Rules to live by

Life is challenging in so many ways. I think of myself as rather optimistic going through life, but it’s still not easy. I see it every day — people who just aren’t happy. And it breaks my heart because whatever they’re dwelling on, LET IT GO. Don’t think about things that make you unhappy, don’t DO things you hate, and STOP going through life like it’s not YOUR OWN.

Thinking about that, I came up with some ways that I live my life. Here are some of the “guidelines” that I live by:

  1. Treat yourself very well. I don’t rely on anyone to make me happy, besides me. I try to cover all the fields: my mental, physical, emotional and spiritual needs. I’m good to myself and I try to do all things in moderation. I’ll eat ice cream one day, and then go for a run the next. I’ll buy myself a massage every-so-often. If I’m feeling in a funk, I’ll take a vacation day and have a “me” day. If I want something I’ll go light on spending the month before, and then buy it for myself. As they say, life is about moderation, and it’s true. Through life, be sure to take good care of yourself. If you don’t, it will come out in ways you don’t want it to – you’ll act negatively to your loved ones and through your work and then it’s a revolving cycle that you don’t want to be in. Treat yourself well.
  2. Be specific in asking for what you want out of your life. This is funny and I just learned it in the last 4-5 years. If you want something in life — to reach a goal, get a new job, change a B+ to an A-, improve a skill — find someone close to whatever it is and ask them for advice. Important: Don’t ask for it to be handed to you. Just ask for advice. And they very likely will help you way more than you imagined. The hard part is still on you, because you need to first figure out exactly what you want before asking. If you don’t know exactly what you want, the passion won’t be there and you’ll sound needy. No one likes a needy-someone. But everyone likes a determined-someone. Be that someone.*
  3. Don’t hurt others, even if they deserve it. Some people truly suck. Truly. If and when you think about being vengeful, just remember that we’re all human. Human isn’t a very easy thing to be for all of us. Some days are really bad, and for some people, you just never know how deeply wounded they can be from something else in their life, that in turn made them hurt you. Realize that life is hard enough, and you get out what you put in. People will have their own challenges — always. They don’t need you to add to them. Take your energy and put it into something else. Don’t waste it on bad people.
  4. Say thank you for your blessings before seeking what else you need. This is so important. Pretty much on a daily basis I say — out loud — “thank you for my blessings.” I feel like the luckiest person in the world, but I’m really not anymore than the next person. I just choose to look at all of the positives in my life, before looking at what I could have or do. I went to a Catholic high school, and I remember in faith class one day we were tasked with writing down our prayers and then asked to share them. People asked for health, wealth, stress-free days, solutions to drama, etc. I was the only one whose prayer was of thanks. I had listed all of my blessings and was simply saying thank you for them. I recall being so surprised to find that this wasn’t how others started their prayers. But to this day, I say aloud how thankful I am for everyone and everything I have in my life.
  5. Build your foundation and don’t let anyone touch it. Everything in life needs a solid foundation for it to be durable — your career, a new house, a relationship and your being. All of your experiences, successes and failures have led you to exactly where you are right now. Whether you like it or not, you have built your foundation. The important piece is making it strong, and making it true to you, and only you. It is very important to know who you are at your core. I have a solid knowledge of who I am, no matter the circumstances in my life (I think this is why I am so stubborn, lol). But seriously — I know who I am, and no matter what happens in my life, I have that, and that ensures me that I will always be okay.
  6. Be there. The people who you love, the ones who you call friends and family, they matter more than anything. If they need you, be there. The only thing I would ever regret in my life is letting down someone I love.

*Some extra motivation to get you to the weekend:

“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.”

Randy Pausch, “The Last Lecture”

Oh happy days

Happiness. It can be a confusing emotion. I think we get so wrapped up in the material of what happiness could be — a nicer car, a new job, a goal weight. But that thinking doesn’t allow us to focus on the fact that true happiness is simplicity. It’s contentment, feeling safe.

That being said, we can be our biggest assets or our own worst enemy. Negativity about oneself can collapse a whole world. Don’t let it in. Those thoughts about how happy we could be if we had this, or did that… It will only make you feel worse about, well, everything. Instead, appreciate what you have — find joy in the little things, spend more time outside, and show some love for yourself.

Purposefully do this one thing for yourself today: don’t let one thought of self-doubt in. Let’s stop being so damn hard on ourselves.

“Happiness turned to me and said – It is time. It is time to forgive yourself for all of the things you did not become. It is time to exonerate yourself for all the people you couldn’t save, for all the fragile hearts you fumbled with in the dark of your confusion. It is time, child, to accept that you don’t have to be who you were a year ago, that you don’t have to want the same things. Above all else, it is time to believe, with reckless abandon, that you are worthy of me, for I have been waiting for years” Bianca Sparacino

According to statistics, it should be a really nice day

Happy Monday! That’s an oxymoron for many, but I’m trying to not go into Monday’s so negatively.

