Tag Archives: life

Make Gratitude a Priority in 2018

Two years after beginning my journey of self-discovery and self-love I can tell you that gratitude is an essential part of my life. I’ve learned that gratitude isn’t just listing a couple of things/people you are grateful for. Although that method is very helpful.

“But in fact, gratitude is the practice of appreciating all of the moments we experience in our lives and releasing the power the Universe has given us to manifest the desires of our hearts.”

Practicing gratitude is a deep and also spiritual practice if you allow it to be.

  • It is a catalyst for physical manifestation of change in the world.

When you speak gratitude over something as if it has already happened you manifest that thing in the physical world. I can say, “I am grateful for my new car” everyday and if I have faith and let my subconscious work it out for me, I will actually manifest my new car.

  • It brings mental relief.

I can express gratitude for my friendships and speak life into other people and things. The act of focusing on something or someone other than yourself gives that much needed mental break.

  • It makes space in your life for awareness.

It is about focusing on the positive rather than the negative. You can be grateful for a seemingly unfavorable situation and actually notice that the situation wasn’t as bad as you thought. Maybe your friend upset you when they called you out about not being there for them. If you focus on gratitude you may realize actually I am grateful for this friend. This friend always had good intentions for me and maybe they make a valid point.

  • It increases your over all well-being. 

It is so good for your outlook on life when you practice gratitude. Your mindset positively changes and you start actively seeking moments to express gratitude. You realize life is more amazing than you thought.

Some ways you can practice gratitude in your everyday life thid 2018 is by:

  • Establishing a gratitude journal.

The key is to actually feel gratitude for each of the moments or things you’ve journaled about. You can simply make list or you can even write a letter explaining how your day went and what things caused you joy. Feel free to get creative with your journal.

  • Meditate on what you are grateful for.

Take some intentional time to stop everything your doing and express gratitude for the things that have taken place in your life that day. For example,  you can sit down and say or think ‘Today I’m grateful for x, y, and z because…

  • Create a Gratitude jar or box.

Write what you’re grateful for on a piece of paper in put it in a jar or box. At the end of the month or even at the end of the year go back and look through it.

  • Discuss with a close friend the things you are each grateful for daily. 

There’s something so cathartic about having conversations about positive things. It changes the energetic atmosphere of your life.

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I am so grateful that 2018 is a year full overflowing gratitude for each and everyone of you!

Let me know, what are some ways you incorporate gratitude in your life?

Xoxo,

Mara

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Find Long-lasting Motivation to Accomplish your 2018 Goals

Now that 2018 has entered and the hype of the New Year will eventually die down, the weight of new years goals and resolutions can be hard to carry. See when we are caught up in the awe that a whole year has passed us by and we are excited by the thought of starting fresh and accomplishing our dreams we tend to come up with many goals but no plan to actually stay motivated to follow through with them.

You know that 3 weeks into the new year feeling of ‘ugh I don’t want to get up to go to the gym. I’ll just go tomorrow ‘ or ‘I’ll eat out just for today and bring my lunch in tomorrow’?. I remember that feeling all too well. I was the type of person that was always excited for New Year. I would spend the week before the New Year entered thinking of various lofty goals that I wanted to accomplish. I.e working out 5x a week, getting all A’s in my classes, praying for an hour every single day…you name it.

These goals weren’t bad but they were sure as heck unrealistic. I would work hard at each goal for the first couple of weeks of the year but would quickly end up burnt out and super discouraged. Over time I have learned that accomplishing your goals and dreams starts with a fundamental change to the way you approach life.

1. Look at each goal you want to achieve as a journey you are embarking on.

When you look at your goals as journeys you take the pressure off of achieving perfection in every step. Journeys are not perfect. There are so many obstacles that we are presented with. We get sick, we lose motivation, etc. But if you stay committed and pick yourself up each and every time you fall not only do you get stronger but you make it.

