Tuesday Turmoil

I hinted at this on my latest IG post…(go follow me to read heh).

When there is something I don’t want to do or something I don’t like but I need to do anymore, I try to make it better, more special somehow. I’m not perfect and there are times when I get stuck in the negative thinking, but my go-to response is to try to make it fun!

A lot of time it’s just for myself, and that’s pretty much all that matters. No one might know that I just went to get a latte at Starbucks because it’s a little treat.  Or I took the long way home for a change of scenery. I think it’s so easy to get caught up in our daily lives, doing what we’re “supposed to do.” We forget that we have the power to change anything at anytime. Yes, it might not be easy but after awhile of this kind of bigger thinking, you get the hang of it.

The idea for this came from me hating Tuesdays. I shouldn’t say I hate them, but they sure are my least favorite day of the week.  I can think of redeeming qualities for every other day but Tuesday. It’s not a fresh start like Monday. Wednesday is the peak from which you can see the other side, and it’s obviously not a weekend day. I don’t know, it’s just boring. Sorry Tuesday.

Something hit me this morning that I don’t need to just get through all the rest Tuesdays I get to experience in my life, I can actually enjoy them!

Seriously, Whitney. Duh.

How did I not realize this before? I know I always get to decide how I feel so why did I forget I could change my narrative around Tuesdays too?

I started with trying to think of all the good points of Tuesdays.  Well, I didn’t come up with more than like two.

  1. It’s a blank slate.
  2. A lot of new podcast episodes are released on Tuesdays.

That’s it, you guys. All I could think of.

Sooo…my next plan of attack is that I create new experiences for myself. Plan a little treat or something unique on a Tuesday every week. Could be little or big. Now this was a fun list to create.

  1. Try a new fitness class
  2. Schedule a wellness practice (ie. salt lounge, meditation)
  3. Cook a special dinner
  4. Go to the library and find a new book
  5. Buy a fancy cappuccino (I basically always get black coffee or Americanos)
  6. Get a facial, manicure, spa treatment (or to save money, have an Epsom salt bath/face mask situation at home!)
  7. Go window shopping
  8. Make lunch plans with a friend
  9. Plan a TV free night
  10. Bake cookies

Of course you can tailor it to your hobbies and things you love. I believe if I make just this little bit of effort to plan a small, fun thing, I’ll break out of my routine bubble and, who knows?, maybe even begin to look forward to Tuesdays!

~Whitney

P.S. What day of the week do you dread? What do you do to make something more fun?

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meditation motivation

Oh hey, yeah, it’s super trendy and that usually annoys me a little, but meditation is pretty magical.

In this day and age, I think it’s an even more important tool now to help with improving our mental health. Every moment we’re surrounding by media. Technology is always waiting at our fingertips to give our brains new ideas and concepts. We can barely think our own thoughts anymore without some kind of outside influence.

I am not going to lie and say I meditate every day or really even on a set schedule, however, when I set aside time to sit quietly and do nothing, shifts happen in my life.

There are so many resources out there today to help you but you honestly don’t need a single thing to get started.

This summer I started meditating outside and it’s been nice but you can do it anywhere that feels right. If I’m feeling extra fancy I’ll light a candle and maybe hold a crystal or two.  It’s not necessary though! It’s too easy for me to skip it because it’s not the “perfect” time or setup. (What is that trait? Perfectionism or just an excuse to procrastinate?  That’s a mystery for another time.) Literally, you can meditate anywhere without a single prop.

Anyway, it depends on my mood what type of meditation I feel like doing.

Ways to meditate:

Solo – In your car, bedroom, on a park bench…Use headphones with music if you want but it’s not necessary unless you’re trying to tune out some outside noise. I suggest just instrumental music; lyrics usually make me think too much. I’m a dork and love movie soundtracks (Legends of the Fall…swoon) and Jim Brickman.

