The Burnout Culture:7 Ways to Take Back Your Power….

Click here to listen to this episode: https://youtu.be/Ra2V_wonoyk

I couldn’t believe I spent another year working hard to end the school year suffering from burnout. I knew I enjoyed teaching but being exhausted was not in my extended life plan. It was time to change my life and end my abusive relationship with this burnout culture. So, in 2018 I began my journey into working less and living more.

America, the land of the burnout, overworked and underpaid culture, promotes the concept of living to work and working yourself into exhaustion. Americans have lost a sense of personal fulfillment and what it means to have a hobby. Instead, many Americans turn every passion into a business perpetuating an overworked lifestyle. I believe it is time to stop the obsession of chasing money, power, and success. It is time to seize the moment, embrace opportunities, and live your dreams.

Suppose you are wondering how to go from exhaustion to ease; check out the seven tips below. These seven tips will help reclaim your time and take back your life.

  1. Know Your Limits. Let your “No” mean “No” & only say yes to stuff you really want to do.
  2. Unplug. Whether it is unplugging from social media, people or your phone take time to sort through your emotions to gain clarity in the direction you want to go.
  3. Plan a sabbatical. Sometimes the demands of work and life can be overwhelming so take the time to reset by taking a year off from work.
  4. Pace Yourself. Do a little at a time instead of feeling like you have to do everything all at once.
  5. Give yourself permission to be still. It is okay to step back from your life and rejuvenate.
  6. Take a nap. Listen to your body & get the rest you deserve.
  7. Find a hobby not a business. Figure out what you love to do just for fun and remember hobbies are for personal fulfillment versus making it another business venture.

The Travel Series: Work to Live or Live to Work?!? (Part 2)

Listen here to this podcast episode: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmrLU6joNuU

I recently got a chance to watch the new Netflix series, Emily in Paris, which transports me back to the time I lived abroad. Living abroad shift my perspective on the work-life balance. When I was living in Iceland and Italy, I was always aware of the importance of living in the moment. International living helps me grasp the difference between American and European culture.

In America, we live to work because our life rotates around the demands of work. This lifestyle encourages long working hours, making more money, neglecting family and friends, and taking fewer vacations. People who choose to live to work rarely take breaks to enjoy life but escape a life they hate. The feelings of low self-worth, needing validation, and other internal insecurities often plague their lives. Workaholism is the number one addiction in this live to work culture. 

However, European culture promotes a work to live culture. This lifestyle encourages working fewer hours to enjoy a quality of life, making less money to live a specific lifestyle, and utilizing vacation for a time of leisure. People who choose this type of living are happier, productive, and excel in their personal and professional lives because they spend more time enhancing their creative nature.

A work to live mindset has significant benefits than a live to work philosophy if you notice people live longer in other countries versus the U.S. because they promote the importance of a healthy work-life balance.

And so I want to give you a few tips on how to begin your work to live lifestyle.

  1. Prioritize your most important task you need to complete. Figure out the top three things you have to finish at your job so you will not spend time working overtime.
  2. Use your vacation time. Don’t let your vacation time build up instead be proactive by planning your vacation at the beginning of the year.
  3. Plan your exit strategy. If you are working a job that does not promote your ideal lifestyle start looking for different alternatives.

Creating An Intentional Year…

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The year 2020 has taken center stage, and everyone has made their goals, resolutions & vision boards. With the onset of January comes enthusiasm to make our dreams into reality. However, once February steps in, the spark begins to fizzle, and sticking to our vision fades. The dust starts to settle as we find ourselves back to the beginning waiting for a new year to create more goals, resolutions & vision boards.

Does this pattern sound familiar to you? If so, then it’s time to add intention to your year. According to Webster, dictionary intention is defined as an act or instance of determining mentally upon some action or result. This definition can be translated as changing your mindset to create an effect to accomplish your goals. When you are intentional with your new year goals, visions, and more, you can create a year filled with productivity. Many times we go into the new year with the same mindset from the prior year, which generates an insanity cycle. Instead of producing a new year, we produce another monotonous year.

Below I have three simple tips to help you have an intentional 2020!

