Trust the Process

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Ever have a moment in your life when you feel like you are being stretched thin? Where it seems like you have so much to do that you can barely take a moment to breathe? These past two weeks have been like that for me.

My hours at work have been all over the place, I’m producing a webseries that, honestly, is going really well except for one slightly big problem that seems to keep throwing things in my face, and I think there may be something wrong with my car.

I feel like if I’m not working on one thing then I am working on the other and I am just stressing myself out  with worry and thinking I’m not doing enough.

So I stopped.

For the past two days I’ve cleared my mind and stopped thinking about those problems and focused on other things I needed to do like cut the grass and go grocery shopping. I even watched a movie on Netflix while eating my dinner.

Of course I continue to hear that nagging voice in the back of my head telling me that I am wasting time and need to do more, but sometimes you just need to do what you can and trust the process. No, things won’t always come easily, but know when you’ve done all you can and when you need to take a break.

Today is a much needed break and tomorrow I hit the grind.

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Well Meaning

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Along your path to your dreams you will meet (or be related to) some well-meaning people who just don’t understand what you are trying to achieve. People who will only see your struggles and not your dreams. And you will try to explain to them what you are trying to do and they just won’t get it.

They will keep throwing at you what the “world” says to do, you know the normal things. They try to tell you that what you are doing isn’t how it works. They say that you are supposed to get a good paying job, where you work a set hours per week, with a set paycheck amount, then you work there for years, steadily putting money away, until you retire and collect your pension/social security.

That way of thinking is fine, but you don’t want fine, you want extraordinary. You want the life that they just can’t seem to grasp. Every setback is another opportunity to say that you are doing it wrong. Every struggle causes them to look at you with pity.

Until… you succeed.

Then suddenly their tune changes. Then they sing your praises or they criticize you, wondering what you did to get what you got. But don’t try to explain it to them, if they didn’t get it when you were trying to do it then they won’t get it when you’ve done it.

Yes, these people in your life mean well but sometimes you’ve got tune them out and continue to move to that beat in your head.

Living in the Now

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It’s not about what you did in the past it’s about what you are going to do now. 

Can you think of something you regret? Something so big that you think that if that incident turned out differently than your life would have been better off? Did something immediately come to mind?

Ever talk to someone and all they can talk about is the past? You try to have a conversation with them about what is going on now but they only ever want to talk about what happened last month or year ago, always reminiscing. Or the person who always brings up that one bad moment in their life and they have recited it so much that you can repeat it along with them.

Are you that person?

I love talking to people who are forward thinkers. Sure they can tell you about their past and what they did yesterday but they always seem to link it with what they are going to do tomorrow or in the future. They are constantly full hope and possibility and just talking to them gets you looking at your own life and possibilities.

So if forward thinkers get you thinking of the future, then backward thinkers will have you thinking about the past, and yet only one of those you can do something about? So which one is more productive and which one should you actually do?

It is okay to acknowledge the past but make sure it doesn’t hinder you from look to the future.

 

The Cost of Getting Comfortable 

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Janice had this dream to become a great architect someday. She went to a top school and had top marks, and even a really great internship. She graduated, applied for jobs, and then… nothing. She had some great interviews even made it to second and third round of hiring fairs, yet she still couldn’t land a job.

Her six months were coming up and soon she would have to start paying back her student loans, so she started getting desperate. She went to a job fair and just applied to any place that seemed somewhat interesting. She ended up landing a lower end job in a mediocre company but was grateful to be somewhere so she could pay her bills.

Fast forward to six years later.

Janice has moved up several places in the company, she’s getting a really great salary, and she even has money to go on vacations and buy things. At work, her position keeps her busy. She is in charge of a few employees and there is always something to do. Each night she goes home exhausted with little energy to do much else.

Now and again she will stand in front of a construction site and just watch as a new building is being put up. She could stand there for hours just watching but usually she has to rush back from lunch before she is late for work. She doesn’t hate her job, there are actually a lot of moments in which she enjoys it. Yet in those moments in which she becomes really frustrated with her job she wonders why she is even still there. She wonders just what happened to her dream.

What did happen to her dream? Janice became too comfortable.

When things don’t always work as we would hope we come up with a Plan B. In this case Janice got a job so she could pay her bills. That job became her security blanket. She was able to pay her bills, save money, and go on vacations; all basic things we would all like to do. Of course she would take a nice promotion. Of course she would work overtime to get a little more christmas money in her pocket and that nice bonus. Why wouldn’t she? It was the easier thing to do.

But the thing is, the more she stayed in that job, the harder it would be to switch to her dream.  That job had created a nice groove in her life and climbing out would be hard, it would be terrifying. It would take away the sureness of her next paycheck. It could cost her everything.

