What to do: Life Crisis

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Ya know those moments, in life, where you feel like you are reconsidering everything? Those moments where you are reevaluating who you are, what you’re doing, how you’re going to accomplish life, why are you doing what you’re currently doing? Welcome to my last two weeks…

I have been back in Cincinnati, Ohio (where I am from & where my immediate family is) for the last two weeks. Each time I come home, I feel as though I can finally exhale. I feel like I can take a pause on my “real” life in order to find peace again or explore my options. This trip home, though, there has been no rock unturned.

I have been evaluating my job, my education, my relationships, my future, my dreams, my 5 year plan, my personal identity, and more.

Do I want to keep working at my job? Do I want to change my major? What do I want to do with the rest of my life? Who do I want to be? Do I like where I live? Are my friends adding positive things to my life? Am I sure? Am I sure? Am I sure? Am I sure?

There has been a lot of self-doubt. There has been a lot of questions. There has been a lot of emotions. It has, honestly, been a really taxing experience.

I have discovered that I am at a fork in the road.

I have every possible choice within my grasp and I simply get to choose what I want.

As someone who prides herself on her core value’s about self-love, self-connectedness, and listening to one’s heart…you would think that the answer of what do I want would come easy to me. Wrong.

I have had to fight for the last two weeks to distinguish what my heart is saying. It was easy to hear the voices of my parents, or my bosses, or the self-critic. But it wasn’t easy to hear my quiet and insecure voice.

Have you ever been at this spot? This confused, clueless, and seemingly helpless spot? (I know that I am not alone!) Well, I am sharing all this for Y O U ! (and for me the next time I get to this place)

What to do when You’re Clueless AF?

Step One: Journal

Journal out all of your thoughts, feelings, concerns, etc. Write out (personally I recommend by hand…because it forces you to really look at your thoughts) all the mumbo-jumbo floating through your brain. GET. IT. ALL. OUT. Even the ugly stuff, or the silly stuff, or the seemingly unimportant stuff…write it all down.

 

Step Two: The Goal of Identity

Who are you? Who is it that you want to be? When you imagine your future, what kind of human are you? Write it down. This is the first puzzle piece of your answers.

Who you want to be is the goal for your character. It is the vision board of where you want to head.

 

Step Three: The Results are in

Take some personality tests. The reason I love personality tests so much is because they give words to things you’ve thought or felt that you might not have had language for. For example… I took the Strength Finders test and discovered that one of my top 5 strengths is Connectedness. This means that I believe there are links between all things in life and that everything has a reason. Knowing this about myself explains so much to me. It shows me that believing in connections isn’t an odd thing I do, but it is part of who I am and it is part of what I bring to the table. This test helped me learn a bit more about myself!

Myers Briggs: This test is incredible because it not only tells you about your personality, but it also tells you how you act in friendships, romantic relationships, work, and which careers would be good for you.

Enneagram: This test was interesting because I discovered that I am a Type 1. Type 1’s are called “The Reformers.” They are fixated on perfection, responsibility, and are constantly looking for improvement. These results are totally me, but I had a hard time hearing that. The qualities that I shared (perfectionist, high responsibility, and are constantly looking for improvement) are qualities that I have always resented in myself. I don’t like that I am constantly trying to look for improvement in myself or others. I don’t like that I am always striving for perfection. Despite the difficulty of accepting this personality type, I have taken these results are a positive thing within my life. Knowing this is the type of person I am, allows me to own it more and allows me to give grace to myself when those aspects of who I am rise up.

 

Step Four: Pros VS. Cons

I know this advice is a little overused, but it is honestly so helpful. Make a pros and cons list. Simplify the positives and negatives to each decision and organize then. Making a pros and cons list has helped me recognize what is important to me and what isn’t important. The list does not have to be long, just a few short things to help you see the decision for what it is.

I did this in trying to decide which degree I should pursue. Until I made the list, I had so many positive and negative thoughts about every possible major, but making the list allowed me to actually see the positives and negatives.

 

Step Five: Moments of Peace

My last little piece of advice would be to find your place of peace. It might be late in the night, or early in the morning. Maybe it is in the chaos of a city street or maybe it is within a coffee shop’s four walls. Whatever that place is, it is the place where your thoughts seem clear.