  1. Transform Your Mind. Before you can have a fabulous new year in this new decade and leap year, you have to be willing to let go of all negative things in your mind. Make a list of your old beliefs that did not serve you then write new beliefs that will help you accomplish your 2020 goals. (Note: Who do you need/have to become to make 2020 a “new” year?)
  2. Declutter without restraint. Letting go is hard, but things flow better when you make room for what you desire. When you declutter all areas of your life, it can help you gain clarity.  (Note: Do not resist letting go of people, places, and things that no longer serve your life.)
  3. Take Action. Dreams, goals and visions only become reality when you take action. Small actions eventually will measure bigger actions towards your goals. (Note: Fear, procrastination and making excuses are distractions to keep you from being intentional. Face the fears and replace them will faith and confidence in what you want to accomplish.)

Pursuing Your Dream

Pursuing Your Dream

 

How many times have you looked at your life and realize you are not living the life you desire? Did someone tell you that your dream was unattainable? Or did you let society dictate to you what was more important in your life?

When we are children, we believe we can be anything we desire to be in life. No matter how ridiculous our dreams may seem, as a child, we believe in our thoughts. As we shift into the teenage years, we start to let society dictate to us which journey will be profitable. We begin to focus on reality instead of the desire of our dreams.

The child inside of us starts to disappear because reality becomes more important than our childhood dreams. Our lives no longer hold enthusiasm or passion; instead, our adulthood has made us apathetic. We begin to forget about the vision we had to live a life full of wonder, passion, and excitement. Our dreams have become faint whispers needing a fresh breath. What can we do to resuscitate our passion for pursuing our dreams?

  • The first step to pursuing your dream is to reconnect with your childhood dreams. When I was young, I enjoyed writing, and I remember my Uncle Dave would always tell me I was going to be a famous writer. I remember in 2003 while living in Sicily, my love for writing reignited when I read Maya Angelou’s poem “Phenomenal Woman” for open mic night. Four years later, I published my first poetry book. The little girl on the inside of me reconnected back with my lifelong dream to become a writer. It was up to me to answer the call!
  • The second step is to write a list of the the things that stopped you from pursuing your dreams. After you recognize the roadblocks begin to write a list of possibilities of following your dreams. (For example: Roadblock: I stopped pursuing my dream of painting because I didn’t think I was a great artist. Possibility: I can start taking art classes at a local gallery to brush up on my artistic skills.)
  • The last step is to surround yourself around people who are living your dream. When you surround yourself around like-minded people you are building a community of support. When you have a support system it fosters a life filled with enjoyment, creativity and success.

So pursue the life you desire instead of burying your dreams. Dreams are meant to be lived out loud!!!

The Art of Being Fear-less!

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Can you really be fearless? Is this concept even possible? In a world that profit off our fears, how can we FEAR-LESS!

One time in your life, you have struggled with or struggle with fear. Fear is something that paralyzes us from living our best life. For the past twelve years of my life, fear was my best friend. I often embraced it to stay mediocre, lingering in my comfort zone. I knew nothing unusual grew out of my comfort zone, but it was comfortable.

I allowed fear to keep me from making decisions because I was scared I would make the wrong ones. However, entertaining fear kept me from living the best versions of my life. I didn’t realize that indecision was a decision I made to live in mediocrity. My fears stemmed from the disappointment of my youngest daughter’s death. I wasn’t living, just existing. But something phenomenal happen, I stopped running from fear and began to face it.

How did I make this shift?

Well, this summer I went home to visit her grave. It was the beginning of self-empowerment, taking my power back and reclaiming my life. When I went to her grave, I no longer felt empty; instead, I felt close to her. For the first time in twelve years, I felt close to her, and this was the beginning of me learning the art of being fearless!

Below are three lessons I have learned on how to fear-less:

  • Admit Your Fears. Running away from your fears do not serve you, but, when you admit your fears, God can help you face them. Many times we stay busy to stop us from facing our fears. ( I didn’t want to face my grief, so I stayed busy for the last twelve years). 
  • Face Your Fears. When you start to face your fears, you realize that most of the fears you have are not real. F.E.A.R is false evidence appearing to be real. Facing your fears are uncomfortable, but it makes you a stronger person.
  • Live Life Abundantly. God wants you to live your life abundantly, but you can’t do that if fear runs your life. You have to be willing to let go of the weight for God to carry the burden.