During exercise – Any cardio is great for this, I think because of the repetitive motion, like running, walking, biking, ellipticalling…that’s a word, right? I rarely wear headphones when running (unless I’m going for speed on a gym treadmill. I like the music for a motivation boost!) and it’s such great thinking time. It’s not classic meditation but it’s mind-clearing time where I come up with a lot of solutions to things I’ve been mulling over.

Group meditation – look around for events on Facebook.  A couple places in my area that have meditations now and then are The Salt Lounge, Bldg 7 Yoga, and Integrative Healing Arts. At first I thought this might be strange, sitting silently in a room with a bunch of people, but it’s usually been great. There’s a different energy when you’re all together.

Apps – If you can’t tear yourself away from your phone, you might like an app to help you get started with meditation. I’ve heard great things about the Headspace app!

YouTube – I’ve been known to search randomly on YouTube for meditations.  There are thousands out there but it can also be a little overwhelming.  I recommend listening to the first few seconds of one before committing. I def. can’t stand certain people’s voices or overall vibes and have to switch to a new one asap!

Journaling – I wasn’t sure if I should include this as a type since it’s a little more active but I think it’s an excellent practice and can definitely be meditative. If you’re not used to writing, start with a prompt. Soon you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to write from your heart, not your mind. Cliché but true.

It’s seriously about just quieting your thoughts for a few minutes. I get clarity, and weirdly, feel more energized after I meditate. Sometimes I’ll do it in bed and then realize I’m a little more awake!  Not really what I was going for then, but it’s amazing at what just sitting still does for me.

If you’re not sure where to start, do this: Set a timer for 5 minutes. Close your eyes and just notice your thoughts. Don’t try to get rid of them or change them, just notice how they come up and how they flow away and onto the next one. There’s no forcing your brain to be quiet, it’s more the action of letting go of the thought, not trying to understand it. Once your timer goes off, just go about your day. See if sitting quietly gets a little easier after each time you do it.

There will oddly be times where I crave it now. Sometimes I just want to grab a notebook and write some random thoughts. Anyway I do it is time well spent.

I’d love to hear your experiences meditating or why you haven’t gotten in to it before!

~Whitney

 

 

Trying too hard?

Trying too hard has been such a theme in my first 30 years.  I’ve gotten tons and tons better but it would just sort of stop in one area of my life and stay present in another.

Trying too hard to be perfect.

Trying too hard to be nice.

Trying too hard to be organized.

Trying too hard to look pretty and polished.

Trying too hard to be something (everything) I’m not.

There is much to be said for self-improvement.  In fact, it’s basically my favorite pastime. However, the feeling that I need to change in order to feel better about myself or more worthy of my dreams I’m trying to manifest is completely insane.  That’s what trying too hard has done for me. It was almost always never about growing and chasing my goals.  It was almost always about striving for perfection so the world would think I was good enough. It was never for the sake of having fun and being myself.

The act of trying is really an act of doing nothing but spinning my wheels. Stuck in the mud, trying to run away and gain some traction. It was usually something I had to force myself to do and something I did not really enjoy. I would even try to like whatever I was forcing myself to do!

I lost all the magic, all the spontaneity, all the fun.

Now, there is a time and place for planning and pushing myself.  There’s even an instance or two when I need to force myself to do something, but that only works when the end goal I dream of requires consistent action.

I swear I won’t always use running as a life metaphor but it just works, okay?

Case in point: I’m running a marathon this November (115 days to go!) and there are some days I reallllly don’t want to get out and run my miles even though my training plan says so.  This is when I let my (old friend) rigidness come out and show me who’s boss. I need this run or else I’m going to regret it on race day.  This run makes me stronger and more prepared.  This run gets me closer to my dream of crossing “Run a marathon” off my bucket list.  It’s those literal steps that are taking me where I want to go.

That, to me, is not trying too hard.  It’s just fighting for my goals.

I’ve been really into surrendering lately and that’s what kicking this habit of trying too hard means to me.  Surrender has been quite the trendy word but, man is it a tough one to actual practice.  I’ve never noticed just how tight my grip on the world is until I started to let go.

