Thursday, May 31, 2012

How to Confront Your Joy Snatchers

Do you ever feel like you're constantly being drained of your positive energy?  Or that you're so distracted by peripheral things that you can't focus on what truly matters to you?  Have you ever slowed down enough and taken a close look at your life to find the sources that are draining you?  In this post, we'll call these things joy snatchers.  This was originally posted on The Write Curl Diary

What are Joy Snatchers?

Joy snatchers are those little things that pick away at your peace of mind and make you feel like poop. Joy snatchers can be people, places or things. They distract you when you are trying to be productive. They cause strain and stress in your relationships. Perhaps they bring out a side of you that you don't like or pull negative energy out of you. They can trigger feelings of depression and self-loathing and are often responsible for those random bad days when you're in a funk and you can't really explain why.

What are your joy snatchers? Here are just a few possibilities:


Maybe instead of appreciating what you have, you feel slighted because you think others have more or better than you. Do you sometimes want to feel happy for people but can't seem to see past your own perceived lack? Have you ever started off the day feeling great and then heard someone else's good news and suddenly had an attack of self-pity? *Raises Hand* This is not a pretty thing to admit in the least, but we've all been there and this does not make you a bad person!

Lack of Reciprocity

Do you overlook the meaningful relationships in your life and focus on the the broken or non-existent ones? Perhaps you invest a lot of time and energy into building a relationship with someone who is not giving you the same investment and you're upset about it - trying to figure out what's wrong with you? Why won't they like you or love you as much as you like or love them? They don't acknowledge your efforts or your gestures and you keep on trying to impress them to no avail.


Do you entertain any and everything that people have to say to you? The media? Your neighbors? Your family? Co-workers? If you're open to it, everywhere you turn, someone will be complaining about something, gossiping about something, spreading fear in covert ways and leaving you wondering why you suddenly feel so heavy. Sometimes it's intentional and sometimes it's not. It's up to you to restrict access to your consciousness and not let everything in. You are not a dumping zone or a vessel to catch and recycle everyone's fears and bad feelings.

How do you control Joy Snatchers?

First, you have to recognize them and their impact on the quality of your life. You have to want to be free of their control over you. Get to know the sources. Search yourself honestly and without judgement to determine why you are susceptible to these things. Begin to train your mind to embrace Abundance instead of Lack and Faith instead of Fear.

There's no magic solution and your journey to freedom will be unique. It has helped me tremendously to be brutally honest with myself and know my triggers. What has helped you overcome sources of negative energy in your life? Or, what specific joy snatchers do you need to deal with?
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Friday, May 25, 2012

Love Note - Friday 5/25/12

Have an awesome holiday weekend!  xo
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Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Challenge to Pursue Life and Love Over Things

There is a quote that is attributed to the Dalai Lama floating around the internet. When asked what most surprised him about humanity, he responded: 

‘Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.’

How many of us live in the way described above? We are constantly running trying to keep our head above water, and then we look up and years of superficial happiness, but elusive joy have passed us by.

We are a consumer culture. We spend so much time and energy spending money we don’t have to buy things we don’t need to impress people we don’t really know or like. As a result of this, we clutter our lives with superficiality and miss out on what is substantive. 

I challenge you to live. To stop complaining; stop surviving; stop living a life filled with nervous anxiety. 

I consistently see people who put off what they really wanted for a later date and died without that later date ever coming. Spend meaningful time with your children; with your parents; visit (not text) friends; cut out some of the TV; spend more time thinking about something more substantive than the clothes you will wear and the hair on your head. Life is not a collection of things. Things are fillers for a lack of life. Pursue life and love—not things.

-Lawrence Ware
(To read Lawrence's bio, click here.)

Photo via Pinterest
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Monday, May 21, 2012

8 Ways to Avoid Living With Regret


If you're reading this, you probably have a desire to maintain a positive perspective on life.  You get up everyday with the intention of living your life to the fullest.  You don't want drama or chaos to invade your mind.  But you have some regrets - and surely some bad habits as well.   You're constantly having to make choices and sometimes it's hard to keep yourself happy without disappointing others and vice versa. 

I'd like to share eight principles to help you simplify your life and live mindfully.  The key to living without regret is being true to yourself - plain and simple.  Everything falls into place after that. 

Save.  We all know that rainy days are sure to come but knowing that you have a nest egg to fall back on is immensely comforting.  A disciplined approach to saving will do wonders for your peace of mind. Even if you can only save five dollars here and there, be consistent about it and increase the amount when you can.

Spend.  Don't take yourself so seriously that you save all of your fun for some far off day in the future.   Why not appreciate your hard work now?  Treat yourself every now and then.  Wear your sexy panties, just because.  Save up and buy yourself a designer bag, just because.

Be honest.  First and foremost, know thyself.  Then, say what you need to say.  Ask what you need to ask.  Don't be afraid to change your mind and speak up about it.  Wave your flag confidently, no matter what color it is. 