For me, it is the morning time. Just me & a cup of coffee.

When you get to your place of peace…it isn’t time to over think but it is a time to expect the best…to expect answers.

 

Step Six: Repeat Steps 1-5 as many times as necessary

 

As someone that is still very much within these steps… I’ll keep y’all updated on more things and keys that help me. But, I think I have gotten over the hump of the chaos. Sometimes life can be so difficult. But, it is encouraging knowing I am not alone.

Let me know your tips and tricks for making major life choices and for reevaluating your life!

Thanks for reading!

XO,

M

Let the Flowers Grow

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This week is our final week of our discipleship program (where I work) for the 2017-2018 school year. Today I was asked to share my “life-message” and a final message to our students.

How do you sum up all the potential life encouragement into one short message?

I would say that my life message is all about learning to nurture oneself. I believe that we all are a three part being: body, soul, and spirit. And I believe that it is pivotal that we nurtureeach part of our being.

Nurturing yourself looks like checking your soil. It looks like checking the environment that you are surrounding yourself in. Are the habits, relationships, and the media that watching/listening to pushing you to the environment that you want? Are those things pushing you to be the person that you want to be?

Nurturing yourself looks like letting sunshine into your heart. Nurturing yourself looks like letting yourself really look into your heart to see the pains, dreams, desires and opinions that are held within your heart. It looks like giving the deserved attention to the things in your heart. Nurturing yourself looks like healing the wounds, valuing the desires, sticking up for the opinions, and believing in the dreams.

Nurturing yourself looks like watering yourself. This looks like practically giving your body the things it needs (good foods, movement, love). It, also, looks like pursuing things that fill your spirit (worship, meditation, learning). Lastly, it looks like putting in time and effort towards your passions and hobbies (creating, sports, learning).

Nurturing yourself looks like giving yourself patience, grace, and space to grow. Growing requires energy to get taller and stronger. But it also means sometimes growing dead leaves. Sometimes we fail (it happens to all of us) but we need to give patience and grace and kindness to ourselves when we do grow dead leaves.

Nurturing yourself looks like allowing yourself to bloom. This means to allow yourself to press in to the good things life has in store for you. This means believing the good things said about you. It means accepting the opportunities that you have. It means not running away from the good things, it means running toward them. It, also, means allowing the world to see your petals. Don’t shy away from being seen, but embrace it.

Nurturing yourself looks like moving with the breeze of the spirit realm (whatever that looks like for you). It looks like being in-tune with what the spirit is doing.

Nurturing yourself looks like growing seeds of love and spreading them around. It looks like expressing love to all those around you.

And it looks like receiving the new seeds of love that enter your life.

Thanks for reading!! Let me know how YOU nurture yourself in the comments below!

XO,

M

Love heals.

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WOW.

I am shocked at the responses from last week’s post! (If you didn’t check it out…check it out here. It is all about my story with pornography & freedom). Thank you sooo much for the support and encouragement. It truly means the world to me.

After last weeks post, I really wanted to give some encouragement/hope to anyone that might be in the midst of struggle. (Whoops. I guess that applies to us all (; ) Life is hard and sometimes we simply need someone to tell us that it. is. possible.

Now, I know that some of you are not Christians and may not believe in God, but I also think that everyone is spiritual and desires spiritual growth. My desire in this space on the internet is to be a place where anyone, from any background, feels free to be. By this, I mean that I never want to push my thoughts onto anyone else…but I, too, want to make sure that I continue to allow myself the space to share what I feel needs to be said.

So, in this post…keep in mind that I honor where each and every one of you is.

Something that some of you do not know is that I work for a discipleship program. This is a spiritual program that focuses on working with adults to help them to heal emotional wounds, actively pursue personal growth, and urging them to connect deeper and deeper to God’s undeniable love for them.

Personally, I went through this program and was radically changed (you can read more about it here!) This program sees all kinds of people come through it’s doors: addicted, tormented, broken, hopeless, insecure, young, old, and everything in between.

