All work and no play…

How often do you hear, “There’s just not enough time in the day…” ? I’m slowly coming to the realization that there really isn’t enough time in the day to accomplish everything that we think that we need to do (key word being think).  I used to believe that was just an excuse, but the reality is that we have created to-do lists that are unrealistic. It is as if there is some ongoing competition to see who can cross the most items off of their list. Once you cross them all off, you tell everyone that you completed your list, and then you start over again with a new list of tasks to complete. Is it really in our best interest to hit the ground running as soon as we open our eyes and stay moving at that pace until we shut our eyes at night? Ask yourself, why do I feel the need to be constantly on the go? Constantly moving? Just because it can be done, doesn’t mean that it should be done.  Everywhere that we look, we see how much other people are accomplishing, so it is only natural for our brains to start to think that we need to do that as well. So, how to we turn that urge to compete, into a drive to be productive in a healthy way?

The most important thing that we need to remember, is that we are all different, and our minds and bodies handle everything differently. It is extremely detrimental to compare yourself to someone else, the way that they do things, how much they get done, etc. With that being said, using other people as motivation and seeking accountability to accomplish your goals, is a great tool when done in a healthy way. There is a huge difference in comparing and admiring someone. Another great tool, is making a realistic list of what you want to accomplish. To-do lists are not bad, when they are made in a manageable way. Many times, a short and simple list allows for more to be accomplished, than a lengthy list. Being able to completely focus on one task at a time, while feeling confident that you are not only be able to complete the task, but complete it well, will create a healthy sense of accomplishment. Sometimes, it is equally important to put your list aside for a day and rest, move slowly and just enjoy some down time. Don’t worry, you can get back to your to-do list once you have given your body and mind a little reset time. Find your balance.

“It takes courage to say yes to rest and play, in a culture where exhaustion is seen as a status symbol.”

-Brene Brown


Do you travel to explore or to escape?

You know that euphoric feeling that you have upon arriving at home after an amazing travel experience? That exhausted, yet rested, cheerful energy that you never want to go away? There are few feelings that I enjoy more, than the fulfillment of exploring a new place and then returning to your home base. So, why do we feel this way, and how to do we get that feeling to stay? Just like with anything else, the more you practice something, the easier it becomes. The more aware you become of how you feel, the more you will be able to observe what is making you feel that way.

After returning from my last trip, I had never been more fulfilled yet more excited to be home. I’ve noticed that after each travel experience, my feeling of extreme content stays longer and longer. I started to reflect on my feeling of contentment and where it was coming from. I realized that, the days of traveling to “get away” are long gone, and the days of traveling for sheer experience and enjoyment are here to stay. That is not to say that I don’t enjoy of break from my day to day life whenever I can, it means that I don’t feel the urge to run or escape like I once did.  We often use the term “escape” when we vacation and travel. Escape literally means to break free from confinement or control…do we really feel like we are in confinement in our daily life? If so, why? It took me quite a bit of time to find my “why”, but once I was able to pin point it, I was able to work on eliminating it.

Once I was able to eliminate my need to escape, I started to think about what I loved about traveling. Once you are able to identify what you love about your travel experiences, you can bring that into your day to day life. For example; I love flying, because I use it as mandatory time to unplug. I will occasionally watch a movie on the plane, but I usually read, listen to music and sleep. I don’t communicate with anyone, or check my phone. The fact that I look forward to my time on the plane, tells me that I love having true down time and that is definitely something that I can incorporate more of in my home life. There is the giddy excitement that you feel in the weeks before your trip because you are doing something new, the productive excitement that you get from booking excursions while you are on your trip and of course, the sheer thrill of just being on vacation in general. So, trying new things and being productive are something that I clearly enjoy and feel content when they are a part of my life. I tend to relax more while I am on vacation (I think we all do) which lowers stress, so I can add more relaxation to my life as well. Even as I type this, it all sounds so simple and silly but figuring all of this out was huge for me!

I’ve said it before, I will say it again… everyone is on a journey that is unique to them and there is no amount of advice that anyone can give a person that will change their path unless they take it to heart and that is why it is so important to get out there and learn for yourself. Being able to travel has been a huge blessing for me and a very significant part of my growth.

After a substantial amount of reflection, writing, then deleting and re-writing (multiple times) I realized that ultimately preparation, exploration and relaxation, have led to my renewed appreciation for life.

