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.
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.
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.
Plan your exit strategy. If you are working a job that does not promote your ideal lifestyle start looking for different alternatives.
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!!!
With summer coming many people are excited about vacation and spending time with their family. However, I am passionate about creating memorable moments with my daughter. Although I am going to visit my family, I have decided to shorten my trip and plan smaller trips throughout the summer for my daughter and me to enjoy. It is so easy to get caught up in focusing on visiting so many people during your time off, however, what is more, important you planning trips that make you happy this summer even if it means disappointing others. Vacation is about unplugging from your routine and creating memories that will last a lifetime.
My main focus this summer will be unplugging from social media, reading books I love and being present in the moment. We can produce the most fabulous things when we focus on the present moment.
Below are three ways to create a memorable summer:
1. Unplug. The present moment is the most important moment in our lives. This summer take the time to take a break from social media and savor the memories.
2. Do what makes your soul happy. Too often we spend endless summers traveling to see family but have not schedule time to do what we desire. Make sure you schedule a personal trip in for yourself this summer, you deserve it!
3. Create Memories That Last For A Lifetime. Spend this summer exploring new places and spaces to produce memories that will last forever. The goal is to spend money on experiences not things.
So, I challenge you this summer to do what makes you happy, focus on the present moment and create memories that will last forever!
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.
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.
Wow, I can’t believe next week Sunday is my birthday. My 30’s journey has been a beautiful evolution of “self”. I have been able to spend the years of my thirties facing issues of my past, closing the door to my past, making intentional changes to my life and most of all becoming the woman I desire to be.
As a single mom I have endured many hardships and personal setbacks but my 30’s have been my years of reflection, refreshing, starting over again and creating the life I desire.
I have become comfortable in my own skin. I love the woman I have evolved into at this point in my life. However, I know the journey is a continuous process. I am excited about my future ahead.
Since, I am commemorating the last year of my 30’s, I am sharing 39 lessons with you I learned during my 30’s journey.
Here are the 39 lessons I learned in my 30’s:
1. Confidence. Confidence is something that starts within & it is something you work on everyday.
2. No validation needed. You are grown,stop asking for permission.
3. No is a complete sentence. Stop explaining yourself.
4. Mind your own business. It never matters what others are doing. Stay focused on your life.
5. No deprivation. Stop depriving yourself of the things you love & desire.
6. Know Your Worth. You have to know your worth to know what you deserve then you will stop giving discounts to people who undermine your quality.
7. Self-care is important. Self-care is about preservation. You have to put it into practice for all areas of your life (mental, emotional, financial, physical & spiritual).
8. Trust God.
9. Get out your own way.
10. Ask for help.
11. Be gentle with yourself you are doing the best you can.
12. Stop procrastinating.
13. Do it afraid.
14. Get out your comfort zone.
15. Be your own best friend.
16. Speak up. You have a voice use it.
17. Stop chasing. You don’t have to chase a man, friends, people or dreams. All the things meant for you will come at the right time.
18. Travel somewhere new.
19. Date yourself.
20. Believe in yourself.
21. Do what is best for you.
22. Be unapologetic about your greatness.
22. Set boundaries.
23. Spend time with those that celebrate you not tolerate you.
24. Celebrate yourself.
25. Be patience.
26. Saunter through life.
27. Let things flow.
28. Detach yourself from the outcome.
29. Stop the comparison. When you learn to value your life you will feel no need to compare your life to others.
30. Have faith.
31. Smile often, Laugh more.
32. Have fun. Include more bliss, pleasure & enjoyment in your life.
33. Be ok with not being ok.
34. Be vulnerable.
35. Live life. Don’t just exist live your life alive.
36. Reinvent yourself.
38. Pursue your dreams. No matter how old you are you can always pursue the things you desire.
39. Be limitless. Don’t put limitations on your life.
When you think of the words “losing the weight” I am sure a flood of ideas come to your mind. These three words can be interpreted in various ways but, for me losing the weight has been my 2018 journey. In the last five months I have found myself lost in translation, no longer identifying with my old system of beliefs but embracing new beliefs. The things I allowed to define me no longer could fit into my new belief system.
Fear was a weight that held me back from living my best life. Once I began to lose the weight of fear I began to see my life unfold. When you allow fear to run your life you stay in a comfort zone. And you know nothing brilliant or great grows from comfort zones.
