Welcoming in the New!

I have to say New Years is quickly growing to be my most favorite time of the year. Do you feel the same? Or maybe it’s just me getting older… Either way I love the feeling of a new start, which is ironic because I don’t do well with change- go figure. I love the breath of fresh air that comes with the new year. A clean slate. A fresh start. A do-over for all that has gone wrong or undone in the past year. A time for reflection. Quiet. Calm and stillness always come over me. No matter what happened in the past year it doesn’t matter. Because it’s a New year. A New you. A fresh start. A new beginning. It feels like the perfect opportunity to start something new…Paul says, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV
For me that newness looks like completely turning my life upside down. Taking inventory. Getting rid of the garbage. All things tangible and intangible. Letting go of the good to make room for the great! Making room. Creating space. Letting in the love, light, and most of all joy! Lots of it! 
Oh I will be so thankful to say goodbye and good riddens to 2015. It certainly was a year of hurt, heartache, despair, health scares, and heaviness. With all the bad there was some good. And the good is what got me through. The good is what led me right to where I am. Right here. Right now. Would I have chosen this path? Never in a million years. Pain and heartache is terrible, but from it comes growth. From heart heavy experiences newness is birthed. Right before our eyes. I learned this year that heartache is a part of life. It’s real, and we are all going to experience it at some point. I am beginning to realize this. It’s a terrible thing to walk through, but for me it has made me truly appreciate all that remains. Heartache and pain force us to look back on the wonderful, happy memories we were fortunate enough to experience. These brief moments help to fill in those cracks, sometimes craters, we have experienced. They give way to new found connection and friendships. Authentic connection. Deep life breathing relationships.

  

2016 Here I Come!!

My wish for 2016….
2015 was filled with events that I never imagined happening. This year was filled with incredible life-giving events like finding my love for yoga, creating new friendships, and becoming genuinely present to everything in my life. It was also a year filled with gut wrenching grief over the loss of my uncle.  The man who raised me. 2015 was a year filled with new routines, and schedules for my husband and I, as well as our kids. It has been a year of me finally opening up and sharing about my imperfections and inabilities and in doing that realizing that it is okay to have those imperfections and inabilities. It was a year of realizing that perfection is exhausting! It was a year filled with more heaviness than happiness. It was a year of complete vulnerability and growth. It was a year of digging the deepest I have ever dug to find out who I am, what I stand for, and what I want for my future.  It was a year of authenticity, and integrity. It was a year of finding out that I am worthy. Worthy of happiness, worthy of love, worthy of rest, worthy of not having to do it all, or have it all together. This was the year I discovered meditation and the miraculous changes, for the better, it brought into my life. This was a year with a serious health scare for my husband which really called me out on my way of living, and showed me just how precious our relationship is to me.  It was a year of clearing my mental fog, and discovering what makes me happy. Discovering what fills me up. What brings me joy. And all of this was just skimming the surface. I am so glad to have discovered all of these realizations because I can use them to dig deeper  in 2016.  And after all this year has taught and brought into my life I figured out exactly what my word for 2016 should be, and it couldn’t be any more perfect.

A few years ago I started a New Years tradition by choosing a word for the year ahead, and after taking a few weeks to think about my word for 2016 I tossed around a few options I finally made a decision. It just came to me. It hit me on the head like a ton of bricks.  My decision was sealed, and all doubt I had ceased during the last few days when this word kept popping up in my life in the strangest places. Songs, writings, conversations, yoga practices. Seriously like 1,000 times in just a few days! Which make me SO happy!  I can’t help but believe it was a sign that this was truly meant to be my word for the coming year.
My word for 2016 is JOY. I want to experience joy every single day. I want to experience it in the biggest and the smallest of ways. I want to be fully present to joy.  Authentic, life breathing JOY.  I want to do more of what brings me joy. Yoga, meditation, coffee dates, blogging, reading, family time.  I want to bring others joy. Serving, listening, caring, supporting. I want to feel so much joy that it overflows from my cup and fills the cup of others! Hallelujah!  I want to be filled with so much joy that I become a light. A light that others can see. A light that others can feel.  A light that I am able to share. A light that ignites the light in others. I want to experience joy in all aspects of my life. Whatever I am doing I want to be joyful while doing it. In order to be more intentional and fully submerge my life with JOY in the next year I am going to start a JOY JAR. This joy Jar will contain an event from every.single.day that brings me joy. I am excited that I will be able to look back on 2016 and remember all of the joy that I was lucky enough to experience. All of the joy I was able to share. All of the joy I was able to spread. And you wanna know something even better? I am starting this TODAY!!  I’m not waiting 4 more days to experience the amazingness of joy in my life. I feel joy already in just starting this project so I am committing to this and starting to fill my joy jar today!!

What word would you choose for 2016?

10 things I hope to do differently for ME in 2015

As I reflect back on the past year there are a few things I am looking forward to having a fresh start with in 2015.This is a list for me. This isn’t a list for our family, or for my marriage. It is just a list of what I wish to work on for me this coming year.

So here’s my list of what I hope to do differently for ME in 2015…

1. Disconnect-I have already begun this process to quiet the noise.  For me this has to come in baby steps. From the first days when AIM instant messenger connected I remember sitting in front of a computer for hours at a time and just typing, typing, typing away. Back then that was the only form of online communication that was prevalent. Nowadays it is literally all around us. We have access to it 24/7.  I run this blog, and have a successful skin care business ran mostly online and through social media.   These days I am realizing it is super important to put away the screen, the phone, the device and just be present. To live in the moment.  So for me, this change is all about finding a happy medium {is that even a thing?!} For now I have chosen to “hide” my social media apps on my phone so it is just a little bit harder for me to easily access them, or at the very least look down and see all of the notifications piling up and feeling the tug to check them right.now! Remember…baby steps!

