Gratitude Project - Week 28

This week has been great. I've been feeling really good and really loving all of the experiences that are coming my way. I planned a long bike ride for today, but the surprise thunderstorms obviously had other plans in mind for me. I decided to take this day as an opportunity to just work on some other things that I've had on my to-do list for a while now instead of getting upset and frustrated about my plans changing. Going with the flow. Trying new things. It's all exciting.

DAY 197

Today was lovely. I spent the day exploring State College with Darrin. We ate good food, walked around Arts Fest, explored nature, grocery shopped, and now we're watching Netflix. So much fun!

DAY 198

So very grateful for my website and all that I've created on it. Feeling very inspired with it all lately. So glad that I've worked hard at it the past 3 years and still love it just as much (maybe more?) as I did the day I bought the domain.

DAY 199

I have high expectations for myself. I have clear visions carved out in my head that I want to achieve. My ideas aren’t typical. I have no interest in a “normal” 9-5 or a desk job, even though that’s what my life is right now.

I’ll do more. I’ll go further. I won’t settle for a job that I don’t love. Sure, I’ll do one for the time being. But I won’t set myself up to get into a comfortable position. I’ve spent my life thus far making sure that I don’t get comfortable in the jobs I work and the town I live in. It would be so easy and accepted to settle down here. But I don’t want that. I want more, and that’s what I’ll get by working hard and being disciplined in my ways.

My life is mine to live however I please. I know that my choices probably don’t make sense to most, but I know they’re the right ones for me. So I’m going to do what I want to do.

DAY 200

The summer fruit is seriously perfect right now. Blueberries, peaches, watermelons, mangoes. LOVE.

DAY 201

The peaceful nights where you can sit and work with no distractions.

DAY 202

I found this cute little guy on the trail today when I was biking. I moved him into the woods and went on my way. I also got to talk to two people from out of town checking out the trail for the afternoon and we had a nice chat. It's always cool when people approach you just to talk. It's a nice reminder that I should do that more often. Little experiences from my bike ride today.

DAY 203

The days when you have no time restrictions on your yoga practice and it's a perfect day outside are the best days.


Thanks for joining! Share your little bits of gratitude with me. I'd love to hear!

How to Create a Work-Life Balance

Balance. Think about that word for a second. What does it mean to you? 

Do you think of trying to stand securely on one foot before falling over, ultimately loosing your balance? Maybe the thought of eating adequate amounts of healthy food but a generous amount of sweet treats is your personal definition. Or you might just view it in a simple, but oh so relatable way; saying that it means happiness.

There's no right or wrong answer to the question. Balance can mean so many things to all of us. It's something that we all need in our lives in a multitude of ways. The type of balance that we're focusing on today is a work-life balance. I think this one is really important because without it, you'll most likely find yourself not enjoying life to the best of your ability. When you take work home with you then you're never truly away from your job. You stop being present in your home life which can affect your relationships as well as your physical and mental health in negative ways. 

Those of us who struggle with this type of unbalanced life most likely don't want it to be the way it is. You crave that switch from work to personal life but can't find that sweet spot. It's tough, but not impossible and with a little effort you'll be able to capture that free time and sense of ease that you're looking for.

MEDIATION + YOGA + EXERCISE

Meditation. Yoga. Exercise. The magic three. I don't think you need to carve out three hours a day to get this all done. No way. You can easily fit all three of these into a 30-60 minute timeframe. Or you can pick and choose. It's up to you. But, mediation, yoga, and exercise can bring up your mood by releasing endorphins and give you a sense of calm before or after a stressful work day. 

Try taking 5 minutes in the morning for some yoga or meditation. You can find short yoga flows on YouTube and simply set a timer on your phone for a quick meditation. If you'd rather, try a 10 minute walk outside before work without your phone to center yourself and go into your day with a clear head.

ROMANTICIZE DAILY ROUTINES

What's your favorite part of the day? For me, it's the morning. I make a delicious breakfast and eat it out of my favorite bowl while I read a book. The sun streams through my window and the birds chirp outside which reminds me that the world is waking up right with me. I love that part of the day and I make sure to make it special. If your favorite part of the day is drinking tea before bed then make that the best you can possibly make it. Buy a fancy tea that you enjoy. Use a mug you really love and drink the tea in a spot that is close to your heart. Maybe you can listen to some music or a podcast. You might even revel in the silence, appreciating it for what it is. Make these small moments special. They matter and they're important.

SCHEDULE TIME OFF

Each day schedule some time off from work to introduce the fact that you don't always have to be in work mode. Show your mind that it's okay to relax for a bit. Start with an hour of just stepping away from work emails and thoughts by doing something else that you enjoy. One day it could be going for a bike ride and another day it could be watching something on Netflix or reading a book. The activities can change as time passes. But the one thing that we don't want to change is giving ourselves permission to take some time off each day to do something for ourselves without work in our minds.

WELCOME FLEXIBILITY AND CHANGES

Be open and accepting to the changes and space that's being created in your life. Also, be patient as the changes happen. Trust and dive into the process. Letting go of the feeling as if you're in control by being "on" all the time opens up a world of possibilities. You'll have more time and space to do things that you've worked towards. Having the extra time and space can be scary at first. Welcome the feelings and the flexibility of it all. It's all normal. It's all okay. Let it be an experience.

Put in the work and you'll see the results. Treat it as an important task in your life and be consistent. The benefits will appear over time and you'll feel great as you look back and see how much you've grown. Share your journey with me and let me know how it's going along the way. Much love. xx

Yogurt Parfait - Vegan + Gluten Free

As I mentioned briefly in this past weeks Gratitude post, I received so much yogurt from a lovely customer. I was so surprised and grateful for their act of kindness. It really got me thinking about how much the way we treat others impacts them.