No matter what your story is, or how your journey is going, never stop exploring! You never know what important lesson awaits you on your next adventure!






How to pull yourself out of a rut. 

I make a ton of excuses for why I don’t do certain things. I am too tired, too busy, I had a long day, life is stressing me out, etc. Admitting that you are making unnecessary excuses is never easy, because that means you are acknowledging your own personal negative behaviors. The more that I grow and mature, the more that I catch myself doing just enough to get by, instead of giving a task my full attention. I have never been one to just coast through life, so why am I starting to do that now? As I examined my behavior, I realized that my lack of ambition was due to the fact that I had gotten too comfortable with how my life was going. I had gotten comfortable with being “fine”. I had followed through with the intentions that I had set,  and I was failing to push myself to set new intentions, for this new season in my life. Honestly, I was mentally and emotionally tired of pushing myself to improve and to try new things. I needed to find some sort of middle ground to avoid burn out but still move forward.

Here are a few things that I do on a regular basis to quit coasting and pull myself out of a rut:

  1. Talk to someone that you trust. It is extremely important to have at least one person in your life, that you can go to with anything and they will listen and support you. That doesn’t mean that they always tell you what you want to hear, it means that they listen without judgment and offer advice when its appropriate. Sometimes you just need someone to listen.
  2. Give yourself a break. If you are like me, and love trying new things, here’s one: Go easy on yourself! Allow yourself to have a break! It’s ok if you didn’t go on a grand adventure this month, maybe being still and relaxing was the action that you actually needed to take. Realize that you do not need to be constantly checking things off of your list, in order to lead a fulfilling life.
  3. Re-evaluate why you set the intentions and goals that you do. Who are you setting them for? Are you setting them because you think that you should be setting certain types of goals? It is imperative that you identify ‘why’, in order to not only achieve what you desire but also to avoid burn out.

We will all experience our own personal ruts, they simply cannot be avoided. How you choose to handle them, is up to you! We are the writers of our own script, we have control over what we allow to control our minds. Choose wisely!



Finding the silver lining.

Things don’t always turn out the way that we expect them to (that’s the understatement of the century, right?), but doesn’t it seem to happen more often to some people, than to others? I feel like I am one of those people, who more often than not, experience life events going in a totally different direction than I anticipated or expected. This ranges from daily mundane tasks going south, to extreme life lessons that feel like a punch in the stomach. I have formed a bit of an addiction, trying to figure out why so many things in my life don’t goes as planned, and what lesson I should be taking away from that particular situation. Please note, sometimes this becomes an unhealthy obsession and I become so fixated on trying to discover what I need to learn, that I miss the lesson entirely and need to be taught it again. That being said, I have shifted my way of thinking (yet again) and instead of immediately trying to find my take away from the lesson, I focus on finding something positive about the situation first. By shifting your thoughts to something positive, you are still acknowledging what happened but training your mind to go to a positive place before diving into what you need to learn. I feel as though I am tested repeatedly in situations that I need to use patience in. I struggle waiting for things to work out as they should. Sometimes my mind thinks that its logical to meal prep for one day and lose 5 pounds, or to journal about a traumatic event and BAM! those sad feelings to disappear. I realize that I am continuously presented with obstacles that test my patience and until I am able to take a step back and really be present to learn that lesson, as well as finding something positive about it, they will keep on coming.

Here is a simple example: When my flight is delayed, I look around and I see everyone fuming. I change the way that I think by being thankful that I am able to travel in the first place and then be thankful that I can take some time to myself and have a glass of wine and a snack while I wait for my plane to be ready to board. Once I acknowledge those things, THEN I let myself vent a little about getting home late and needing a nap. Being a positive person, doesn’t mean that you don’t have grumpy thoughts (I have them all of the time…) The lesson here is: Don’t sweat the small stuff, you can’t control everything.

Here is a more serious example: When you have a failed relationship, whether it be romantically, a friendship or with a family member and you are emotionally hurt. I challenge you to first find one positive thing to take away and then let it be for awhile. Acknowledge the positive and allow yourself time to heal. Then look for the lesson once you are ready. Chances are, and for me personally, the lessons keep unveiling themselves for quite some time but that only happens when you aren’t forcing yourself to find them. The ultimate lesson here is: Stay positive, be patient!

My favorite mantra for this: I am safe, it is only change.


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