Mostly, I want you to write it so that you can be inspired by your own dreams and wishes. Not your cousin’s dreams or Brittany’s (the girl that you grew up with that always thought she was better than you) …but your dreams. I also want you to see that nothing in this world is off limits. Everything you want to happen and every goal on your bucket list is 100% possible. You must do whatever it takes. Look out for signs from the Universe, take all opportunities that lead you to where you want to be, and trust in yourself.

I’m not sure about you but I will fulfill what’s on my bucket list. I know I can and I know the Universe supports me in all of my journey.

What are you sure of? Do you look at this list and sigh because there is “no way you can get all this stuff done before you’re gone?” I hope you aren’t looking at it that way. Nothing is a factor when it comes to you. You are way more powerful than you understand. Dream big, live your life, and cross crap off of your bucket list.

Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.- Henry Ford

I want to see what’s on your bucket list. Leave a comment on my blog or my Instagram (@cocreatinglife) and let me know. Through conversation I know you will inspire me and others to add to our lists!

Be light,

Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

One Year Blog Anniversary: 10 Questions to Get to Know Me Better

It’s my one year blogiversary! I can’t believe it’s already been a year! I’ve come so far and I’m very proud of this journey I’m on. Writing is  truly my passion. My dreams are definitely coming true through this experience. I hope my writing is and continues to be empowering and helpful! Man, it really has been such a wild ride. I couldn’t even think of what to write about on my one year blog anniversary. Eventually, I thought it would be appropriate to share some things about myself because we are constantly changing and evolving. I’m not the same person I was last year. My writings and beliefs have changed in many ways. My love for writing, however, did not. If you care to get to know the person behind this keyboard, keep reading!

1. Why did you start blogging?

This may sound selfish but, I started blogging because I wanted my voice to be heard. I’ve been through some tough times in my life where I felt like my voice was not heard. I would write every day in my journal just to feel as though I had a voice. Writing is therapy for me. One day I was talking to my fiance and I told him how I wanted to start blogging. Even though I wanted to take this huge step, I was scared. “Why would people care what I have to say?” Somehow my fiance encouraged me to step out on faith and create this blog. Writing to me is all about creating and being creative.

I want help people follow their dreams, to follow their idea of what it means to create something that they can be proud of. Hence the reason why I named this blog “Co-Creating Life.” To wrap it up I started blogging for me, yes, but I also started blogging so I could encourage others to create the lives they want to live, to be creative doing what they love, and so that I could be a positive influence on this world.

2. Who was your favorite cartoon character as a child?

Arthur was definitely my favorite cartoon character. I used to come home from school, make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, sit down at the table and watch Arthur. I love it so much that I actually let my students watch it at the end of the day when they are waiting to be called for dismissal.

3. What’s your all time favorite quote?

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” -Ghandi

Ahh, this is my favorite quote because it’s so simple but their is so much power, conviction, and expectation behind it. This quote encourages me to be an example to all who struggle to love and be selfless. This means through all of my skills and creation (like teaching and writing) I can speak love and teach acceptance. Not just the love and acceptance of others but also the love and acceptance of ourselves. It’s not enough to just talk about change but we must be that change and watch the world become more beautiful and beautiful, everyday.

4. What advice would you give your teenage self?

I would tell my teenage self to learn how to love who I am. I would explain that this is not only beneficial because you see yourself better but also because you can teach others how to love you for who you are. Would my teenage self have listened? I’m not sure.

5. If you could bring one musician back from the dead who would it be?

I would definitely bring Michael Jackson back. I loved him and I still love him. He was such a musical genius and in my opinion, a good person who was very misunderstood. If I somehow could not bring him back though, I’d definitely bring back Nat King Cole. He’s timeless and he music soothes my soul.

6. What or who has been your greatest influences in your life so far?

My greatest influence has been Oprah.  She’s my greatest influence because she lives a life of passion and understanding. She is spiritual in every way possible and has written books that have influenced this entire world. It’s an honor just to live in the same time period as she does. One day I will write books that have a positive and an encouraging affect on the world. When those days come I’ll definitely have to give some of the props to Oprah.

7. What are some short term and long term goals you have for your blog?

I really love this question because it’s really important for me to set goals and manifest those goals. I also think it’s great because it gives you guys an insight into who I am and who I strive to be. My short term goals for my blog would be to create more content that my readers love, to get better at my writing, to have people fall in love with my writing, and to be consistent with my writing. My long term goals are to be known for my blogging around the world, to write many books, and to help others find their passion and be creative in their own lives.