What a work in progress I am.  Aren’t we all?

P.S. I like fun things too.  It’s not all a lot of words and thinking and pondering life’s purpose up here…aka in my head.

Underestimating Ourselves

Why do we underestimate ourselves so much?  Is it out of fear?  So we don’t disappoint ourselves?

I was born with a huge imagination and with that came a knowing.  A knowing of just how much I could accomplish.  Lots of things pile on and make it seem impossible but deep down I still have my voice telling me to just do it because I’ll succeed.  So I’m not exactly sure what the answers to my aforementioned questions are.  What do I let stop me from following my dreams? Maybe that’s just fine.  Maybe it’s in the asking that I’ll make a difference in my life or yours.

When I write something here, I like to help.  I like to give some sort of advice or tricks or inspiration.  Me asking a question and not giving an answer used to seem wrong.  Unfinished and unsatisfying.

A wise friend said this the other day and I’ve been thinking about it ever since.

“Maybe you’re not supposed to be the one with all the answers, just the questions.”

My favorite uncle, Tony Robbins, says you have to ask quality questions. I agree.

Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers. - Tony Robbins(source)

I don’t need to help everyone all the time, including myself.  Just because I don’t know exactly what needs to be done next doesn’t mean I’m stuck and creating nothing.

I don’t need all the answers.

I don’t need to be perfect to help people.

That’s all.

~Whitney Victoria

Changes Afoot

With the new year comes new moments, new goals, new lives.  Changes can happen any time of the year but something is different when the calendar starts over.

I can feel it this year way more than others.  I remember last year trying so hard to make 2017 begin with some kind of magic that just wasn’t there.  I guess you just can’t force the magical moments.  You gotta just let it flow.

I’ve been on a tiny health kick since January 1 and it feels good.  It was not a big plan I set out to do but it’s been nice eating my vegetables again and not being so quick to add in junk.  (I say this after eating 4 pieces of chocolate but still, that’s better than last week!  Eeeesh!) Basically the whole month of December I had dessert every night, dairy in my coffee, sugar at evvvvery meal in some shape or form.  There was less sleep, more drinks.  Less meditating, more late nights.

Pic from my (free) Shady Maple birthday breakfast.  It was heaven.  Let’s not talk about how many plates I packed away…IMG_7237

It was fun in small doses but I’ve never been one for that lifestyle.  I’ve been going to bed by 9pm for as long as I can remember.  Seriously, my friends made fun of me in high school.  I never cared because sleep makes me feel amazing.

Finally, I feel the tides turning back to my norm.

Along with the healthier meals, I’ve always been reading before bed.  (Real live books!) I’ve missed that and even in just a few days I notice the calmness I feel when falling asleep.

I am completed excited and ready to manifest my goals but I’m only sharing a few here.  No shame whatsoever but I’m still working through the specific on some steps and I’d like to keep ’em close to the chest for now.

A smattering of 2018 #goalsss:

  • Read at least 25 books – self-development, fiction, whatever!
    • So satisfying and I learn massive amounts of great things from reading, no matter the genre.
  • Build my blog – I know it seems simple but I love it.
    • It’s good challenging and I have hundreds of ideas of what I’d like it to become.
  • Meditate and/or journal daily – no matter how little it is.
    • I love a good ritual.
    • I’m allowing even just one sentence jotted down or like 8 minutes of mediation if that’s all that happens one day!
  • Kick-box (and train hard again)
    • I’ve been talking about kickboxing for YEARS and never tried it.  No idea why but it’s time.  I see myself loving it and it fits in with my slightly obsessed Rocky, triumphant underdog fantasies.
    • I also need to get my semi-abs back and stronger than ever.
  • Speak up.  Put my true self out there.  Stand up and be confident.
    • It’s so easy when I stop “trying.” Trying to be perfect, trying to make someone else happy, trying to take care of things.
  • Be debt-free
    • One of those things I took for granted until I realized it was an issue.  I’m ready for financial freedom.  I 100% believe it’s possible because I’ve seen it.
  • Follow a mostly clean diet with indulgences I truly enjoy.
    • How I feel the best.  No time for eating junk that doesn’t thrill me anymore. You know you’ve eaten a cupcake purely because it was there?  It was dry, the icing was too sweet, and all of a sudden you feel gross.  Yeah, not happening.
    • One, amazing slice of peanut butter pie? Baby, it’s worth it.