2. Separate work & home– This is probably one of my biggest struggles.  If you aren’t already aware I run a successful skin care side business in addition to my 9-5 job!  For months now I have been wanting to set concrete work hours for this fun side job of mine.  Already having a full time job, and a family at home, I need to keep my sanity intact as much as possible. Having strict, and seperate business hours for my skin care business will allow me the flexibility, and freedom to enjoy all areas of my life to the fullest. Plus, if I am trying to return emails and place orders for clients while wrangling a 4 year old who is in the middle of his melt down the likelihood of error on either end is pretty high! So from here on I want to be full committed to each task I tackle and go at it 100%.

3. House Rules– I’m not sure why it took me so long to implement this idea, but after discussing the idea with “Mr. Mom in the Middle” we have decided that having a set of house rules will be good for our home. Just like our kids have rules for their classroom that they take part in thinking about and coming up with we are going to do the same for our house. We will sit down as a family of 5 and compile everyone’s idea’s on one list. I will then have that list blown up, printed and framed to hang in and around our house. My hope in all of this is to kill the chaos.

4. To give more Grace-to others as well as myself…this my friends is not easy. You know the saying we are our own worst critics? Well say hello to the worlds worst critic with a sprinkle of perfectionist!  After going through this past year I realized that while I need to take care of our house and all that comes with it, and my family I also need to take care of myself.  This is not such an easy pill to swallow for a self sufficient, fully independent momma like me.  I want to extend grace more to those around me as well as myself. I want to have more patience, kindness, understanding, and compassion.   I also want to learn to “let it go” I am the type of person who can and will replay something someone has said to me 50 times in my head. A few months ago someone said to me, “Nobody can make you feel a certain way, only you can let them make you feel a certain way” and I thought to myself how true! Why should I allow someone to rent space in my head and cause so much toxicity? So this my friends is something I am constantly, and on a daily basis, working through and on.

5. To not focus on the numbers-this is something I have focused on for far.too.long! It also has a lot to do with disconnecting. Can I tell you how sick I am of posting something only to go back minutes later and see how many likes it has received? Which then in turn either leaves me filling empty or incredibly fulfilled? Say WHAT?! Since when did others opinions, or time, or likes justify who I am, what I stand for, and what I do. So my hopes in disconnecting from Social Media more frequently are that I will not base my feelings, success, and production on numbers from others.

6. To post reminders of Who I Am. It’s no surprise that I am a Christian women and that I openly talk about it. I feel like there are days where I need to live it more. It’s one thing to talk about something-it is a whole different thing to actually do something about it. Actions speak louder than words.  I am hoping to start this by finding a really great bible study and diving in head first.  Also, I am going to start writing down bible verses that speak to me and handing them on the fridge, leaving them in my purse, the car, etc. These are not to be “showy” or to be used as “proof”, but rather they are for accountability and reminding. Lord knows I need reminding during the day. My hope is that I can avoid those messy mommy/wife moments that happen by stopping, reading, breathing, remembering, and moving on.

7. To begin getting out of debt– notice I didn’t say get out of debt completely. I know it’s just not possible. I know it’s going to be a long, uphill battle. I know it’s not going to be easy, but I also know how worth it it is going to be when I don’t have the weight of this weighing me down- literally! These days so many college students are burdened with student loan debt. I am no different. So I want to put myself on the path that allows me to start paying down my debt as quickly as possible. I am in the process of scheduling an appointment for hubby and I with a financial adviser and I am hoping this along with our zero budget will allow for us to begin a program to start paying down my/our debt.

8. To take better care of my health– shhhh! I will let you all in on a little secret this year…. I am turning 30 this year 😦 This is my year for vitamins, oils, and anything healthy.  Exercise, working out, shakes, whatever it takes to get me feeling my best I am willing to give a try! I am already back into my T25 workouts.  I would love to get into some great meditation/yoga for the soul workouts…if you have any suggestions please let me know!

9. To go to Influence Conference-I know, I know this is a pretty specific one. This is a spiritual conference that for the past 3 years I have only dreamt of going to. Each year I have watched from afar as others have been led by fearless women to their greatest spiritual place. A safe place, a place of growth, a place with no judgement, a place of all consuming and uplifting goodness, a place of community. At this moment, I can’t even wrap my mind around how it would be possible for me, logistically, to even think about going-not to mention the cost. So, for the first time I am going to pray, pray, pray that I somehow, someway make it there.

10. Read more– I have a ton of books saved in my amazon favorites. Books that I hope to one day read. That I plan to read one day. Reading always has been a passion of mine, and much like many other hobbies of mine have fallen to the wayside of life! This is the year I hope to read more books, to unplug from reality, my phone, the laptop, everything and simply immerse myself in literature.

What do you hope to do differently in 2015? I would love to hear!

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Goodbye 2014…Hello 2015!

Goodbye 2014… Hello 2015!! One of the most important things I learned looking back over the past year is that you can never buy back yesterday, you can only fully maximize today and tomorrow. We need to start living lives of urgency and stop living in the past. Yesterday is old. Today is new. Today is bright. Today is the beginning of your future. How we live our lives is how we lead our lives. In our homes, at our workplaces, and with our friends and family. Too often we are afraid to go outside of our comfort zones. Or we make excuse after excuse as to why now isn’t a great time, or the money isn’t there, or we don’t want to try something new! With 2015 around the corner let’s make a promise to be the exception not the excuse! Do whatever it takes- where there is a will there is a way! It’s time to make the conscious decision to find the will to find the way to get out of where we are and move onward and upward! Thank you everyone who helped make 2014 a year to remember and I cannot wait to see all the love, power, adventure, and friendships that are to come in 2015! The best is yet to come!

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