So, I encourage you if you have lost a loved one in your life take the time to face how you feel so you can heal properly. We all have fears but in order to fear-less we have to face the fears head on!

 

 

Become the Picasso of Your Life

become the picasso of your life

In 2019, I realized to have a different year I needed to become the painter in my own life. So often I have allowed other people to paint their ideas, opinions, and theology for my life which resulted in forgery. Allowing others to paint on the canvas of your life causes fraudulent creations because you are letting them put their vision into action. It is essential to create a vision for your life and be the creator of it. When you put other people into the driver seat of your life it causes chaos. I am learning that when I have a vision, I can’t expect people to understand it or co-sign on it.

A vision is something that gives you clarity about the goals you want to accomplish. When you are not clear about the idea for your life society will cloud your judgment with their perspective. In 2019, it is time for you to take back the paintbrush and begin generating your life masterpiece.

Below I have three specific ways you can become the Picasso of your own life!

1.Create The Vision: Whether it is a vision board, vision journal or collage take the time to define your vision, this will help you see your goals clearly. Then you will be able to create action steps to accomplish them.

2.Stop Explaining Yourself: I have learned the hard way that sometimes it is better to keep your mouth shut. When you prematurely share your dreams, aspirations or goals with others sometimes it can discourage you if their input is not what you wanted to hear. True, we want everyone to be excited about our goals, our life and dreams but understand everyone will not understand the blueprint of your life. God individually designed your life to fit you and others validation is never needed.

3.Creativity is Messy: Understand that the road of life is not a straight line but filled with dead ends, detours and u-turns. When you are handed a blank canvas to create the vision for your dream life know that being flexible is essential. Many artist create beautiful masterpieces by understanding the first stages are messy.

 

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How do you plan to become the Picasso of your life in 2019? (Leave your comment below…)

3 Simple Ways to Make 2019 Your Best Year…

3 Simple Ways To make 2019 Your Best Year....

With the excitement of a new year comes resolutions, goals, and everything under the sun to make 2019 your best year. However, I have three simple ways you can make 2019 a year of ease.

Step 1: Mind Your Own Business.

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Life is so much easier when you learn to focus on your own life and tune into the present moment. When you focus on fine-tuning your life, you will find no time to be worried about what others are doing including obsessing on what other people are posting on social media. You will be able to accomplish your goals quicker and see the beauty in your life.

Step 2: Stay on Energy Saving Mode…

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So often we are exhausted and burnt out from fighting battles that are not our fight. We spend too much energy overthinking, fearing and obsessing over things that create distress.  We feel the need to give our opinion to every situation just to be consumed with other’s problems. When you preserve your power for the essential things in your life, you will be at peace. Exhaustion, stress, worry, and anxiety will slowly drift aside when you put your emotions on energy saving mode.

Step 3: Don’t Join The Circus….

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Every clown or court jester that begs for your attention does not need to be entertain. Two thousand nineteen is not the year to sign up for anyone’s circus of foolery be adamant about setting boundaries and ignoring the distraction. To live your best life in 2019, you will have to learn the power of ignoring things that don’t require your attention.

Comment below and tell me, which step you will focus on this month to make 2019 your best year? 

Why road trips are great for writers….

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Imagine an open road filled with many destinations but there is no specific direction you want to take. Each road leads to an adventure where stories start to ruminate in your mind. The people you meet, the places you see and the things you do are all connected to a bigger picture. The bigger picture is the stories waiting to come alive. Road trips have the power to bridge the gap between creativity and inspiration.

I believe road trips are essential for a writer. Writers not only need time to write but they need a place of inspiration. Sometimes the best inspiration happens when you are living life. Last month, I decided to embark on an epic road trip with my daughter and best friend. It had been nine years since I went on an extended road trip. I was determined not to drive twelve hours to my hometown.