A super flattering picture of me cradling my new matcha set!  I’m really excited to get into and even, dare I say it, drink a little, tiny bit less coffee this year. img_7249.jpg

  • Do a monthly check-in with myself
    • I’m using my beautiful Desire Map Planner that I highly recommend.  Check it out right here!  (I’m gong to do a detailed post about tit.  It’s not too late to get one for the year!
      • My planner actually has a check-in prompt at the beginning of every month so it makes it super easy for me. I’ve done the overall 2018 pages and obviously the January one.

And a snap of my planner and breakfast (real muffin pieces in this bar, people)!  Weird color, trust me, the actually shades are much prettier and ocean-esque.IMG_7320

Those are the “big goals.”  I have a few random to-dos like go to another Broadway show and learn to roller blade (I know, I’m 29.  I should already know how or I shouldn’t bother.  hah! A girl can dream…and boy, do I. Always have, always will. )

Think big or stay small.

Please share any goal you want to achieve this year with me!  I’m so curious how everyone is feeling about their clean slates, excited, anxious or anywhere in between.

Much love! You deserve it.

~Whitney Victoria

 

 

Love Languages

(photo cred:)

Love, a language?  Oh, I am most definitely not fluent.

 I took the love language quiz again…I only remembered half-way.  I needed the full deets on my inner psyche.  It’s free!  You just have to create short profile.

It’s been pretty popular in years past and become a bit of a cliche but….In case you don’t know what a “love language” is, here goes: Your love language is the way someone needs to communicate with you in order for you to feel connected and ultimately loved.  I’m sure there’s someone in your life that just flummoxes you.  You know, like you just don’t know what really makes them happy.  You should take the quiz for yourself and then get them to take it. This is not just for romantic relationships; you can use the language results for children, parents, friends, co-workers, etc.

This is not to say you need to make someone else happy all the time by showering them with gifts (if they’re like me…).  I just think it’s a great tool to understand why someone did not respond the way you assumed they would to your actions and to maybe increase your connections.

Especially with the holidays happening like tomorrow, it’s something that might help you  have a smoother time conversing with relatives…hah!   Hey, you never know.  I found an interesting post about using it romantically if that’s what you’re looking for.

My results:

10 Receiving Gifts
8 Words of Affirmation
7 Quality Time
4 Physical Touch
1 Acts of Service

It’s insanely valid for me.  I know how much I appreciate getting a little note or present because it’s a physical sign that someone cared and was thinking about me.  It’s not about the actual material thing I receive. I’m 100% sure this is why I love giving presents to everyone around me!  I love it so much that I just want to share that good feeling it gives me.

Receiving Gifts

Receiving Gifts

Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous—so would the absence of everyday gestures. Gifts are heartfelt symbols to you of someone else’s love and affection for you.
Words of Affirmation

Words of Affirmation

Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important— hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten. You thrive on hearing kind and encouraging words that build you up.
Quality Time

Quality Time

In Quality Time, nothing says “I love you” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there—with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby—makes you feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed activities, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful. Whether itʼs spending uninterrupted time talking with someone else or doing activities together, you deepen your connection with others through sharing time.
Physical Touch

Physical Touch

A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, and thoughtful touches on the arm—they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive. Appropriate and timely touches communicate warmth, safety, and love to you.
Acts of Service

Acts of Service

Can helping with homework really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most wants to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter. When others serve you out of love (and not obligation), you feel truly valued and loved.
I’d absolutely love to hear if you take the quiz and agree with the results!
~Whitney Victoria

 

Festivities – Food and Facials

Festiveness is everywhere!  In my food and self-care practices…

Festivity Part One: I had a facial today here.  It was heaven.   I chose the spa because they focus on natural ingredients.  I didn’t want harsh products on my poor face.  After my first facial I felt super red and slightly in pain and I’ve never had super bad skin so I can imagine what it’s like for other people.  This time was going to be different.  I had already decided that before booking an appointment.