8. What super power do you wish you had?

I wish I was able to fly. I’ve always felt that flying is probably the most freeing feeling. There is also something about the wind hitting my face that makes me feel safe.

9. What is one of the biggest leaps of faith you’ve taken in your life?

One of my biggest leaps of faith I’ve taken in my life was when I moved to Nashville right after undergrad. I finished my first 4 years of college at the University of Alabama in May of 2014. Two weeks later I moved to Nashville with the dream of becoming a teacher, a writer, and an author. I didn’t know anyone and I had no family here in Nashville. I cried for almost a month every day because I didn’t know anyone and at first it felt extremely lonely. Of course it got better (I’ve lived in Nashville for 4 years now) and I’m so glad I did it because I’ve learned so much in the past 4 years. I’ve made wonderful friends here and Nashville is where I met my amazing fiance. If I didn’t take that leap of faith and if I only did what was comfortable, I wouldn’t be the woman I am today!

10. What is “HOME” to you?

To me, home is wherever love is. It’s wherever the people I love are. At this point “home” is with my fiance. I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else.

I hope this helped you know a little more about me. I’m so happy to have been blogging for a whole year!! This is only the beginning! I can’t wait to write even more.

I’d love to hear from you. If there is something you’ve been wanting me to write about, leave a comment under this post! I love you all for reading and interacting with me on all of my platforms. Bless you!

 

Be light,

Creating Your Space

Creators, I want to talk to you about something that’s near and dear to my heart, creating space. That’s right! We live in a time where people have difficulty creating space for themselves. I know, you’re probably like, “Kristen, WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?” Just check it out!

What Is It?

Recently, I was listening to a podcast by Sahara Rose. The podcast is titled ‘Creating White Space.’ On that podcast she talked about the importance of creating space and what that means. I figured I could relay the message because it was SO GOOD. The space I’m talking about, is like a pause in your life so that you can live out your full potential. I got to thinking how wonderful that sounds, to pause and reflect. A pause is definitely needed in my life when life gets mad crazy! It’s something I know that I need to focus on, so I thought you could use this gentle reminder about how important it is to take care of yourself.

Like I said earlier, creating space is a pause from the every day, busy, sometimes draining times in your life. When you create space, this also means you’re taking the time to readjust, think and become your highest self. This looks different for everyone, of course.

But Why Tho?

I’m always “preaching” about creating and how creating is important, that’s why girl! Creating space is so important because that’s how you get those creative juices flowing. Creating the life you want doesn’t just happen. There are steps that need to be taken, and if you haven’t guessed it yet, creating space is the first step! You can’t create this amazing life without stopping, feeding your soul, and figuring out the next steps to take. When you create space, you give yourself the place to think, a place to come up with better ideas, and you learn how to execute those better ideas.

Top reason though, creating space helps you get to your next level of success, your next level of goddess, your next level of accomplishments, and so on… We all need to slow down, that’s no secret. Life gets in the way and we want certain things in life but we wont take a breather in order to figure out how to get the life we want. In this space, it’s also where manifesting starts and we get our desires. Our desires are beautiful and NATURAL, why wouldn’t we want to do our best to make sure our desires contribute to our highest good and come true?

Well, How Do I Create Space?

Like I said before, creating space looks different for every person! You don’t have to sit down by a water fall and meditate in Thailand for you to make space. It’s hard for me to tell you exactly how you should create YOUR space. However, I will tell you some ways that I create space in my life. Maybe one of them will stand out to you and you can do this at your home.

I create space by:

taking 20 minute walks in my neighborhood

pulling oracle cards and really thinking on which direction it’s telling me to go

intentionally breaking for 5-10 minutes

journaling my thoughts/passions/intentions

writing

taking bubble baths

listening to mantra music and dancing and flowing like no one is watching (check out Dev Premal)

The point is, is that, you have to find what works best for you. This is not about anyone else or what they think. This is about making the space to elevate you to your highest self. If you want a promotion, a job change, a significant other, to write a book, whatever, you can’t just let life go by and only talk about how bad you want these things. You have to relax, meditate (this looks different for everyone) on what you want, and create steps to help you achieve your goals. Create the space so that this is possible! Don’t get too busy and let that keep you from living the life you’ve always wanted.

Until next time loves.