2. Make your action steps small and attainable. 

If you make your goals lofty like ‘I’m going to work out 5x a week every week for the whole year’ you will easily be disappointed. You can eventually build up to it. However, if you’ve never worked out a day in your life that goal is nearly impossible. Instead set the goal I’m going to work out at least 1x a week and crush it. Then build up from there as the time passes.

3. Cultivate a positive mindset.

Have you ever heard the saying “the quality of your life, depends on the quality of your thoughts”?. It’s so true. Establish some positive affirmations which you repeat to yourself daily (I am strong, I am intelligent, I am capable, etc.). Focus on what you are consuming, in terms of food and knowledge. Eat food that makes you feel good, give your body that good energy. Watch shows, listen to podcast, videos or music that build you up. Keep in mind that it took whatever amount of years you’ve been alive to create the mindset you have now and it will take time and commitment to create a new, positive mindset.

4. Practice self-compassion. 

Nobody’s perfect. Rather than berate yourself with negative thoughts (I am stupid, How could I be so dumb?, etc.) comfort yourself the way you would comfort a loved one. Tell yourself you’re going to be okay, your short comings don’t define you, and you are capable of getting back up.

5. Establish a good support system.

Nobody should be a lone wolf. In the words of Brene Brown, “human beings are hardwired for connection”. Find yourself a good group of people that you can count on to be there for you when you’re not at your best. If you’re feeling unmotivated to go to the gym by yourself text a friend you know will go with you, and will hold you accountable.

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It is totally possible for you to accomplish your goals and resolutions. Go on and slay 2018.

Let me know in the comment section how you stay motivated to accomplish your goals and resolutions.

Xoxo,

Mara

Self-Reflect Your Way into 2018

I love this time of year because not only are some of us blessed to get to spend time with loved ones and eat delicious food, but it is also a time of closure and new beginnings. A whole year has passed us by and we are about to enter into a brand new one.  On top of that some of us live for this time to actually slow down and reflect on everything that has taken place in our lives this past year. We marble at how quickly it flew by, reflect on where we were this time last year, and plan out what we want to accomplish in the following year. It is exciting.

I have recently been caught up in the whirl wind of emotions of it all and have found myself unsure of how to debrief 2017. This year has been unlike any other. This year I graduated college, moved into my first apartment, consistently tried out counseling and made mental health and self-love a priority among other things. I have experienced the most personal growth I have ever had before in my life and I do not want to just quickly glaze over it.

I am compelled to dig deeper and revel in gratitude over all that took place in 2017 but also figure out how I can improve 2018.

With that in mind I of course hit up YouTube and found some great videos that helped me do just that. Some helpful channels have been LavendaireCoffee with Jo, and Kalyn Nicholson. They each provided some sort of self-reflection questions to break down 2017 and/or action steps to implement in 2018. Then, after doing my research and considering all of the wonderful advice I found I came up with a few ideas of my own for effectively self-reflecting before entering 2018.

1. Reflect on all of the things you accomplished this year.

  • Was it one of your goals/resolutions from last year?
  • How did it make you feel?

2. Reflect on all of the things you were disappointed by or did not accomplish this year.

  • What actions or inaction led to this disappointment?
  • If you would have done things differently, would you have gotten different results?
  • Is this something you are still interested in pursuing? If so, what are you going to do differently this time around?

3. Reflect on your relationship with yourself.

  • How do you feel physically, mentally and emotionally?
  • Did you incorporate any practices to love yourself and take care of yourself this year?
  • If so, what practices worked and what practices did not?
  • What are you going to do this year to better love and take care of yourself?

4. Reflect on your relationship with others.

  • Who are the people that you have interacted with consistently or inconsistently this year?
  • How do you feel when you think about each person? Does the sound of their name make you feel drained or energized? Happy or sad?
  • Based on the kind of energy that each person brought into your life are there any relationships that need to addressed? If so, are these relationships worth saving?