Other than my skin looking a little lackluster lately, I didn’t have any major concerns to addresss.  I mainly wanted some advice on my type of skin and some sort of cleansing relaxation.  The “seasonal facial” was right up my alley.

This was the description: “A botanical experience perfect for all skin types featuring vitamin-rich holistic products that enhance your skin’s natural balance and vitality.  While your skin absorbs the healing properties of our masques, we’ll delight you with a decollete, full hand & arm exfoliation and body butter application followed by a warm tower hand wrap.”

The esthetician used hot buttered rum exfoliant, peppermint oil in my scalp massage, and some amazing cocoa face mask…yes.  It was like I was getting a facial in Christmas land.  So many hot towels draped over my eyes and my hands wrapped up.  It was so relaxing and my face was a tad red (as to be expected) but it also looked dewy and renewed.

She did tell me that I had small blocks all over and it wasn’t super noticeable to me because I have small pores.  She said that it was most likely caused by something topical.  I literally never wear foundation so I knew it must be my face cream.  Another fact I loved about the process was that I was given a “prescription sheet” of all the products she used on me in case I loved it and wanted to use something at home.  It was completely this brand, Eminence Organic Skincare, which I have never heard of before now.  It’s so tough for me to find something natural that also doesn’t cause any negative reactions or clogged pores.  The “calm” line was recommended since I’m pretty sensitive…of course I am.I’m not one to be talked into a ton of products but I want my skin to be something I’m proud of.  Instead of just choosing say the cleanser, or just the cream, I am trying this starter set so see how I like it.

img_6713.jpgimg_6714.jpg

Seriously.  I loved every minute of it.  I’m currently working them into my schedule because this needs to happen every six weeks or so.

Festivity Part Two:

Oh man.  I had the best idea yesterday morning.  I had some time to actually use the stove for breakfast.  Normally I prep oatmeal the night before or  so I wanted good pancakes.  You know, with the little crispy edges that show up when you bake something in a pan?  I use coconut oil usually but there’s nothing wrong with real butter!  My stomach does not do well with egg yolks and I’m always on the lookout for something gluten free. My search led me to this easy recipe.  It’s actually a waffle recipe but they’re always the same and I was not dusting my waffle iron off for a batch of 2.

It was so simple yet I was almost out of my regular almond milk and didn’t think I could squeeze a 1/2 cup out of it.  I thought, “Hey!  Who says I can’t substitute that for my beloved Good Karma Holiday Nog?”

Let me tell you.  It’s one of the best “nogs” on the market right now.  I’ve tried most dairy-free kinds so that’s saying something.  It’s great straight up.  I can’t wait to down a glass with a little plateful of gluten-free almond cookies this season.  So…it had to be a great addition to my pancakes, right?

SOOO much better than I expected!  My pancakes tastes like sugar cookies!  I added just a hint of coconut oil at the end and drizzled some maple syrup but next time I wouldn’t even need that! The nog added its own sweetness.

Please try this recipe out!  I got my nog at Wegmans but this time of year it’s usually at Giant and Target too! You can use any kind of dairy-free nog (or any kind of milk, I think) but I think you’ll love the festive feel to this breakfast.

Holiday Nog Pancakes

(Makes 2 large pancakes)

1/2 cup gluten-free flour (I love Bob’s Red Mill gf blend.)

1/2 cup Good Karma Holiday Nog

2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp baking powder

Mix all ingredients together. Cook on medium heat in pan with melted coconut oil.  Flip once, when you see bubbles on the surface. It will take awhile!  Practice patience.

fullsizeoutput_20c4I’ll be making these all winter long.  Or at least as long as I can find great dairy-free, healthy drinks.