I have seen LOVE heal each and every thing. I have seen LOVE mend the deepest of wounds. I have seen LOVE heal years of torment. I have seen LOVE show people to dream, love, believe. I have seen freedom from addictions. I have seen anger resolved. I have seen insecurities become areas of confidence. I have seen hope fill people’s lungs. I have seen dreams flood people’s minds. I have seen purity affect people’s lives. I have seen shame brush off of people’s shoulders. I have seen bodies restored. The healing, breakthrough, and freedom that I have seen in people’s lives is ridiculous (in the best of ways).

I do not know what you’re facing right now in your life. I don’t know what your past holds or what future complications you will experience. But, I want to say that THERE IS HOPE. Regardless of what it is…LOVE can heal.

I know that this is a little crazy…but today at work we replaced lies with truths. We went after the lies involved with comparison. For me, I was believing that that I was unworthy. After that, I apologized to God and to myself for partnering with that belief. And then, I was intentional to receive LOVE. After that experience, I feel so much lighter and fuller and happier.

(Now, that does not solve all problems. I have to continue to be intentional to stick with the new truth that I have learned. But, I have hope that this new truth can be maintained)

So, whatever it is that you are facing, LOVE is enough. LOVE  can heal. LOVE  can restore.

This is a short post, but one I truly believe in. Also, I just want to say that I am here for you…feel free to reach out. I would love to connect and encourage you.

What is the new truth you’re believing? Let me know in the comments!

XO,

M

Daphne

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Introducing my newest little member of my family…

Daphne.

Daphne is a miniture pinscher and chihuahua mix. She weighs somewhere between 8-12 pounds. She is 10 years old and the sweetest little woman. She barely barks, gets along with everyone, sleeps like a teenager, and loves to snuggle.

I adopted her from the most precious rescue down in San Francisco, called Muttville. It is a senior dog rescue (meaning they only recuse dogs 7 years and older). They are the friendliest people. The process of adopting her wasn’t that fast of an experience. It required a lot of thought and research. I grew up with animals and so I knew the commitment and effort that they require. I did not make the decision to take on that responsibility lightly.

Eventually I began to feel stressed about it all and I felt like the Lord told me that He had “the perfect one for me.” I chose to trust Him and that same day, this dog seemed to fall into my lap. She was uploaded to Muttville’s website. Her breed, size, and gender were all things that I really wanted. And, that tongue was officially what sold me. There were so many other parts of this adoption that made it perfect. Everything seemed to confirm that this precious girl was meant to be mine.

After receiving her, I felt like The Lord has told me that she is going to teach me many things.

Well, let me tell you…He did not lie! I have had her for a total of five days and I have already been stretched so much. It hasn’t been the multiple walks a day or the other required responsibilities. The thing that has been so stretching is it has required patience for myself.

As soon as I got her I felt so much pressure to feel a certain way about Daphne. I felt like I had to love her completely instantaneously. And if I am being completely honest, that has taken time. This whole process has brought up a lot of fear, too. What if I can’t do this? What if she dies? Is she throwing up? Is she about to pee? What if she runs away? Is this food okay? Is she happy? I’ve been so afraid. And all of that fear has kept love at a distance. As I began to realize that I was fixed on the fear, not on the love, I have gotten some clarity:

this is just taking me time.

I need time to get used to being a dog owner. I need time to get used to Daphne’s personality. I need time to learn our new routine. I need time. But, yet, I have just been adding more and more pressure. (disclaimer: on day 5, I am head over heels for Daphne. But all this fear has made it all difficult)

Yesterday I was talking to a friend. He proceeded to quote 1 Corinthians 13 saying that “love is patient, love is kind…” and as soon as he said that I realized that I have needed new levels of patience for myself in this whole dog process. I have needed to give myself the time and grace required to fall in love with this new friend. I have needed to be allowed to take time and I have needed to give my grace when the fears come up, or when I spend money on food she doesn’t like, or when I go to work.

I am growing. I am learning. I deserve patience.

So, I have begun the process of changing my perspective and incorporating a new aspect of self love: patience. This process begins by simply keeping this new truth at the front of my mind: I deserve to have patience with myself. I keep thinking about that concept and I keep repeating the truth. The next step is to actively act on this new truth. I must have patience with myself.

