My Ideal Day

 I realized that I do not appreciate outside restraints on my time. I am a creative and only want to do things that fuel that energy and allow me to release it.

coffee on table
The 25 Questions are courtesy of mistysansom.com

So, I have started a new ‘Personal Growth’ 25 question exercise.  As I journey through a question a day, I will share some of my findings (not all) and let you know if I feel that I have grown as a person, mother, friend, teacher, etc.  I usually just pin these things and never review but, I feel that 2017 is getting stagnant and something needs to be done.  There is some action required on my part.

The first question was “What does your ideal day look like?”  Of course, the answer started off with waking up refreshed and energized.  As a person who is always tired and always busy, I have been focusing more on how to save my energy and live a more minimalistic lifestyle.  From the waking up part, most of my day consisted of just doing things on my “own time”.  There were some things that I am required to do as a responsible parent but for the most part, my day was made up of writing, creating, meditating, reading, and smoothies (and of course a coffee).  There was very little to no house cleaning, although I do want a very clean house but in my ideal world my kids are at school most of the day, I am working from the nearest coffeehouse, and on the weekends we are out exploring the world–so no messy house.

What did I realize?  I realized that I do not appreciate outside restraints on my time. I am a creative and only want to do things that fuel that energy and allow me to release it. I also realized that most of my ‘ideal’ tasks were solitary and that makes me very happy and the only time that I did not want to spend solitary time was when I was with my kids.  I guess this makes me an introvert in a way.

The cruel reality is that my daily life looks nothing like this which is why I may be so tired, stressed, and irritable.  This can sometimes seep into my interactions with my children for which I am not proud.  I am only human but, the wisdom that has come from this exercise, is that taking care of self and living your most authentic life is good for everyone involved.

Day one of the (25) Question A Day Personal Growth Challenge done!!

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Speak it!

Words are very powerful and of course you know this since you are reading this blog and probably many others.  What we say and think can and will have a profound effect on what we receive into our lives and how we react in challenging circumstances.  As we know life isn’t easy and we can surround ourselves with “the row” (a group of positive, transparent and honest friends), but it is how we interact with ourselves that will directly correlate to our existence on this earth.

Since everything starts with a thought, an idea, we have to first train our brains to think positively. We need to train the brain to think about what is going good instead of everything that is going bad. I have friend that used to remind me when I would fall into the abyss of self doubt, pity, etc to write out a gratitude list. The process, although it may seem simple, can be a struggle when you in the thick of things.  But the task itself works, even if temporary, it works.  It takes away hours of negative thinking and emotions, sometimes days and/or weeks. But let’s go a little further and speak it.

Say your gratitude list aloud.  Really read the words that you placed on paper. Go further and create affirmations to go around your room, bathroom, closet, mirrors, car dashboard, etc. Read them aloud in the morning, midday, and evening. Train your brain to think positive and watch things shift in your environment. See, it’s contagious–positivity. People love it, they can’t get enough. Soon you will notice people drifting towards you but remember to not drain the well. Replenish yourself.

Today someone told me that there was something different about me and I told them that I was trying to be more positive.  Because positivity for me is life. Without it, I’m consumed with problems of my world and THE WORLD. I get sick, lethargic, irritable. Although my colleague couldn’t quite place the difference in her own words initially, she later emailed me “It’s your aura”. Wow! Mind blown. This energy again, may be a lifeline that you need or those around you may need like your spouse, children, siblings, parents, and colleagues.

So,speak your dreams into existence, speak your love into existence, speak your triumphs into existence, speak your peace into existence. Through positive self talk you can impact more than just yourself, you can be the difference  for someone else.

How to Deal with Negative People

cropped-fifty-shades-black-stock-2.jpgSometimes you have to accept that those closest to you will not value you or see your worth. They will only see what it is that they have envisioned for you and how you are not living up to it. They will only see the negative and any positive will not be recognized. This may be a result of many different factors but none of them matter. It is not necessary to find out why they treat you the way that they do, if their treatment is not impeding your progress but just upsetting you emotionally then let go. These people may be your colleagues, supervisors, friends, or even family. In most situations it is someone that you cannot easily rid yourself of but that’s okay. It’s okay because you have a few options to remedy the situation.

Option #1: You can return their rude remarks with kindness and pray for them.

Option #2: You can let them know in a direct way that their words are mean, rude, and unwelcome.

Option #3: You live one life, cut them off.

Now, the last option is hard to do for most of us, which is why we are presently in these situations.   If the person is your boss and you need your job, then you are operating about of a place of fear. If the person is part of your family, especially immediate family, you are operating out of loyalty and attachments. This is the same with friends. You may feel that you need these connections so you stay tied to them and miserable. When that misery starts affecting your mood, making you doubt yourself, and hindering you because you are feeding into their perception of you then it is time to stop operating out fear, loyalty, and attachments and cut cords. This doesn’t have to happen in a malicious way but once you have done this, you may be able to access your true feelings more clearly. You may either see that you now feel relieved and more self-assured or maybe they weren’t the problem to begin with and you have to work on yourself.