Be light,

4 Ways to Get Rid of Negative Energy

It has happened to all of us. You wake up, you have your breakfast, you make it to work on time, you get your work done early…You are literally having THE BEST DAY. Then, on your way home someone cuts you off in traffic or at the grocery store someone that had the worst day ever, takes it out on you. Their negativity, then, sticks to you like glue. You can’t shake it off. Your mind, heart, and actions become so negative because of that one thing that pissed you off.

Trust me I know what it’s like too. Negativity can be hard to shake, especially when someone has handed you their unwanted bad vibes. I figured I’d help out and let you know 4 ways that you can take care of those negative vibes. I believe in each of these things with all my heart because they have 100% worked for me. Here we go:

Smudging

Mmmm, that’s right! Smudging is definitely my favorite thing to do to get rid of the negative energy. All it takes is one bundle of sage and a lighter. Just use a stick of white sage, burn it until the fire appears, then blow out the fire until all that’s left coming from your sage is smoke. This smoke has so many healing properties, y’all! You can smudge yourself (your whole body– head to toe), you can smudge your home (every room and every corner), and you can smudge your items in your home. Everything in this world holds energy, everything! The sage helps to clear that energy so that you feel nothing but positivity with every aspect of your life.

Crystals

I love crystals! I work with them during meditation, I wear them, and I carry them with me. The best crystal for getting rid of negative energy would be the Black Tourmaline. This stone actually repeals negative and electromagnetic energy! It clears, cleanses, and unlocks energy blockages within your body or home. Pair this crystal with a Tourmalinated Quartz and you’ve got the most powerful combo. This crystal also unblocks all energy blockages in the body!

Conscious Breathing

Negative energy can be immediately taken away by breathing. I know it sounds weird, but just hear me out! If you consciously take the time to breathe you can set yourself free from immediate stress and negativity. It is especially good for those moments when someone tries to drop their negative bomb on you! Breathing it out help create a clear mind and view things rationally. This is also called mindfulness.

Changing Your Mindset

Not easy, right? But possible! I’ve talked about this before on Instagram (@cocreatinglife) many times. I think I could actually write an entire blog post just about the power of our minds and how changing our our mindset can change our lives forever. That’s why positive self talk is so important. When you tell your self that you are beautiful everyday you will start believing that truth! This form of getting rid of negative energy is for everyone, no matter their background or beliefs. When you change your mindset about life then you understand that when the lady blew up at you at the grocery store, that wasn’t about you. You recognize that we allow ourselves to get caught up in the bad energy. Energies can only hold on to you when you allow them to. YOU ARE POWERFUL. Don’t let someone else take your power away. Changing your mindset kills the passion for others to want to get under your skin. When others see that you aren’t phased, they move on, causing them to eventually deal with what’s going on inside of them.

I hope this was helpful. The Universe is so beautiful and in this life you will have such little time here. Our job while we are here is to create and change the world. If we allow every little thing to bother us or every energy (that doesn’t benefit us) to attach to us, we will never live out our dharma (life’s purpose). Until next time co-creators…

 

Be light,

The Universe is Ready to Support You

I believe that the Universe is always ready to support you. We go through so many changes in life and in times of change things can be uncertain or you can feel like you’re not good enough. It’s so nice to feel supported. We only need to allow the Universe to hold us up. It’s time for you to feel supported and grounded in the things we wish to create. Here are 3 quick things you can do to allow the Universe to support you:

Have the Eyes of Positivity

The Universe can’t fully support you if you don’t let it because you’re always so negative. Having a positive outlook on life makes your vision for the future so much clearer. The Universe reads whatever energy you give off, if you are a negative person, it’s going to pick up on that and give you everything your negativity is wanting. You’re only feeding that negativity and it grows and grows until you choose to break the cycle. Being positive even when things are going wrong around you makes you powerful. This ultimately pushes you closer to your goals because you don’t allow negativity to hold you back. Choose to be positive and allow the Universe to push your closer to everything you want to be in this life.

Accepting your Assignment

Everything we are handed in life is to make us stronger. Everything. When you allow the Universe to support you, you are saying that you accept every challenge that’s placed in your way. Overcoming those challenges propels you to your life goals. For example, as a teacher I was handed a student that can be very difficult and challenging sometimes. It was up to me to accept this assignment from the Universe or want to have nothing to do with this student. I know that accepting the assignment always turns out for the better. Even if you run from your assignment this time, that’s fine but know that the Universe always brings back the same assignment until you’ve mastered it. No need to run because fulfilling your assignment brings courage, understanding, and strength.