How do you have patience with yourself? Give ya girl some tips below! PS: make sure you’re subscribing to my blog! (on the right hand side) By subscribing, all new blog posts will be sent directly to your email!

Sending you all the love…

XO,

M

Rise Up

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This is for the ones that are struggling,

the ones that need support.

This is for the ones that are having a hard time.

This is for the ones in battle,

the ones that need someone.

This is for the weak.

This is for the broken.

This is for the sad…

you

are

worth

more

You are more than the things that you are facing.

You are more than the scabs and scars found upon your arms.

You are more than the weapons in your hands.

You are more than the thorns around your ankles.

You are more than the weakness of your knees and your bloody knuckles.

You are more than the dark nights of lonely tears.

I am here to tell you that YOU ARE MORE.

This is your call to action.

This is your sign that you deserve more.

If you are settling for anything that doesn’t push you to your greatness or

if you are content eating the crumbs of life.

If you are surrounded by poison or

trapped by societal expectation.

If you are held down by fear.

If you are held captive by insecurity…

say “No.”

Say “no” to the things that are holding you down.

Say “no” to the people that are critiquing you.

Say “no” to the people and places that are feeding you crumbs.

Say “no” to fear, insecurity, anxiety, and comparison.

And say “yes”to your magic.

Say “yes” to your inner power and capability.

Say “yes” to the greater things

Say “yes” to a better tomorrow.

Say “yes” to more laughter.

Say “yes” to fullness.

I do not care what it is that you are facing or what your reasoning for living less than, it is a lie.

It is a lie that you cannot overcome everything that gets in your way.

Imagine the possibilities if you would only believe in your inner power and capabilities.

Imagine if you took responsibility of your life and fought for the deep desires inside your heart.

So, Rise up.

Make life the way you want it.

Embrace every pain.

Love every curve.

Kiss every day.

Be brave.

Stand tall.

Buy the dress.

Eat the cupcake.

Sing louder.

Speak your truth.

Rise up.

#BodyLove

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Happy February! The month of love! This month I have challenged myself to be a bit more active in my relationship with myself. I want to be more intentional about the love I am extending to me.

To start this month off, I wanted to write about the power of loving your body (yiiikes).

#BodyLove

As someone that has struggled with body image issues my entire life, I know that some of you will not want to read this post. I wouldn’t have, but I promise it is worth it! No Shame Allowed.

Why should we pursue a positive attitude towards our bodies?

Our relationship with our bodies affect everything. It affects our quality of life, our confidence, our perception of the world, our adventures, and our relationships. It affects our mental, emotional, and physical health.

Our bodies are a representation of ourselves. Our bodies are the first thing we share with the world. Our bodies is what takes up space in this world (a space that each of us deeply deserve).

The beauty standards of our society (at least in America) are impossible. Did you hear that? I M P O S S I B L E. Jes Baker, in her book Things No One Tells Fat Girls, states that for 95% of women it is completely impossible for their bodies to achieve the current beauty standard of America. In order for a man to achieve the current beauty standard of America, that man would have to dedicate his entire day, everyday, to achieve that body. To me, these statements make the beauty standard null and void (but does not diminish the pressure to achieve those standards).

Lastly, if we added more acceptance, more love, and more positive attitudes towards our bodies, we would change the world. The world is filled with comparison, anger, anxiety, and filled with people that believe they are worthless. If we all began to accept our bodies, allowing ourselves to take up space in this world, we would fill the world with more life. The world would become a fuller and more beautiful place.

How do we pursue a positive attitude towards our bodies?

I think it begins by making the powerful choice to fight. You must decide to face the monster of body-hate and instead, actively pursue more acceptance and more love towards your body.

After you’ve made the brave choice to fight, you have to be gracious to yourself. For me, I have about eighteen years of bad habits towards my body…I need to recognize that I won’t solve those in a day or two. It I going to take time. It takes time to change those patterns. Everyone has good days and everyone has bad days. I have bad body days and so does the next body positive advocate. So, be kind to yourself and recognize that body-love is not just a switch of a flip…but taking a step forward each day.

I think the act of body-love looks like acceptance. It looks like you stop fighting against your body and instead fight for your body. Instead of hiding who you are, boldly share who you are with the world and yourself. Acceptance is a journey, but each day you are presented with small opportunities to accept your body.