Go to the doctor.  Nothing is more distracting than an ignored health concern.  Don't put yourself at risk because you are afraid of what you will find out.  Stick to your periodic wellness visits and have problems checked out promptly.   

Stay in touch.  I'm sure you're busy.  I know that I am.  Don't get so busy that you forget to connect with your loved ones. Tomorrow isn't promised. 

Don't procrastinate.  Unfinished tasks cause unnecessary stress.  How many times have you waited until the last minute to do something and realized that you need more time?  Or that the resources you need are now gone? For me, this has been one of the most difficult habits to break.  I struggle with this on a regular basis.  Got any tips?

Don't overpromise.  Be realistic about your priorities.  You can't put yourself at the mercy of what everyone else needs from you.  If you don't have boundaries and a good amount of self-awareness, you will end up disappointing yourself and others. 

Forgive and let go.  The biggest distraction from today's joy is the pain of yesterday.  How much time do we waste feeling victimized?  Plotting revenge?  When you forgive, you are proving that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.  Yes, pain does indeed change you.  It makes you more beautiful, if you let it.

What are some other ways that we can avoid living with regret?  How does it hurt you when you continue to carry it with you?
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Friday, May 18, 2012

Love Note - Friday 5/18/12

Happy Friday! We hope you choose to be positive this weekend, no matter what life throws your way. xo
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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Pretty Things: 6 Delicate Gold Adornments I Love

Leonardo Da Vinci said that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.  I love the simplicity of the following pieces.  They really capture my evolving personal style - feminine and unassuming.  That's how I'm feeling these days.

Rose Gold


I love golden leaves

His/Her birthstone ring

Toe rings are great to cover up blemishes

What accessories are you loving right now?!
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Monday, May 14, 2012

5 Things I’ve Learned from My Mom’s Example

The older I get, the more I appreciate my Mom: her beauty, her candor and her generosity among other things. But more than that, I realize how much I’ve learned about life, just by watching her and seeing her example. Yesterday, while spending time with her for Mother’s Day, some of those lessons became top-of-mind, so I thought I would share a few:

Pearls are the perfect accessory for EVERY outfit—including satin pajamas.

It’s a rare occasion that you’ll find my mother without her pearls—even when she is sleeping. It’s a hilarious habit that I tease her about often, but it always reminds me that you don’t need an occasion to look and feel your best, and that being sophisticated and ladylike is always in style.

It’s never too late to further your education.

When I was a junior in undergrad, my mom went to grad school. Here I was 18 and she, obviously much older, yet we were both in college at the same time. Our graduation ceremonies even fell on the same day (she attended mine). Seeing her drive two-hours, 2-3 days per week to attend classes for two years also made me realize that circumstances don’t dictate your success; that is determined by tenacity and dedication. She could’ve easily said “Since there isn’t a school near me that offers the program I want, I guess now isn’t the time”. Instead, she made the sacrifice—it wasn’t easy, but it paid off. When I’m beating myself up for not yet obtaining a master’s degree, I’m reminded that it’s still an achievement that is within my reach.

You have to know when to give to others, and when to give to yourself.

My mom is one of the most generous and giving people I know. She’s always volunteering, completing tasks for the church, cooking a meal to share and taking care of her family. People flock to her because of that giving spirit. But—she also knows when she needs to take some time to herself to regroup and recharge so that she has something left to give. As busy as my life is right now, I’m learning (albeit the hard way) that it’s okay—necessary even--to slow down, shut out the world, and attend to myself from time to time.

With faith and patience, things will always work out.

There have been moments that my mom had faith in me, even when I didn’t have faith in myself. No matter how difficult the situation I’m going through, she always reminds me to be patient, to have faith, and that things always have a way of working themselves out—even when we can’t see the solution.

Being a mother is one of the most difficult, yet most rewarding things a woman can ever do.

Becoming a parent doesn’t mean that you suddenly become perfect and incapable of making mistakes. It doesn’t mean that all the answers to life’s tough questions magically appear. All you can do is give the best of yourself, and try to teach your children to become better than you are. When I was a teenager, I used to often say that I never wanted to be like my mom. As I’ve grown into my roles as a woman and a mother, I’ve found that I’m a lot like her—and I couldn’t be happier.

I hope you enjoyed your Mother’s Day—whether you were being celebrated by your children, or spending time with your own mother (biological or otherwise). Is there anything your mother showed or taught you (whether intentionally or not) that has helped shaped the person you are today? Feel free to share with us in the comments section.
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Friday, May 11, 2012

Love Note - Friday 5/11/12

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Thursday, May 10, 2012

How to Avoid Being an Emotional Cutter

Have you ever heard of teens who physically cut their bodies as a way of dealing with emotional pain? They are called cutters. They commit this physical act of hurting themselves as a way to focus; thinking that they won’t feel the emotional hurt if they are focused on the physical pain.