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However, in the end trying to fight the inevitable was useless so I let go, let God  and the road trip came to fruition.  As I reflect on all that took place on our road trip I realize how important it was for me to get outside my comfort zone. The trip was epic and fun.

Road trips are a great way to explore different cities, meet interesting people and reconnect with friends and family.  As a writer road trips help us reconnect with our five senses, live in the moment and gain clarity. Below are three reasons why road trips are great for writers.

1. You tap into your five senses. There is a great power when you tap into your five senses: sight, sound, taste, smell and touch play a major part in developing characters and the setting of the story. Road trips force us to pay attention to unfamiliar surroundings.

2. New Places & Faces. Road trips allow you to meet interesting people and explore new places. These two elements can help a writer develop characters and incorporate the place they visit into their story. Each person you meet may have a distinct personality trait you want to integrate into your character’s development.

3. Gain Clarity. Every writer needs time away to unplug and refresh their thoughts. Road trips help you relax, rejuvenate and reboot your thinking. When you take time to clear your mind your thoughts become organized. You will be able to come back to a writing project with a new perspective.

 

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Be Raw, Be Flawed, Be You!

Be Raw, Be Flawed, Be You!

When you look at a rock you see nothing exciting or beautiful about its features. A rock has no human form, people would consider it to be cold and aloof.  Yet a rock is apart of God’s creation just like a flower. However, we may say that a flower is more beautiful than a rock because of the outside features.

Nonetheless, just like a rock some people are hard on the outside yet beauty lies within. You never know what transpired in their life to make them bitter. Their bitterness is an accessory expressing their hurt.

I remember a period in my life where I accessorize bitterness. My heart was harden by traumatic experiences that happened. I was tired of life disappointing me over and over again. So, I created walls around my heart. I thought if I became emotionally unavailable then I would not get hurt. My elusive behavior kept me from love & fully living.

As I look back on my life I realize I was who I needed to be at that time. I understand that regretting who I was in the past does not serve me. I was raw, flawed and me. Those who saw me as a mess didn’t understand I was a rough draft. My blueprint of greatness was still pending.

Many times we judge ourselves for the raw version of who we are instead of being gentle with ourselves. When you are raw it forces you to be real; unrefined and unpolished. For instance, when a new singer produce their first album it is appealing because their vocals are unfiltered. Once they become commercialized they lose their authenticity; the record label want them to go with an image or sound that sells records versus talent. Growth is a beautiful thing but I never want to lose the thing that makes me relatable.

So, I urge you to be raw, be flawed & be you even if it is ugly right now. Don’t regret the rough draft you are at this moment. As you pursue a better version of yourself you will begin to peel back the blueprint so people can see you….the masterpiece!

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The Joy of Solitude….

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Long holiday weekends are warrant for spending time in solitude. This weekend was no exception. After spending the last two months suffering from exhaustion all I wanted to do is simply nothing. I can honestly confess I am tired of going hard; doing more to get more to be more.

When I lived overseas I cherished life in slow motion. Since I’ve been back in the U.S. life on autopilot is the norm. I constantly battle with this insane concept. So, I decided for the next 30 days I will spend time replenishing my mind, body and spirit.

I will take intentional time to slow down and be present in the moment. It is refreshing to be still, marinating in life’s precious moments. Below, I made a list of  ways you can replenish yourself.

1. Read your favorite novel.

2. Take a lavender epsom salt bath.

3. Unplug from social media for a day, week, month or year.

4. Take a walk without your phone.

5. Sleep.

6. Meditate.

7. Get creative and color.

8. Go to the beach.

9. Watch a sunrise.

10. Watch a sunset.

11. Go to a bookstore.

12. Staycation; reserve a hotel room in your local town.

13. Binge watch your favorite Amazon Prime show or Netflix episodes.

14. Stay in your house all day.

15. Cook your favorite meal.

16. Listen to your favorite music streaming station.

17. Aromatherapy; buy some aromatherapy candles & burn them in your house.

These are just a few ways you can replenish your mind, body and spirit. I dare you to make your own list and spend a day, week or month in replenishment. How are you going to replenish yourself this summer?