I didn't see myself as being especially nice to this customer. I was just acting as I would with anyone who called or walked through the door at work. I wasn't trying to get anything out of them, the thought never crossed my mind. I was just being nice. Simple.

The act of being kind resonated with them enough to reciprocate the good vibes, which in turn made my entire day.

I love it. I love spreading positivity and I love that it comes right back to me in various ways. It's such a beautiful thing. And I thought that we could celebrate by making yogurt parfaits. Who's with me?!

YOGURT PARFAITS

1 5oz. vanilla yogurt, I used Silk
Fruit of choice; blueberries, dragon fruit, and pineapple shown
Rawnola

Rawnola Recipe:
1 cup dates, soaked for 2 hours
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup shredded coconut

In your blender blend your dates. Add in oats and coconut. Pulse together all ingredients until granola like texture is formed, being careful to not over mix. 
Layer parfait together in bowl or glass. Yogurt, fruit, yogurt, and rawnola was my layering method but feel free to experiment with different ways! Serve, enjoy!

Gratitude Post - Week 28

This week has been another week of feeling uninspired to do this challenge. I'm not sure why. It's okay though. I'm allowing it to happen; recognizing it as part of the process. You can't expect to love something 100% of the time. There'll be struggles. It doesn't matter what it is. Pushing through and coming out on the other side of those struggles are when you start seeing the rewards and that's what keeps you going. One thing I try to remain consistent with in my posts though is being genuine. Sure, maybe the photo isn't exactly what I had in mind. But I always try to make my words matter. And on that note, let's get to it.

DAY 190

Saturday's are my favorite because they're usually reserved for random adventures with Darrin.

DAY 191

Week 3 of meal prepping = complete. This is a routine that I wonder why I never started sooner?! It's awesome to have all of my meals made throughout my work week. Such a good feeling! 

DAY 192

Today at work I received 36 yogurts from a customer! He's the president of a company in my town that makes Silk and So Delicious products. His wife called me today and asked me what my favorite yogurt flavors were. Ten minutes later he showed up with 3 cases of yogurt as a thank you for providing them with good customer service. I was so shocked and grateful. How nice of two strangers to give me a ton of yogurt just because I was nice to them! Be kind to everyone. Not because you might get something out of it, but because you genuinely want to spread kindness. That's when the magic happens. Such an unexpected, but great way to start the week!

DAY 193

It was a hot one today. So I went for a bike ride after work! I went on the trails near my house, which is something I don't normally do. It was nice! It was something different than usual and switching things up on occasion is always a good thing.

DAY 194

Since I've created more space in my life recently I've been able to read more. Instead of reading books I already have I just end up buying more and more!

DAY 195

I've been sailing through life with a sense of ease recently. I've been thinking about a lot, making some changes, and just going with the flow. It's nice; being more present and aware. I observe, I learn, and I grow.

DAY 196

My eager partner patiently waiting to eat some potatoes with me! xx


Thanks for reading! Let me know what you're grateful for this week!

How to Have a Healthy Relationship With Exercise

Exercising has almost always come easy to me. I enjoy it. Yeah. It's something I like to do. I know that many people out there feel the same way, but many people feel the complete opposite way, too. Regardless of which side of the spectrum you're on I think that it's easy to fall into an unhealthy place with your relationship with exercise.

The relationship that you have with yourself is the most important relationship in your life. If you don't have a good relationship with yourself then there's a good chance that the rest of your relationships will suffer. Taking care of yourself, talking to, and treating yourself like you would your best friend, dog, partner, etc. is so important and key to blossoming that relationship. Fitness and exercise is just an extension of that.

I've been lifting consistently since November of last year but in May I started lifting 5 days a week. I'd get up at 5 a.m. everyday and hit the gym. I was consistent. I'm a very determined person when it comes to my workouts. So I'd go. Everyday. At that point it wasn't an issue. I was loving it. But as summer ramped up and I started biking, practicing yoga, and just being outside more in general I started to get tired. Trying to fit in all of my lifting, biking, yoga, and regular life plans was getting to be too much.

I was desperate to create more space in my life but I didn't want to give up the things that I loved. I took some time to think things through and realized that cutting back on lifting made the most sense. So that's what I did.

I'm now lifting 3 days a week. I'm so much happier with my decision. It's motivated me to push harder than ever before and has given me the chance to do more biking and yoga. Now I'm able to do it all in a reasonable manner which motivates me more and decreases my risk of overtraining and injury.

It's just what I need for this season of my life.

I truly believe that everyone should get out and move their bodies. Walking, biking, running, swimming, skiing, dancing, hiking, canoeing, etc. There are so many options and there's definitely something out there for everyone. 

It's so easy to get caught up in the pressures that are all around us involving exercise. Having the perspective of it being a positive influence in our life and doing it out of love for ourselves - not hate - can shine a light on the good that it can bring. Anything can be seen as bad if we let it and sure, it's easy to slip into an unhealthy place with our workouts. But, when we're able to recognize the problem and flip it into a new experience it has the chance to give us a new outlook on the relationship that we have with it.

I want to encourage you to take a look at your relationship with exercise. Is it one that stems from a place of love or hate? Do you truly enjoy the activities that you're doing each day? Are you willing to try something new?

Answering questions like this and really diving into why we do the things we do can increase our mindset, actions, and life in so many ways. It'll challenge us and help us grow in ways that we didn't know we needed to grow in. And it's all a beautiful, exciting thing.

Ask the questions. Take the chance. Learn. Experience. Have fun. And grow.