See the Signs

You can allow the Universe to support you by knowing that the Universe is on your side. View nothing as a coincidence, but view it as a sign that you’re on the right path. YOUR PATH. Know that every sign you receive will give you the confidence to move forward in your life. You’ll naturally be set up for success. Yes, I said NATURALLY, because miracles are natural and not coincidences.

 

Know that the Universe is ready to fully support you no matter what. You just have to be ready. I fully believe that everything happens for a reason, the reason being to push you to your highest self. This isn’t the time to complain, whine, or procrastinate (Whew! Talking to myself too, people). This is the time for preparation, guidance and wonder. Be wild, be true, and be ready to take on your life’s purpose. You’re doing great!

Be light,

If You Could Be Anything, Be Kind

Do you know what our world could use more of right about now? Kindness. I think that we have forgotten how to be kind to one another. Yes, I mean being kind, even if that person is very different from us. Kindness shows a real sense of sisterhood/brotherhood. We don’t always have to agree with each other but we can be kind and have respect for one another. Indeed, kindness is so powerful that even Mark Twain said, “kindness is the language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” That’s truly amazing! Kindness is a language everyone can speak. It feels good to receive it, even if you don’t know the person it is coming from! I’m including 10 ways that you can practice being kind to someone below:

Give Your Time to a Friend

I promise you that if you give time to your friends without cell phones or distractions, that’s one of the kindest things you could do in this generation. It’s nice when you have someone’s attention and they really care about what you’re saying. I know that I’m a culprit when it comes to giving my time and attention to people. I definitely need to get better at that!

Compliment a Stranger

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve left the house feeling like crap, and then someone gave me a compliment at the store, at the bank, or at the park. I felt so good after! I mean, we say that we don’t care about what people think but we do. We shouldn’t care so much that our overall happiness depends on it but it feels good when someone (especially those who don’t know you) gives you a compliment. So you do it! Tell the lady passing you on the street that you love her hair or her dress. Tell the man on the plane that he has a nice shirt. Tell them!

Leave a Generous Tip

Next time you’re in a restaurant or anywhere else you have to tip, you should give a very generous tip. You have the power to really make someone’s day. We shouldn’t do things just to get something in return but that’s the law of the Universe. Give to others and you will be given to as well!

Donate to a Charity of Your Choice

Each month I pick a charity to give money to. This month I decided to give money to the World Wildlife Fund. Anyone that knows me knows that animals are near and dear to my heart! Pick a charity and give because all creatures deserve kindness.

Leave a Note in a Library Book to Make Someone Smile

I read a lot! I’m telling you right now, if I got a note in a book after checking it out at the library…I would be SOOOOO happy! I’d even post it in my Instagram story. Yup, that’s how happy I’d be. Please make someone’s day. It could even be a cute idea to go to your public library (even if you don’t check a book out), with 5-10 pre-written POSITIVE notes, and go put them in random books.

Pick Up Trash

While it’s so important to be kind to yourself and the people around you, it’s also just as important to be kind to the place where we live. Our planet needs us to take care of it. Be kind to the place that gives you life! Pick up trash and don’t liter. Kindness can be just as simple as picking up a candy bar wrapper.

Write a ‘Thank You’ Note Just Because

Pick someone to write a thank you note to. The best thing is that they wont be expecting it. When we receive random kindness that we don’t expect, it makes us feel good inside, we may even cry a little.

Smile at Strangers

Now, this is a big one for me. I love smiling at strangers! However, sometimes I get weird looks back. But hey, you’re not going to make me feel bad or abnormal because I’m sprinkling kindness around like confetti. I’m going to keep smiling and one day you’ll smile back! Try smiling at every stranger you see for a week! It’s contagious!

Text a Friend to Say You’re Thinking About Them

Text your friend just to tell them you are thinking about them. I know it feels great, for me at least, to receive a text message from someone, just letting me know that they care and that they are here.

Being Thankful for Every Opportunity to be Kind

This may be the biggest way to show kindness! If someone is rude, mean, or cursing you out, don’t retaliate. Be thankful that this person has given you an opportunity for you to show them just how kind you really are. People think that being kind to people that don’t deserve it is weak, but getting angry or getting back at them is the weakest thing you could do. To have kindness and compassion, now that’s strong!