Either way, make a plan and get to living your best life since you only have one opportunity to do so.

The Binder

I am all about living purposefully and achieving my dreams so I want to be intentional in my strategy and how I use my time each day to work towards my goals and vision for my life. What I learned is that when you right it down and constantly come back and review and make it a priority in your day, you will most likely achieve your goals.

Hey!  This is the first real week of the new year and I am overly excited about my journey this year to publishing my first children’s book and creating the life that I deserve.  I have listened in on a lot of motivational conference calls and come across free goal strategy sessions and resources.  There is a wealth of information out there and all of it is accessible and most of it is affordable.  Of course, my idea of affordable at this moment is free.

Anyway, the best idea I came across obviously came from trolling Pinterest.  If you have been following me you already know how much I love Pinterest.  A couple of weeks back I found a lot of free templates for creating personal mission statements, budgeting and getting your finances together, goal setting sheets, health and spirituality templates.  Then the mother of all ideas of which I had never thought about before was creating a “Vision Binder” or “Life Binder”.  I even created one for my friend.

I am all about living purposefully and achieving my dreams so I want to be intentional in my strategy and how I use my time each day to work towards my goals and vision for my life.  What I learned is that when you right it down and constantly come back and review and make it a priority in your day, you will most likely achieve your goals.  I have this poster in my classroom that reads “A goal without a plan is just a wish”.  That quote is accurate.  How many times have we made goals or resolutions and never stuck to them because we did not create a detailed plan and constantly go back and review it throughout the year?

Check out my Pinterest board Boss Behavior and download some of the free templates, read some of the articles, and comment on whether or not it was helpful.  I would love to hear from you.  Also, I created a vision board for 2016 and I posted above my new desk in my room (I had my teenage daughter create one also and this is a great bonding activity.  Have them present their vision board and explain).

I am so proud of this board because I have a gut feeling that 2016 is going to be My Year! Let’s make it the best year so far together!

Happy New Year!

 

Musings on Monday

It is late night and my mind cannot stop wandering.  This tends to happen all day long and especially at night.  As a writer, I find the beauty in words from all around me and then my mind gets to wandering.  There are so many ideas that I want to come to fruition.  I realize that I have to take it one project at a time.  I have taken a short break from my novel to write children’s books; so far I have written two.  I am really nervous to write my query letters and submit, but it is 2015 and I know that this is “My Year”.

This year,musing my focus is on my health and in order to keep my MS under control, I need to take care of myself and zero in on peace and happiness.  Stress had taken control of me for the past decade and it cannot happen any longer.  I notice that I feel so much better when I write, especially for this blog, when I complete a poem, and when I share what I have written. My writing has been a long journey and I will hold onto hope because it is the anchor for my soul.

These words that are in my head are constantly floating around and they make me someone else.  I am a different person with each poem or novel/script idea and if I don’t write it down, then I lose that person.  My goal is to get to a place where what I do for a living is write down those floating words.  And those floating words will support me and my kids and transform the world around me.

So, these were just some things on my mind and if I could offer any advice, it would be to use your gifts.  That’s what they are, gifts, and if we don’t use them there could be a time when we lose them.

Happy 2015!

The Best Movie this Season Thus Far

Courtesy of Hallmark Movies & Mysteries
Courtesy of Hallmark Movies & Mysteries

I had to write this post as I am nearing the end of the best movie this season thus far.  Every winter, around the holidays, I watch all of the Christmas movies that I can find on Lifetime, ABC Family, Hallmark, and Hallmark Movie Channel.  The kids and I love to watch these movies together because they get us into the holiday spirit and come are inspirational. Another channel which is new and I have not had a chance to pay as much attention to is UP, which I am sure has great programming too.

Anyway, a dream of mine would be to write a story that would be adapted into a movie for one of these channels. Each year, they outdo themselves. My cousin in New York and I call and compare notes on the best movie or what we are currently watching. As I type this post, I am watching “The Christmas Secret” on the Hallmark Movie Channel. It is a moving story of a single mother with two children who moves to a town to reconnect with lost family. Her humble and determined nature sets her up for fortune that she could never have imagined. Check out the trailer below, courtesy of Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.

Sick with a toddler

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I believe it is the hardest thing to be sick as a single parent with a small child at home. You don’t want to pass your germs on to your bambino but you are the only one in charge of taking care of them. I am lucky enough to have my thirteen year-old daughter who was so responsible and made me tea, a pot-pie (in the microwave) and entertained her little bro. Trust me this is not an easy feat as he is super active. I was able to rest when I got home from work so that I can go in tomorrow. This week, I have back to school night and I need to prepare both my classroom and my presentation for my new parents. I just can’t afford to take off now as it isn’t even winter yet, which is when I really get sick.