My favorite way to drink “egg” nog of the season.  Christmas Vacation will forever hold a place in my happy holiday heart.

~Whitney Victoria

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Supermoons and Staycays

Crazy lunar happenings this week.  It’s a supermoon (full moon) in Gemini and the first feels of Mercury in retrograde.  don’t worry if you missed the moon last night!  It’s the closest it’s been to Earth for all of 2017 right now so you can still see it in all it’s glory tonight.

The Moon is most powerful when at Full Moon, when her light outshines the light of the Sun and our emotions are stronger than our Solar consciousness. Just look at the Full Moon. The Full Moon is honest, the Full Moon reveals herself entirely. When full, the Moon wants to expose everything, to show things as they really are The Full Moon on the 3rd of December is in Gemini, and will be all about illuminating the truth. (source)

“The full Moon on the Gemini / Sagittarius axis is a quest for the truth.

In a few weeks, it will be Capricorn season-aka Whitney season. I can tell already.  I’ve decided years ago just how intuitive I am and I can honestly say I feel the effects of things like this.  There’s a spark in the air around my birthday.  It’s easier to hear my thoughts and drop facades and let myself have more fun.  I never put two and two together until now actually….that’s probably why I love the holidays!  I just always attributed it to being festive and in the spirit but now it all makes sense that it’s probably closely linked to my time of year.

I finally decided on a new planner from Danielle LaPorte for next year and I’m excited to use that little baby.  It’s beautiful and massive and full of good words.  Check it out!  LOVE the look and feel.

I’m using it this week to remember all the things I want to be and how I stopped myself from fulfilling that potential the past few months.  In a good way.  Nothing too deep…that’s not true.  I want to go real deep and listen to my soul (feel free to insert eye roll).  We teach people how to treat us by how we treat ourselves, which brings me to my second point.

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I have vacation this entire week.  Long story short: I had a trip planned that my inner self was so not feeling so I cancelled. The minute I got my hotel refund, I felt crazy relief.  What I’ve been craving was time away but not away.  You get it? (Staycay?  Yes way!  Hah!) Now I’m doing some major R&R and detoxing in the form of workouts, clean eating, and home organization and cleansing ala Marie Kondo. Attachment gets us nowhere, my friends. I also have scheduled a facial.  It’s literally been years since I had one and I don’t want to wait until my skin hates me to start that pampering.  Lets be proactive. I’m not getting any younger, although it is said to be true that Capricorns age in reverse.  I can attest to the fact that I used to think I was like a 35 year old and serious as a jr. high kid.  Now I think I’m 16.  Don’t hate me when I’m youthfully glowing at age 72.

Anyway, enjoy the holiday vibes going on just about everywhere and take time for YOU in between all that present shopping.

Case in point below.  A wonderful Whole Foods trip that involved lots of gifts for family members also included me finding this (yet-to-be tasted) Mint Cocoa Califia Farms almond milk creamer.  Um yeah, I bought it for myself.  It was a necessity.  All in the name of self-love.  As was posing for a pic in front of the bulk nuts. IMG_6680

Be good to yourself this time of the month!  It’s not just the full moon phase; it’s almost a new calendar year.  2018 is in sight.  This is when you reassess and are able to see things in a new light.  We all have things we want to leave behind. It might have been wonderful once but nothing is meant to last forever and stay the same.

There’s nothing wrong with moving on from what no longer serves us.  Make room for the new surprises.

~Whitney Victoria

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Commitment Issues

It’s not what you think.  Well, maybe a little.  The last month or so I’ve really noticed how much I sign up for, RSVP “yes” to, and overall commit to doing that I just don’t actually want to do.  I’m an over-committer.

I’ve always been reliable and professional.  Committing to things seemed like a perfect way to prove that I was grown-up and trustworthy.  It was like a way to give myself proof  that I was doing the right thing.  Flaky people don’t complete fitness challenges or make plans months in advance, right?  It’s been my goal up until recently to present my best self to everyone at all times. That’s another major issue…but this lead me to care so much what people thought of me that I usually didn’t stop to think why I wanted to do it.