I hope these tips on how to be kind are helpful. Maybe you could pick one or two to focus on in a month. It’s up to you but kindness is very necessary for human survival in so many ways. Be the person that someone can count on. Everyone needs someone and everyone needs kindness. Let me tell you a secret…the people who aren’t kind to you are the ones that need the most kindness. You have to understand that it’s not about you, they have a deeper hurt or fear inside, so show them how to break free!

Namaste,

Compassion Is…

I used to think that having compassion meant having pity for those less fortunate and helping them whenever I could. Compassion is so much more than that. It’s more than just being nice. Anyone can do that. They can also be mean 5 second later. Compassion isn’t just doing things because “it’s the right thing to do” or because “you’ll go to hell if you don’t” Compassion can’t really be expressed in one sentence or even in this one post. It is and should be more to us than that. Here are 5 things that compassion is:

 

Compassion is Free of Attachment

When we give love, that love comes with conditions. True compassion has no conditions, strings tied or attachment. The love is given freely without expecting anything in return. Just because you have a BFF or a brother doesn’t mean you have compassion for them. It simply means you’re attached to them in some way. Whenever you can truly love without attachment and for no reason in particular– that’s compassion.

Compassion is Done Without Pity

When you decided to stop and give a homeless man money because “it’s just the nice thing to do & you feel bad,” that isn’t compassion. Compassion is understanding this humans life without saying, “well if he just did this he wouldn’t be where he is now!” With compassion there is no judgement in thought. Those who help out of pity are typically helping to uncover their own hidden agenda. Pity is pointless but compassion is a sense of truly caring for the individual.

Compassion is Unbiased

There is no picking and choosing who to give compassion to. If you only show compassion to people who like you or people you like then your compassion is partial. I can remember a time when I received compassion in a moment that some would deem ‘not worthy.’ I know that the other person could have said, “No! She’s lashing out and doesn’t deserve my compassion,” but they gave it to me anyways. That moment and that person definitely encouraged and pushed me to start being more compassionate towards others.

Compassion is a Commitment.

Compassion is a tad bit different from love. Love is simply a component of compassion. Love is entirely emotional and usually only given to those we are attached to (family, people of the same religion, friends, people of the same race, etc…). Compassion, however, is something that has to be given to everyone. It’s not something that you can just say you practice because it’s extremely noticeable when you don’t practice it. Compassion is a commitment and it shouldn’t change just because someone acts badly. Compassion is realizing that there is story behind someone’s behavior. That doesn’t excuse their behavior but it’s a commitment to love them regardless. Everyone has a story…remember that! We all want the same thing — to be happy!

Compassion is for All Creatures

FOR ALL CREATURES AND BEINGS. All life is precious and beautiful. We all have the right to happiness. Yes– even animals. Animals are used and killed because humans lack compassion. The Dalai Lama once said (in which I agree), “I have also noticed that those who lack any compassion for animals and who do not hesitate to kill them are also those who, sooner or later, show a lack of compassion toward human beings.”

 

Compassion is not for the faint of heart. It’s a character of the strong. It’s also not something that comes right away but when you practice it enough, it becomes part of your life. The life that you will have will be more blissful and peaceful than you can imagine. That is why humans have so many issues. We lack compassion. We lack the very thing we need others to give to us.

Let’s all practice this. I’d love to see a world that craves peace and compassion so much that it becomes as fluent to them as the language they speak. I hope this encourages and inspires you.

Be light,

 

How to Redefine Normal

Ahh, the normal life!

What does that even mean? What is “normal” anymore? I know I used to think it was the following:

  • go to college (manage to stay “pure” and not drink too much)
  • meet a guy
  • graduate from college
  • get married
  • move in together
  • have a family

Some list huh? Some people complete this exact list and that’s totally okay it just wasn’t for me!

Recently Mindy Kaling (who I love) gave a commencement speech at her alma mater (Dartmouth). If you haven’t watched the speech you should watch it (I will link it at the bottom of this post)! Something she said in her speech really stood out to me. She said, “Don’t be scared if you don’t do things in the right order or if you don’t do somethings at all.” She said this after talking about being a single mother and how she never thought she would have children before marriage. Listening to her talk about this was real and refreshing.

Maybe You Look Like

You may look different to the world but it’s always best to be yourself. Maybe you look like the person who doesn’t want to be married, or who wants to marry a person of the same-sex, or you may want to live with your significant other before marriage. Or could you be the person that doesn’t want to go to college? Do you want to join the army or be a makeup artist? You might want 10 kids or no kids. What if you’re the one who has a different religion than the most popular one in your country or you have no religion at all.