Why is it that we only welcome change or push for it when we are in discomfort?

Following the normal grind is easier, it’s comfortable because it is what we know. Following your dream is hard, painful, and sometimes feels like you are being torn apart from the inside out. There are moments in which I am building my dream in which I just want to put everything on pause and internet binge for the next five hours. I’ll even suddenly create a busy lifestyle of going out just to avoid doing what i know I should be doing. That is until my introvert spirit begs for rest.

I’m uncomfortable all the time but that is a good thing because the moment I become comfortable is the moment I stop growing, the moment I stop pursuing. Let’s go back to Janice.

Janice has decided to stop being comfortable. Although she is exhausted after work she pushes herself to stay upright and apply for jobs. While she waits to hear back she continues to work on sketches and 3D renderings of buildings. She stops at that construction site again but this time she makes friends with the contractors and GM.

And at work she says no to those overtime shifts and a promotion that will require her to take on more hours. It’s hard because she knows that it is good money she turned down but she knows that her dream will require sacrifice and if she is really going to make this work than she can’t be putting her time into other things. She knows these next few months are going to be hard but in the end it will be worth it.

My Three Day Juice Cleanse

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So I decided to do a 3-day cleanse in hopes of flushing out all the dairy in my system. I’m lactose intolerant and for a long time I had been ignoring that fact and taking lactose pills to help. The only thing is they didn’t really help and the dairy effects were only muted not stopped.

Thus came eating paleo. I don’t really have an issue with grains but I wanted to cut back in them and I knew that none of the recipes contained dairy so that helped a lot.

I had already started eating a bit healthier the past few weeks but wanted to get rid of the bad stuff I had taken in, in the past. So came the three-day cleanse. Oh boy.

Day 1
So I don’t own a juicer but I had watched some YouTube videos on how I can blend vegetables with a blender. I have a ninja… It turned it into a very delicious salsa. So puréed and thick that there was barely any juice. Yum.

So Plan B: I went to a Trader Joe’s and bought some fresh made juice, enough to last me the three days. I got this low sodium garden one. Low sodium? Holy buckets it was super salty. If that was low sodium I don’t even want to think of what the regular one tasted like.

That being said the hardest part was at night. At work I would keep busy and not really think about food or eating but at night I slowed down and my mind could only think about food. I had read several blogs about this before hand and many of them said the same thing: you will want to eat not because you are hungry but for the sake of just putting something solid in you mouth and chewing it. Which was so true.

Day 2

Less hungry and again because I am at work I can focus less on food. Usually I wake up wanting to eat breakfast but this time I felt fine. The big thing was lack of sleep though. I had not been sleeping well the past few nights and this only seemed to expand this. I would be tired and want to go to bed yet I couldn’t fall asleep.

Tried one of the single juices I had bought (I bought a red and a green one, I tried the red). It was awful I don’t know why I thought it would be good after I read the ingredients again. It was tart and had a serious back bite from the ginger and celery in it. It said it had one apple too but it must have gotten lost on the way to the bottle. Hoping the green one is better.

Still want to shove everything I can in my mouth. Time seems to have slowed down and I am counting the hours until I can have solid food again. It’s weird wanting food so badly even when I’m not hungry. And it really doesn’t help when the other person in the house is cooking corn dogs and smelling up the place, lol.

Day 3 (Thank God!)

So this is the last day. Usually I have two events that go on so I spend sometime at panera or such place writing between events. Since I am not eating food I went to the library instead.

Noticing that my focus is really off and my tongue white and feels really dry even though I am drinking water. I read that these can both be side effects of juicing. It didn’t help that it was freezing in the library either.

Other bloggers wrote that by the third day they felt refreshed, not hungry, and a burst of energy. Some even said they felt they could keep going for days. I felt none of these things. Partly because I had maybe four hours of sleep. By the end of my second event I could barely stay awake. Also really wanted to eat food.

Conclusion

The second midnight hit and the three days were officially done I celebrated by eating a banana. It felt soooo good. Overall I do notice a bit of a difference but I think most of that will come into effect the next few days. Will I do this again? Uh probably not unless ordered by a doctor. It is expensive and a constant struggle of mind over matter.

So if any of you want to try this, good luck, and let me know how it turns out.

 

Photo credited to: FreeDigitalPhotos.net Photo by Apolonia.

Timing is Key

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In the fall of my senior year of college I had taken a course in entrepreneurial business. I was at this point in my life in which I decided I wanted to be a producer instead of a director and therefore needed to learn the business side of things.

From the description of the class we were going to learn how to start an online business and make money from it. I thought it would be cool so I signed up. What it turned out to be was a class on blogging.