I’ve seen too many people cancel at the last minute or show up late or go from obsessing over the latest trend to forgetting all about it a month later.  For a reason I’m still unsure of, I labeled that kind of behavior “bad” or “wrong.”  Obviously, I didn’t want anyone to think of me that way.

I’m crediting mostly my amazing week in NJ at a Tony Robbins event with finally realizing who I want to be and how much I’m not being that person.  (Also another huge, long story, but truly groundbreaking for me.)

After that moment of seeing it all before me, it dawned on me that so many of my commitments I did in order to feel a certain way.  I’d force myself to go to meetings or show up for a shift of whatever when really I wanted to be at home baking or at the gym in a class. It’s been years since I’ve not had almost every single moment planned out.  I even made (make…I’m a work in progress) lists for my days off.  I’ll write down “watch Grey’s Anatomy, roast vegetables, shower.”  Seriously, I’ve written “shower” on my to-do lists…like I’d forget or something.

What I didn’t realize is that the things I’d forget to do probably weren’t things that got me excited or led me to some kind of joyful outcome.  I’m getting better and letting go and going with my impulses.  They don’t steer me wrong.  I just have to breathe and listen.

Maybe 2 weeks ago I told several people that they shouldn’t allow me to sign up for anything unless it was a one-time thing like one yoga class until the new year.  No going to that class and then buying a 10-class package so I’d pigeon-hole myself into going, thinking it was for my own good when really it would make me miserable.

This week I thought, “wait, me making a pact to not commit to anything is exactly the kind of stupid rules and games I’m trying to quit.”

It’s actually not about never making plans.  It’s about only doing things that make me happy.  That’s what matters.

In lighter news, my pecan pie was made using Pillsbury cinnamon rolls as the crust and this recipe for the filling.  (No corn syrup!)  It was pretty good but I think I’d like more filling next time since the rolls absorbed a lot of the moisture when baking. img_6523.jpgThe outfit.  Simple, festive-enough, and all pieces I already owned.  Weird for me, but I loved it this year. img_6546.jpgIt’s a tradition to go to Murdough’s Christmas Barn after eating Thanksgiving dinner.  This ornament is straight-up Law of Attraction.IMG_6548I appointed myself the table place card maker.  I found these little ornaments and tags.  I kept it simple and wrote each person’s name, after attaching the pinecones.  It was cute and something everyone could take home.img_6140.jpgIMG_5965

IMG_6531My tiny Hello Kitty tree is up at work!  Lucky I have a huge desk to fit all my holiday decorations.img_6561.jpg

Black Friday was goooood to me.  I got this tree for $23.  I’m fine with a semi-straggly tree this year when it’s just me enjoying it.  I’ve always been partial to the Charlie Brown trees of the lot anyway.  It’s clearly still in the works but at least it’s up!

img_6560.jpgOne month exactly until my birthday.  I like to do a little soul-searching this time of year. I’m striving for following my instincts so I can do more of what I love, more of the time.

~Whitney Victoria

November’s First Wellness Wednesday

Had a free coffee at Barnes and Noble.  My darling mother gave me a coupon! Because it’s delicious and I like plain old iced coffee.  Side note: a few people had subtle Halloween costumes on and I take back what I said about being over it;  I feel a little Scrooge-like not even wearing my black cat earrings.  Oh well.  It doesn’t have to be a recognized holiday for me to celebrate and dress up.  IMG_6187

 

November is here!  I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving and the second best holiday, Black Friday (it’s my shopping Olympics!). The month is a the 11th month on the calendar.  11 is a master number if you know anything about numerology.  I’d like to know more.  I didn’t believe in it until recently when I suddenly realized I really am characteristic of a 5…too much?

Isn’t my cat calendar adorable?  I have it on my shelf at my desk.  I bought it in Bryant Park last year and got my sister a Corgi shaped one too.