I sometimes wonder how some other single parents handle a situation like this? Sometimes, I know that I get overwhelmed and I need to take a step back and fill my bucket with some sort of positivity and inspiration. But, I also know that I may not always have the time to do that. One thing that brings me peace is knowing that I am not alone in this journey. I know that there are other single parents out there dealing with the same issues, some even more pressing and they and their children are coming out on top. Wow! That gave me inspiration for some other posts. I chat with you later. Stay strong!

The Original Valentine

Every year I put together bags of treats for my children in celebration of Valentine’s Day. This year I added the quote in their cards ” I’m your original valentine”. I want them to know that they should always be treated with respect and shown love by those who claim to love them. It is imperative that I set the example. This year was the first year that I was sad that my daughter did not have a father who would show her this same sentiment. But, we both have her grandfather who has shown us love on this day with gifts and cards every year since I was born and every year since she was born. My son likes the candies and stuffed animals and doesn’t really, truly understand what this is all about. When he is old enough, his gift from me will be accompanied by words or wisdom to show (more than tell) a woman that he truly cares and loves her.

So, what about me? What about you? If you are the single parent this year that doesn’t have a valentine, treat yourself or go it with friends. I especially enjoy a spa treatment and champagne. Celebrate the love you have for yourself. Because, if you don’t love yourself then you will attract others who feel the same way. Be the example for what you expect in a prospective partner.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I Love Juicing & Smoothies

2014-02-13 13.05.58On this journey towards better health and implementing a healthier lifestyle change, I have come across a wealth of information, great recipes, and inspiration.  Mostly, I am able to find the answers to my questions through simple Google searches but more often than not I have found the gamut of my recipes and inspiration from two phenomenal sources: Pinterest and heyfranhey.com, the latter being a tumbler account which has now become an addiction for me.  Every morning and every night (and most times throughout the day), I visit these sites in hopes to recharge my strength and revive my passion in the direction of a healthier and freer lifestyle.  Please visit my board; live longer be stronger to see my pins of great smoothie recipes, food recipes, exercises, and inspiration.  Below, I have listed a few smoothie recipes that you may like.

Smoothie #1:

Pineapple

Mango

Kale

Banana

 

Smoothie #2:

Blueberries

Pineapple

Banana

Spinach

 

Smoothie #3:

Carrots

Naval oranges

Green apple

I also like carrots and mango juiced.  Notice I did not put amounts next to the fruits because everyone likes their smoothies a different way.  I love more green vegetables than fruit.

It is important as a parent and especially a single parent (being that your child only has one parent o depend on) to keep you healthy.  We need to be around for our children and in the best health possible. In addition to juicing and making smoothies, I have purchased Groupons for kickboxing and yoga.  I will update you on my experience for each.  Until next time be happy and healthy.

Breakthrough Moment

I wanted to write this post last month before school went into winter break but, things got so hectic and I fell way behind schedule.  Last month, my daughter and I had a breakthrough moment when I was trying to figure out why she had been behaving differently besides the countless recent changes (baby brother, new county, new school, puberty).  Every time I asked her why her behavior had changed so drastically and not for the positive, she would go into shut down mode. Then an epiphany hit me; I would use my teacher/mentor skills.  Since we were in my classroom and it was the end of the day, I had her close the door and retrieve a dry erase marker. I told her to write on the board all of the things that I expect from her that are unreasonable ( her main complaint was that I didn’t care and I was unfair).  At first she hesitated but, then she started writing.  I didn’t say anything during this process even if I disagreed with some of the things that she wrote down.  I let her voice (scribe) her opinion and when she was done, she stopped, closed the cap on the marker,2013-12-16 15.43.02 and faced me.  I then let her know that we were going to discuss each one and explain ourselves.  This process ended up with her crossing some off the list because she realized that they may not have been accurate depictions of the situation.  The one’s that were left on the board, I promised to work on to keep our bond strong and the lines of communication open.  At the tail end of the conversation, the breakthrough came which led to tears and a big hug from my tween who had been stand-offish prior to for some months.  The overarching theme is that she felt that I thought her opinions and feelings didn’t matter.  She thought I felt that she was unimportant and the only thing that mattered was what I wanted and how I felt.  I realized that my actions probably led her to believe this.  The part that hurt me the most, is that is exactly what I felt about my mother and still do to this day.  It devalues you as an individual.  How can I support a strong sense of self-esteem in my young lady if I am devaluing her, whether it be purposefully or not?  I let her know that it was never my intention to make her feel that way and I have been working on myself so that does not come across as often until I can stop it altogether.  This exercise helped both of us see the reality and brought us closer together.  The pure act of taking the time to hear her out, was in fact healing.  My behaviors towards my daughter are part my own and part learned from my own mother.  But, when we become parents and especially if you are a single parent with no other parent for your child to turn to, it is imperative to extend the olive branch, open the lines of communication, express humility, and start mending what may be broken.  I am not saying that I have this parenting thing down pat, but I am on a constant road to healing and learning, and growing.  Hears to your breakthrough moment!