You see at the time of the class the only sort of “blogging” I knew about was xanga, livejournal, and myspace. All sites where people just journaled their thoughts and feelings to the world. So right away I was worried about this assignment that would be the whole of my grade.

We were supposed, pick a niche, use blogger and create a website in which we continuously add content, and use google adwords to get money. Seems like a pretty neat class right? Well… at the time not so much. I couldn’t think of a single “niche” to create a website about. Matter of fact I couldn’t think of anything I wanted to put out for the world to see. AND on top of that we had to compete for the best site based on adword clicks and site visits?

So yeah I dropped the class in a hurry.

Fast forward to now where I’ve done a movie blog, a student debt one, and now this. Would that class be a great thing to have now? Yes!

The thing is, timing is key. Sometimes the things that annoy us in the past are the very same things that we embrace later. I mean how many of us hated vegetables as a kid but enjoy eating them now? How many of us hated when our parents would make us stay home or when there was nothing to do on a friday night but now we relish it? Or how about when you know someone (a friend of a friend) but it’s not till years later where suddenly you and that person really click and you wonder why you never clicked before? Timing.

Not everything falls in just like we think or hope it should because sometimes the timing just isn’t right yet.

Currently Reading: Pitch Perfect

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Have you ever had a moment where you said something and wished that it didn’t come out of your mouth? Or have you ever walked away only to come up with the perfect response just a little too late? Or maybe you gave a speech and it turned out horrible? That is what this book, Pitch Perfect is about, those moments.

In this BIll McGowan breaks down the how you can effectively communicate in your personal and professional life. He introduces seven principles that you can apply.

What originally drew me to this book was the fact that my communications skills are somewhat lacking. It is not the fact that I do not communicate, it is more about how I come across. Many times I am viewed as cold or blunt when I don’t try to be. Also I have a RBF. Which essentially means that I always look angry even when usually I am happy. Sometimes I think that if I was just born with a happier looking face things would be a lot easier, lol.

The other thing I wanted to work on is pausing before I speak. I tend to stumble over my words, especially when I am excited. This is covered in his book under the No Tailgating Principle.

The speed in which you talk should be directly proportional to how certain you are about the next sentence coming out of your mouth.

He also covers how your posture, stance, facial expressions (especially when listening), tone of voice, and gestures play a part in how you come off either in a conversation or a presentation. And if you need to know how to graciously turn someone down or congratulate someone you don’t like, the book goes over that too.

Overall I think this is a great book to read. Each chapter is filled with funny anecdotes and real life stories that puts the book’s principles in perspective. The knowledge in it is easy to follow and you don’t feel overwhelmed chapter after chapter.

If you are looking to improve your communication skills this is a great book to add to your repertoire.

 

 

 

The Easy Way Out

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I once had entered this submission contest where you had to submit a short video and the top five videos would be picked and you would receive a prize, which was to go on a really cool trip. Now when I first saw this contest I wasn’t so sure about. I had heard about it kind of late in the game, three days before it was due, and wasn’t sure if I would get it done in time. So I mulled it over and over and finally decided to submit a video.

Now I have to say the video I did put together was actually pretty awesome and definitely reflected my style and personality. As I submitted I thought “this is it” I thought that I was going to win and that this would start to turn things around for me. However I didn’t win, but what I did do was realize something about myself.

If you notice in the last paragraph I had written that I thought “that this would start to turn things around for me,”. That’s the part I learned about myself, that was revealed to me by my mentor, and that I really need to change.

You see my life up to this point hasn’t been what I wanted it to be. I seem to keep moving but I get nowhere fast. With this contest I was throwing my hopes and dreams at it and thinking that if only I were to win this than things would be better, my life would be better. Would it? Or would I just end up back where I was? And what if I didn’t win? Then what?

You see this is called taking the easy way out. It is throwing your hopes and dreams at one thing and expecting that one thing to turn your life around. But it is also coping out because if that one thing fails you can just say “well I guess it wasn’t meant to be” or put the fault onto the failure of that thing.

Examples of this could be: trying to find a publisher for your novel and not getting a hit, or pitching an idea to your boss or investors and it not taking, or going for a promotion or raise and not getting it, or saying you need a friend to do something with you (like going to the gym) and when you can’t find one you just don’t go. You get the idea, but these are taking the easy way out.
It’s saying “Oh well the door closed on that so there must not be another door,”. When it reality you could publish the book yourself, pitch the idea to someone else or fund it yourself, go for another promotion, and just go to the gym anyways.
We can’t just throw our dreams at a situation and call it quits when it doesn’t work out. When one avenue isn’t the right one, find a different avenue, even if that means creating your own. So then the questions become how much is your dream worth, what will it take, and are you willing to do it?
Like I said, this is something I need to do myself but the first step is just knowing the problem is there.