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I wanted to throw in a snap of one of my magnets.  Let’s stop waiting for things.  This isn’t a dress rehearsal.

IMG_6196We all know it’s a cliche now, but I truly believe in the Law of Attraction.  Turns out, almost everyone successful, famous, happy, etc. does too.  Einstein, Tesla, Will Smith, Oprah, the list goes on and on.  It doesn’t have to be some hokey principle that you follow like a cult, although you can be as open about it as you wish.  Basically every athlete sees themselves making the shot/goal/play before they do it.  They’re visualizing themselves as a success.  They feel themselves being who they want to be before it happens in real life.

You act how you want to feel.  You follow things that make you happy.  Those actions lead to more joyful things.

That is all.  Simple, right?  You got it?  Oh good.  Tell me how easy it is.

The more you quiet your mind and sit still for a little, the easier it is to hear where you’re being led.  It’s 1000x easier for your inspired thoughts to come through if you practice meditation.  I used to think it was pretentious to say “I practice mediation.  I’ve been neglecting my bikram yoga practice.”  What, can’t I just “do” yoga?? Why is it such an important thing like a medical practice?  But then, i read somewhere why they call it a “practice.”  It’s hard and you are always going to be progressing and gaining strength and mental focus.  Same goes for meditation. (Tomorrow I’m going to tell you about my experiences with meditation.  You know, really dive deep.)

I had a major epiphany a few months ago and can now see the person I want to be.  That sounds silly but it’s true.  Sooo, I’ve been experimenting and asking myself what I’d do as future me before I make a decision.  It’s magic.  Maybe I clearly know myself more than others, so I’m not sure this would work for everyone.  However, it’s pretty simple when my mind is clear to hear my true thoughts.

Back to attracting.  It’s not about changing what you don’t like, it’s about not focusing on it at all.

Yesterday, I went for a run.  I still haven’t been back on track and I decided to take a different mental approach.  I slept in instead of the gym visit I had planned and honestly thought, “What would I do if I was the person who I know I”m supposed to be?”  Oh, I would readjust my schedule and go running after work!  I could see myself being proud and having that great, sweaty, accomplished tiredness.  All that is exactly what prompted me to pack my workout gear and take it along so I could change and head to the trails immediately after work.  It was a hard 3 miles.  I needed to remember this.  Even at the height of working out, it was still difficult! I’ve slacked so much in the last three months and have’t been consistent with any specific exercise for awhile.  But, I started making it a practice of mine to have (mostly) positive thoughts when I run.  Even if it’s tough and I want to stop, I make sure to turn it around and give myself a pep talk.  Sometimes I play games with myself, like I’ll run to the next tree then slow down if I really need it.  Or, I won’t look at my Garmin until the next miles beeps.  I’m not into music when I run outside and it’s funny because every now and then I start singing a song in my head.  It’s a fun thing that passes the time.

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Yes, those are tiny gnats on my face.  P.S. that shirt is from the little boys’ section of Walmart.  It was literally $1.  I wear it more than my expensive Brooks tops.

It’s all about not focusing on the hard stuff.  I could easily think, “oh my god.  It’s cold. I’m done,” the entire time and end up miserable.  But I know how great I feel when it’s over, knowing I persevered.  Today was good for me because it was chilly and I forgot how much breathing in cold air makes it even tougher to breathe.  I had some side stitches because I haven’t stuck to my normal decently healthy diet that I would do when running regularly.  There was a moment when I was mad at myself for letting my fitness level slip.  Right then, I had a small/instrumentally huge thought. Maybe it’s because I’ve gotten good at switching gears to happy thoughts or maybe the universe told me but this is what I thought:

“It never has to be this hard again.”

That’s right.  I could take where I was at that moment and keep moving.

Every time I run I’ll progress.  Even if it feels physical just as tough, my mental state will have improved.

There never has to be a day that I quit.  I always get a second chance to do it again.

~Whitney Victoria