Lastly, and probably most importantly, flood your life with truth. This looks like being educated on topics about bodies, and specifically your body. This looks like surrounding yourself with people that are fighting this battle for body acceptance, too. This looks like drowning your thoughts and talk with truths. This looks like declarations (declaring what you want, higher truths, and positive things). I read this book once, Love Yourself: Like your Life Depends on it by Kamal Ravikant, about a man that hated his life and wanted to die. After spending one month consistently telling himself “I love myself” his perspective about himself and life completely changed. ONE MONTH. Declarations change things!

Body love isn’t an easy thing to talk about, face, or pursue. But, as a woman that has fought hard for the love she has towards her body…it is  w o r t h  it! If you are just beginning to give your body the attention and love it deserves, don’t worry! You aren’t alone and welcome to the #BodyLove club!

I want to leave you with this quote from Jes Baker (from her book Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls)…

“We build our lives around the belief that we are undeserving of attention, love, and amazing opportunities, when in reality this couldn’t be further from the truth.”

To all you lovely men and women, YOU deserve some body love, too! I would LOVE to continue this conversation down below. Leave your comments, questions below. Also, tell me how you are loving your body boldly today!

XO,

M

Dirty Humanity

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One of my all-time favorite things about me is that I am a human. That might be an odd thing to say, but I absolutely adore being a human. Being human is the hardest thing that anyone will ever do. Humanity is messy. It is dirty. It is a whole lot of spills, shattered glass, and broken hearts. It is selfish, offended, disappointed. Humanity is difficult, for everyone. Did you grasp that?

Humanity is difficult, for everyone.

The journey of being a human is a long, over-stretched process of each person simply learning how to human better. Regardless of who they are, or how well their name is known, no human ever conquers humanity (other than Jesus Christ, I guess. Lol). Each day each human is faced with a new set of difficult human challenges. I mean, “I am human” is the ultimate excuse. Each day we have more human choices to make on what kind of human we will be.

A huge perk of being human is that we are surrounded by other humans trying to be humans. We are all fumbling along trying to figure this whole thing out.

We aren’t alone in the mess and difficulty of humanity.

If you feel like you are struggling or have been having a really hard time recently, I just want to say that you’re not alone. Human-ing isn’t easy! Insecurity, comparison, and offense are popping up! But that does not mean we have to partner with those things.

Recently, I have been feeling super offended. I hate that, but when I am feeling those feelings I get to choose if I am going to align myself with those feelings. Am I going to align myself with that? Or am I going to rise? Am I going to examine the situation deeper and find the true root or am I going to stay in the shallow end of offense?

Remember, you are simply learning to human better. So, be gracious to yourself as you learn. Do not get angry at yourself for getting a bit of dirt on your hands. Life is messy. and it takes time. So, take your time & get messy

Mess does not always have to be a bad thing. When I look back at my life and I see all of the heart-break, chaos, emotions, and adventures I have been on I am extremely thankful. Each pile of mud I have stepped on has taught me. Each handful of dirt I have picked up has strengthened me. Each shoe, covered in dust from adventure, has shown me new perspectives. Sometimes our mess requires a different attitude. No longer will I view my mess or the messy situations I am facing as failure, instead…I will rise to the occasion and embrace the mess. I will joyfully allow myself to be covered in the mess, accepting it all, and then learn to grow from it.

Just like a flower blooming requires some dirt, you require some dirt to bloom, too.

Having the heart to grow, regardless of how messy it gets, is what is important. Growing and developing as a human, becoming better at human things, is what keeps us moving and stops us from being stagnant. So, regardless of where you are…if you feel like you are a storm raging or if you feel like you are an empty field, it is okay. Just begin to pick up your pieces and build yourself again.

Here is a poem by Pavana that I thought went nicely with this post…

somedays,
i am the flower
somedays,
i am the rain.

-pavana

I hope you enjoyed! Let me know in the comments your human thoughts! Also, would love to hear what you’d like to hear from me, let me know! Thank you for giving me your time and reading my sweet simple words. It is such an honor to have your attention.

XO,

M