Eating Better

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One of my resolutions this year is to eat better. I want to cut down all the unhealthy food that I take in (especially after the holidays) and find substitutes that fill me up and satisfy my cravings. The big part of this is cutting gluten down (I eat a LOT of bread, more than I realized) and do very little or no dairy (I’m lactose intolerant so it doesn’t really agree with me). I also want to pack more vegetables into my meals and of course save money!

The big thing to help change my eating habits was to plan out my meals for the week. When I don’t plan my meals, and not just dinner, I would eat whatever was available. Sometimes I would cook, go out to eat, or just eat a bunch of random junk. But I also like to snack and had to find healthy things I can just grab and snack on without feeling guilty about it, usually while I’m eating it.

Now of course there are a lot of “diets” out there that you can try and for every fad there is an article that tells you why it doesn’t work. But ultimately it is up to you and your body needs. So for my “diet fad” I decided to go with Paleo. Mostly because it already offers the big things I’m looking for which is gluten and dairy free.

So far I have found some really awesome places to find recipes (my pinterest if filling up) and discovered new vegetables and ways to eat them. Here are some things I cooked so far, along with my lovely instagram pictures.

Lettuce Wraps

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These are quick and easy. Lettuce is an awesome substitute for bread. Basically anything you can put on a cracker or on bread you can put in a lettuce wrap. Okay well… maybe not peanut butter and jelly, but you get the gist. For this a made fresh mango salsa, pan seared salmon, and turkey bacon. Here is a recipe for the mango salad and the wraps.

Stuffed Peppers

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Delicious and super healthy and colorful. These were stuffed with Italian sausage, cauliflower rice, basil, red onions, tomato paste, and garlic. I had a bit more fixings than peppers but that was okay because it tasted great. Also the recipe I used calls for a crock pot but I ended up starting late so I just baked it in the oven at 400 degrees for 1:15 minutes. Here is the recipe for this. Note: This would have been a lot easier if I had a food processor to chop up the cauliflower. I really need to get one of those.

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Prior to this I had never heard of spaghetti squash before but I found out it is a great substitute for pasta, which is great because I love pasta. This was baked with spinach, cherry tomatoes, red onion, and goat cheese (yes I know, it is dairy but it is more mild and my stomach likes it better). Here is the recipe for this. My only disclaimer was it turned out a little dry for me so I had to add a little oil and vinegar dressing to it.

I already got next week planned out and I am super excited eat it!

 

What are you listening to?

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There is a constant feed surrounding us. Sometimes is music, a conversation, the radio, or the TV. In all of these things are words. Words are a powerful thing. They can lift you up or tear you apart. A single word from someone can cause your whole day to be ruined or give you that breakthrough you’ve been looking for. The question is: What are you listening to?

You see we hear a lot of things throughout the day: gossip at work, an argument on the street, lyrics of a song, things people say to us, and things that people say about us. All of these things have words and words can bring life or death.

You see a lot of people say oh I don’t care if they talk to me like that I know they don’t mean it, or it’s just a song, or it’s just a show so it doesn’t matter, or their words can’t hurt me. But the thing is words have a way of burying deep inside of you, compounding and hiding in plain sight, until something happens and those words that have gotten inside of you suddenly come to life. And you’re left wondering how you got this way, where did things go wrong? Words.

The funny thing is, I can always trace a good outcome to the one moment something good was said to me but when it is a bad outcome isn’t usually one moment of bad words but several. I think that one good word out weighs several bad so for something to be so wrought inside of us it has to have been said not just once but several times. How many more times than will it take then for the good to come back and negate the bad?

So again, what are you listening to?

Are you listening to the person who tells you that you’re dumb and tear you down, are you listening to that song makes light of cheating and objectify the opposite sex, are you watching that TV show that promotes unhealthy relationships and stirs lust, “beauty” campaigns that tell you you have to look a certain way in order to be acceptable, and that random stranger or customer who treats you with serious lack of respect?

Or are you listening to people who lift you up, music that rises you up to the challenges of the day, show that make you laugh and hope, and brushing off those that get no say over you and your life? Words are a powerful thing but YOU can choose to listen to them, to let them get inside of you, to take you where you need to go. If nobody is saying the words you need to hear, than say them yourself, find music that says it too you, find a book that will encourage you, and find those people who do cherish your worth and in that same instance use your words to lift others up. Just as others have the power to tear someone down with their words YOU have the power to lift them up. So the question is:

What are you listening to?