5. Pick three areas of your life you would like to focus on in 2018.

  • Based on what you did or did not accomplish in 2017, what do you want to give your attention to this year?
  • What are 2-3 specific goals you would like to accomplish in each of those areas?
  • What steps do you need to take to accomplish each of these goals?

Well, I hope these questions are helpful.  I advise you to take time and meditate on them maybe even journal the responses.  Dig deep and see what you find.

I am so grateful for all of the amazing things we accomplish in 2018.

Happy New Year!!

Xoxo,

Mara

3 Truths to Consider When Starting Any Journey

“Before a dream is realized, the Soul of the World tests everything that was learned along the way. It does this not because it is evil, but so that we can, in addition to realizing our dreams, master the lessons we’ve learned as we’ve moved toward that dream. That’s the point at which most people give up. It’s the point at which, as we say in the language of the desert, one ‘dies of thirst just when the palm trees have appeared on the horizon.”
― Paulo CoelhoThe Alchemist

There’s a plethora of advice on the internet about how to enter certain journeys. These journeys can range from self-love to mental health to spiritual growth. You name it. The majority of articles, YouTube videos, and conferences that you’ll find break these journeys down into simple how to steps. I’m guilty of it, just check out my last post. These forums are super helpful because they provide people with digestible ways to enter or put in place practices in such important journey. However, most lack one thing. They don’t inform people about how truly difficult the journey actually is.

When entering any journey it is important to consider the following:

1. It will not happen overnight. 

I would certainly love for it to be that easy. It would have saved me a lot of headaches in my journeys but unfortunately it’s not. The journey varies for everyone. Sometimes it can take a couple of weeks, sometimes a couple of months, maybe even years. But, the truth of the matter is it will most certainly not happen in the blink of an eye. So sit back, buckle up and get comfortable.

2. You will experience growing pains. 

The fact that you’re on journey means that you are moving towards a place you’ve never been to before. You’re growing. And just like a baby who is beginning to teeth, we will hurt, we will cry, and we won’t understand why we even decided to commence on this journey to begin with. Growing pains can look like plateauing and feeling like it’s not worth it anymore. It can look like having your loved ones turn on you because they think you’ve changed. It’s going to hurt.

3. It is absolutely worth it.

Not only will you learn how to handle the lows and appreciate all of the highs. You, dear friend, will gain a better understanding of who you are and what you value. And when you’ve reached your destination you won’t give give a flying crap about what anybody thinks of that.

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What journey are you on right now?

I encourage you to commit to it.

That self-love, that personal growth, that passion for life looks great on you.

Xoxo,

Mara

 

5 Steps to Move Towards the Life YOU Want

DISCLAIMER: I know that looking at these steps may make it seem easy but transforming your life is HARD work. HOWEVER, I can tell you that it is definitely worth it. When you’re feeling inner peace and experiencing joy you’ll wonder why you didn’t invest in yourself sooner.

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From graduating college, to moving into my first apartment, and getting my first career job all in the span of one summer, I can confidently tell you that the last couple of months have been absolutely life-changing. 

When I reflect on all that I’ve accomplished it’s mind blowing. If I were to rewind just a couple of years back the simple thought of all of these things would have caused a level of anxiousness in me.

The real world was (and still can be) unpredictable and intense and the anxiousness in me didn’t allow me to believe that I had it in me to be the person I thought I wanted to be.

Yet if I could take one thing out of this transition it is that:  life is whatever we make of it.

I had always sat back and let life happen to me. Occasionally I mentally visualized these things but it was more of a far away dream. A day dream if you will. I didn’t action plan how it would happen. I wasn’t intentional about working on becoming the person that I wanted to be. So I never I did.

My life is far from perfect and I am still working on bettering myself daily but I am fulfilled, I am happy, I am growing, I am learning, and I am glowing. There’s nothing better than that.

To move towards the life YOU want:

1. Cultivate a positive mindset.

positive mind

What you think is what you will inevitably see. So practice speaking positive affirmations. Dodge negative thoughts. Surround yourself with light.