Whatever the case may be, IT DOESN’T MATTER. As long as you are being smart, truly listening to your intuition (without making excuses or trying to manipulate what your heart tells you), and you aren’t harming anyone in the process, do you! You know who you want to be, who you are, and what “normal” looks like for you.

How to Redefine Normal

For the longest time, I had a problem with seeing the lives of others as “weird” or “wrong.” That was only because it didn’t look like my life (or the life I saw as “normal”). The thing is, is that, we all make our life what we want to make it. That’s part of being an individual and a co-creator. We learn through everything and adjust based on the results of our last choice. That’s life! Here is some advice on how you can redefine normal:

  • Turn off the TV (or your unrealistic TV expectations). Life is not a sitcom. Everything you see on TV is not the perfect life you should idolize.
  • Live confidently knowing that the Universe is behind you and you will experience the beautiful life you deserve.
  • Let others LIVE. Their life has nothing to do with you.
  • Tune out the haters! There are always going to be people who don’t accept your life for how you want to live it. Who cares?! They don’t love you for you then!
  • Be your authentic self at all times. As long as you aren’t hurting others or harming yourself, do what you want and do what you love!
  • Speak to others about the power of acceptance of people who may be different from they are. As a teacher, I make sure I teach my students this all the time.

It’s my goal in life to encourage others to follow their own path. Your path will look different from the person’s next to you and that is completely OK! There is no “normal,” there’s only you and what’s best for you!

Also, here is Mindy Kaling’s speech as promised! (CLICK HERE)

Be light,

Why Complaining Won’t Help You

Complaining is draining. Complaining only takes away energy from today and never solves the problems of tomorrow. -James Altucher

For the past 4 months (until about a month ago) I got way too comfortable with complaining. I was doing so well with staying positive before but then I started a job that wasn’t terrible but I wasn’t very happy with it. So, what did I do? I started complaining and complaining a lot. I was in such a negative space. It didn’t help that at this same place people all around me were complaining. There we all were, just a bunch of us complaining and talking crap… constantly. I had to finally come to a point where I realized that I was only hurting myself.

Let’s be real, we are human and at some point, in our lives, we are going to complain about something. The idea is to complain way less than we do and to recognize when we are complaining so we can turn it into something positive.  Here are some reasons why complaining won’t help you:

You Become a Victim

Ok, I know, I know! Complaining feels good but afterwards the feeling isn’t so good. Complaining helps us stay lazy. We become lazy and we don’t want to fix the issue or see the issue in a different light. When we do this, we become victims. Victims that look for others to validate us in our thinking so we can become ever more of a victim. At some point we have to stop thinking it’s fun to be a victim.

We Make the Problem Bigger

Taking time to complain actually makes the problem bigger than it is. If you’re like me, you’re not just complaining one time and then that’s it. If you’re like me, you’re going on and on and on about something that wasn’t really a big deal to begin with. When you make something bigger than it is it’s because you don’t believe you have the power to control what’s going on. We subconsciously are telling ourselves that we are stuck and the problem is out of our hands. No matter what life throws at us, we hold the key to the power in our lives. We choose how we react to everything.

You Become Negative

Negativity never helps anyone or any situation. When you complain, you attract negativity. You attract other people and energies of people that complain way too much! This brings your energy down and you start complaining even more. It then becomes a cycle, allowing negative people to come in and out of your life and trust me, misery loves company. To the people who are seeing life differently and in a positive light, they won’t want to be around you.

You Waste Your Time

What does complaining do for you? I have the answer. It does nothing but bring you down! Does complaining all the time make your relationship better? Does it pay you rent? Does it provide a long-lasting feeling of relief? The answer to all these questions, is no. Complaining doesn’t change our circumstances! It only exacerbates it. You will realize that no positive results comes from running your mouth. That alone should make you want to retire from complaining.

To focus more on the positives and complain less, practice expressing gratitude daily. Keep a gratitude journal. You’ll realize that your “I hate this job” will turn into “I’m grateful that I can make money to support myself while I find the job I desire.” When you feel like complaining – LAUGH! Laughter is the best medicine. You may look silly to others but laugh because you are more in control than you think. Life is all about perception. You can view your issue as a reason to sit, complain and feel sorry for yourself or a reason to learn from the Universe, to be positive, and make the best out of the lemons you are given.

Be light,