It’s not always a logical connection, but in many ways adults can be cutters as well--emotionally. Have you ever felt that “fight or flight” emotion? Ever felt like there was something you needed to do, but couldn’t get motivated to do it until you were backed into a corner? You know—not getting your finances together until you’ve spent 6 months close to being evicted from your apartment; or not getting a job until you’re so severely in debt that it will take you years to climb out; or quitting your job without having a new one because you feel like that will force you to do the search.

Holding off on making a change until the very last second is, in a sense, punishing yourself emotionally--like a cutter would punish his or herself physically. So how can you avoid getting to this point? With two very important things: planning and patience.


Figure out what your goal is, and then write down the logical steps to get there. Give yourself a time limit: can you do this in a week? One year? Five years? Set reasonable expectations for yourself and be adamant about working consistently toward your goal. You won’t see progress overnight but you will be able to track that change weekly, or monthly or yearly—if you stick to it.


And that’s where the patience comes in. Yes—you’re frustrated at your circumstances, but knowing that you have a plan in place to change them gives you the upper hand. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, just take a look at how far you’ve come, and then update your plan; this gives you something to focus on other than what’s upsetting you.

Have you ever felt like you were an emotional cutter? What other tools did you use to turn your frustration around?

Photo via Pinterest
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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

10 Ways My 10 Year Old Makes Me a Better Person

my baby

Love, joy, worry, awe and aggravation. These are just a few of the feelings that swirl around inside of me when I look at this picture.  This is my only son, my manchild, my heart and he turned 10 a couple weeks ago.  If you're wondering about the aggravation part, spend one day with a 10 year old boy and you'll know what I'm talking about.

While I have to admit that the thought of him growing up terrifies me, I know that I'm here to guide him - not stifle him.   I don't want my desire to protect him to ultimately hinder him from becoming a strong, confident man.  Being a mother is teaching me so much about myself and my capacity to manage the ultimate vulnerability - which to me is raising children.   

Here are 10 of the things that I've learned from my son that have made me a better person:

1.  Unconditional love.  He gave me my first taste of pure, die for you, do anything for you, love.  My love for him helped me reconnect with my spirituality.   

2.  Vulnerability.  Love liberates. Ego holds.  As much as I want to keep him close and protect him, I know that I have to let him go to experience life for himself.

3.  Purpose.  When I was 24 years old and had my son, my personal affairs were a sloppy mess.  I gradually put my life in order so that I could provide a better life for him.

4. Courage.  My son told me not too long ago that he feels safe when he's with me.  I don't think it was a huge deal to him, but it was a moment that I know I'll never forget.  Even when I feel like I don't know what I'm doing and I want to give up, I remember his confidence in me and I press on.

5. Accountability.  He's always watching.  I try to show him that it's okay to make mistakes, but you must learn from them and take responsibility for them. He doesn't really get it yet, but I trust that he will.

6.  Faith.  Raising kids in the world we live in, I could easily drive myself crazy with worry and anxiety.  But that's no way to live.  So, when I'm worried, I just squeeze him and pray over him and let him go.  Learning this has helped me to let go in other areas of my life.

7.  Detachment.  No one likes to be smothered, especially boys.  I'm learning to give him space and not feel threatened by his desire to do more things on his own. 

8.  Persistance.  We've recently discovered that Math does not come as easily to him as Reading and English.  He gives up very easily when he doesn't understand a new math concept.  It drives me crazy to see him not trying, but it also makes me question myself and the things I give up on quickly because they don't come easy to me. 

9.  Shine.  He knows what he's good at and how to charm his audience. He's still a little rough around the edges with it, but instinctively, he knows his strengths and how to use them to his advantage. I can't wait to see how he fine tunes this as he gets older. I'm learning some of that confidence from him.

10.  Dream Big.  He wants to be an artist, a teacher, a basketball player, a millionaire and a ninja when he grows up.  And he doesn't see any reason why he can't be all those things.   In his mind there are no limits, and really, why should there be? 

How have the children in your life inspired you?!

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Friday, May 4, 2012

Love Note - Friday 5/4/12

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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Affirmations for When You Feel Like Giving Up

In hindsight, things are usually not quite as bad as they seemed while you were in the moment. Try remembering that when you’re at the height of your frustration and feeling like you want to quit. If you can hold on just a bit longer, you might be right on the edge of your breakthrough. Here are some affirmations to help manage your self-talk and bring you off the ledge.

I accept the given details of my circumstances. I acknowledge that there are things about my situation that I do not like, but I know that as long as I continue working towards my ideal outcome, things will work out in my favor.

When I feel frustrated, I recognize that I need to turn inward and ask Spirit for help.

I practice changing my self-dialogue and bridging my negative thoughts back to positive ones. Instead of “I am frustrated”, I will try “I am frustrated in this moment, but I know it will get better because ___”.

I refuse to believe in “I can’t.” God—please show me how to do this.

I will take time for myself and focus on doing the things that make me happy; instead of letting my thoughts be clouded by things that do not make me happy.

Even in my darkest moments, I trust that the Universe is moving on my behalf and that I am being taken care of.

I know that patience pays off. I am thankful for the opportunity to learn patience in this moment.

Photo source
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