 

2. Visualize what you want.

vision board

Imagine what the life you want looks like. Write down you goals with bullet points and action steps underneath or even create a vision board with pictures and words that represent what you want. 

3. “Behave like the person you want to become.”  

The person you want to become is already within you. Let her shine.

4. Believe that you already have what you want.

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Have faith that what you want has already taken place in the future. So act like it’s already yours.

5. Receive it.

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A day from now, a month from now, receive it.

*****

A future, happy, fulfilled, glowing you is waiting on you. Set her free. I believe in you. 

Xoxo,

Mara

6 Ways to Take Your Power Back

I recently read the book 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do by Amy Morin, and the concept of giving our power away struck a chord with me.

Morin, who is a licensed clinical social worker, psychology instructor, and pshychotherapist, explains, how one of the 13 things that interfere with our mental strength is the conscious or unconscious act of giving power away. 

The overall theme of the chapter focused on the topic is that we give our power away when we let outside factors, things beyond our control, control how we feel and how we act and we don’t take measures to conserve our power.

“Anytime you don’t set healthy emotional and physical boundaries for yourself, you risk giving away your power to other people…Each time you avoid saying no to something you really don’t want, you give your power away” – Amy Morin, 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do

With that in mind, today I want to share with you guys some tips I think are important in this journey of learning about your power and taking it back:

1. Nourish your soul with truth.

Read empowering books, self-reflect learn, new things; fill yourself with all the good you possibly can. Figure out what’s important to you and what you believe with all your heart.

2.   Practice sticking to your values.

These are always non-negotiable.  Not to say that you shouldn’t take any input or that your opinions won’t change later on. But, if you believe in your core that something is right/important don’t succumb to any outside pressure to go back on it.

3. Don’t allow room in your life for people that don’t respect you.

Your circle should be quaint; quality over quantity. It should be filled with people who tell you the truth but above all respect you. If they don’t, they got to go.

4. Surround yourself with people and things that bring you life.

Pretty self explanatory but if you want good vibes you got to constantly nourish your soul with good things and good people.

5. Practice self-compassion.

Don’t be so hard on yourself. Things aren’t always going to work out perfectly. That is life. What matters is how you react to it; what you tell yourself. Encourage yourself the way you would a friend!

6. Love Yourself.

Treat yourself, take yourself out, say nice things to yourself, and you will see that you will not only feel great but you will teach others how to love you and attract the right kind of people to your life.

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Overall, taking your power back is hard work but the benefits you will see are amazing.

Xoxo, 

Mara 

P.s Y’all should totally check out Amy’s book it’s a very good read!

3 Reasons Why I’m No Longer Claiming Anxiety

I’m not clinically diagnosed with anxiety but I can tell you that I’ve been an anxious person since I can remember.

I’ve been anxious about many things from being around a lot of people, to losing my parents, being rejected and the list goes on and on. I’ve lost sleep, felt sick to my stomach, and felt the need to hide.

When I finally understood that these things were actually symptoms of general anxiety disorder I made the unfortunate mistake of claiming it rather than seeking help.

Not only did that open the door for more anxiousness to manifest itself in my life but it minimized and almost completely eliminated my desire to get better.

However, I’ve realized that my desire to live a happy and healthy life is greater than the negative thoughts that adversely influence my life and sometimes keep me at a stand still.

Here are the three main reasons/driving forces in my decision to no longer claim anxiety:

1. I don’t want it. Sure, I may get anxious occasionally but I refuse to make it a part of who I am.

2. If I don’t claim it, I make room for the mindset in which I can take steps to overcome the things that bring about the anxiousness.

3. I’ve already made progress towards being the person that I want to be and if completely devote myself to it I know will be successful.

For me, it has boiled down to this principle:

Their is power in our words.

Let’s claim positive truths and watch how are lives are transformed for the better.

Let’s passionately seek great things for our lives like self love, self care, joy, peace, motivation (YOU NAME IT).

Xoxo,
Mara