Below is a few ideas to help you lose the weight of fear:
1. Do It Afraid. In order to face your fears you have to be brave enough to do it in the midst of your fear.
2. Assess Your Beliefs. More than likely what you fear is not supported by truth or fact so let it go and collect new data. F.E.A.R is False Evidence Appearing Real!
3. Feed Faith, Starve Fears. In order to weaken the hold of fear you have to be willing to starve it and feed your life with faith which creates confidence.
4. Rock Confidence. Fear can’t reside where confidence overrides. In order to fear-less you have to believe in yourself. Confidence gives you the faith to conquer fear.
So, which idea will you use this week to help you lose the weight of fear. Comment below in the comment section…
In the last three months I can truly say I have been on an inner personal journey . I am learning how to face my fears, be vulnerable and communicate in an authentic way. Nonetheless, each journey has introduced me to a different me. I am evolving out of my cocoon and flourishing into a beautiful butterfly. I know as I evolve reinvention becomes an important part of the journey. Reinvention is the key to growth in life.
If you think about it companies are always reinventing their brands to appeal to different demographics. Companies take time to reassess what has worked for their brand and what has not worked for them. Just like a company, we should always reassess ourselves to see what methods in our lives are working and which ones need to be eliminated. Reinvention is the answer to transforming our lives into something new.
Below I will share three concepts on why reinventing yourself is so important.
1) Pain changes you. When we endure a tragedy in our lives it has the power to change us. I remember in 2007 when my two-year old daughter died it changed my life forever. The power of losing a loved one changed my perspective on life. Pain causes you to step back, assess your lose and recreate a better you.
2) Starting Over. Sometimes it is hard to start over but starting over gives you a new outlook on life. It opens you up to many possibilities of living a life of adventure.
3) Nothing grows from a comfort zone. If you find yourself frustrated, irritated or annoyed nine times out of ten you are outgrowing the space you occupy. Many people allow fear to keep them hostage to their comfort zone. The biggest thing I have learned is that comfort zones are great but nothing phenomenal or extraordinary grows out of them.
Pain, starting over and escaping your comfort zone are essential things that help you reinvent your life. Reinventing yourself is important so it can unlock extraordinary things. So today, I challenge you to evolve past the norm and be intentional about reinventing an area of your life that seems stagnant. Once you begin the process you will see life from a different perspective!
At the end of 2017, I learned a valuable lesson concerning the complexity of life. The lesson taught me to embrace all the things life has to offer. It is easy for us to celebrate the good things but can we rejoice in tribulation.
Everything we endure in life is meant to help us grow and expand our horizon. True, sometimes the difficult times make it hard to celebrate. But when life brings unexpected moments we have to realize the messy parts make life interesting.
The messy parts challenge us to see our lives as a perfect masterpiece curated by God. As our lives are designed by every path we begin to understand that it is an adventure.
Life’s adventures gives us the passion to experience each moment. Instead of rushing through the moments we start to saunter. Sauntering ignites self-awareness; being present in the moment. When we are totally present our senses become alive.
Whether good or bad life is an adventure worth experiencing. Without the experiences life beomes mundane. So, if your life seems hopeless right now just remember your next adventure is waiting. All you have to do is embrace it and enjoy the ride!
I can attest to the colloquialism of life that it is a journey not a destination. Life is filled with unexpected detours, stop signs, roadblocks, turning lanes and much more. However, in the midst of it all, life is an adventure. In order to live the adventure you mustn’t resist the lessons it has to offer.
I have spent almost a decade trying to adjust to a new life since I left the military in 2008. The journey has been filled with ups and downs but it has equipped me to gain sea legs to weather the storm. I have come to the realization that life is filled with Alice and The Wonderland moments. Every time I tried to resist the ebb and flow of life I would wipe out like a person learning how to surf for the first time.
When you are open to the journey of life it will reveal serendipitous moments. These moments will lead you to your destiny. Your destiny may lead you to great adventures and opportunities. Life is not made for the person who love comfort zones instead it challenges you to get out your comfort zone. Comfort zones are security blankets that keep you stagnant.
Stagnancy leads to a life filled with no adventure, boredom, fear and lack. Lack creates a feeling of dissatisfaction which leads to discontentment. As you muddle through your journey be flexible in the ways that life will unfold.