I hope this helps:

I know today is Monday and you assume it’s going to suck, but according to statistics, there will be over 5,000 weddings, 10,000 childbirths, and 42 million hugs occurring today throughout the United States. Also today, there will be at least 4 people that will win the multimillion dollar lotteries, 600 people will get promotions at work. There will also be 600 dogs adopted, 35,000 balloons sold, and 800,000 skittles eaten. Plus, the words “I love you” will be said over 9 million times. So again, I know today is Monday and you assume it’s going to suck, but just smile, because according to statistics, it should actually be a really nice day.

You are what you think

One of the easiest ways to be happy, is to simply allow yourself to be. Unfortunately, our brains can be the biggest culprit to making us miserable. Over the past few years, I have learned how to train my brain to react to positives, and not dwell on negatives. One major factor in this was learning how to control my thoughts. We (all of us, not just girls — many boys are more sensitive than girls, contrary to what our culture tells us) have the ability to control our thoughts, and in turn our actions, emotions, and moods.

We get in our heads. But – you have the ability to change your course of thought. Think of your thoughts as a television – if you don’t like what is playing, change the channel. It is seriously as simple as that. I have tried this out on multiple occasions, and it works wonders.

For example, the other day I was driving, and all of a sudden I had a negative thought cross my mind, out of no where. It started to layer and think of other terrible situations and then — I just decided to change the “channel.” I simply closed my eyes, told myself it was just a thought – not reality – and happily went on with my day.

Similarly to when I wrote about worrying less, your thoughts are YOURS. Use them wisely. They can either empower you with inspiration, or bury you with bad feelings. I think we all know which we’d prefer. Always know that YOU are the SOLE person in charge of every. single. aspect. of your life.

No negative thoughts today!

JUST IN: Cuppa Charm

Guys! I’ve been MIA for various reasons, one being my site was under renovation. I recently redid my site, and bought a new domain (I am doing cartwheels I am so excited!). You can now find me at: cuppacharm.com. This name “Cuppa Charm,” has held a special place in my heart for over 10 years now, and I am SO.so.SO excited for this name to be officially mine. I also created my new logo:

cropped-cuppacharm1

There were a few reasons for my switch, and I feel that this new website more accurately reflects what it is that I plan to write about. You’ll notice my tagline

Cultivate happiness through chaos

is really what I want to display here. Physical, emotional, spiritual and mental happiness. Just, happiness. That’s where I want this to go, for all of us.

I hope you’ll check out my new site and let me know what you think. As all things in life, it’s a work in progress.

Cheers!

Morning routine

I believe that small adjustments are a quick way to a happy day. (I know, I’m sorry for rhyming, annoying.)

I wouldn’t consider myself a morning person, I could sleep for many more hours than I do. I try to get between 7-8 hours each night, but I could definitely go for about 10.

Lately, I’ve been trying to be better about my health — both physically and mentally, and one step I’ve been trying to master is my morning routine.

A few months back, I was sleeping until about 7:15, when I have to be out the door by 7:30 — and having to take my dog for a walk before I leave. I was rocking the messy-bun on a daily basis, and it left me feeling exhausted, rushed, and frustrated. I thought that by hitting snooze several times, and giving myself a few extra minutes would be beneficial – how wrong I was!

In recent weeks, I’ve switched up my schedule. I have still been leaving at 7:30, but now I wake up at 6:15. A whole extra hour! And it makes me so. much. happier.

I wake up, and spray this “Breathe Deeply” Happy Spritz right in my face (it’s a mix of pure peppermint + eucalyptus + 100% pure essential oils). It is a wake-up call, and also my reminder for the day to BREATHE. Often when I’m stressed, I’ll find myself literally holding my breathe. It’s so bad to do – and I’m making a conscious effort to knock that off.

breathe

Next, I’ll get up, make some coffee and have a glass of water. I’ll take Cooper out for a nice, longer walk rather than rushing her, too. Then I get ready, maybe even do my hair if I feel like it since I now have the time.

After I am ready for the day, I make a healthy breakfast and actually sit down at our breakfast table and eat it. It’s amazing having time in the morning and not being stressed.

My morning and whole day are so much better with my new routine in place. It is still a little difficult to get out of bed, but now I look forward to my time in the morning, so I’m willing to get up and do it. I look forward to the weekends to sleeping in a bit, but my weekdays have improved greatly.

Cheers!

Happy New Year!

With 365 fresh days ahead of us, it’s time to renew and restore ourselves. Many of us use the new year to look back at what has changed, new friends who’ve come into our lives, and maybe even some who have stepped out.

While I see it is worthwhile to reflect, and typically I do. This year, I’m just allowing the past to be the past. 2016 is closed, and I’m ready for this new year. While I did have a lot of fun adventures in the past year, France probably being my favorite, I feel that 2016 was a pretty stagnant year for me.

If there’s one thing I dislike for myself, it’s feeling stagnant. ONE life. That’s IT. I don’t want to spend one month of it without being in continuous motion. Whether it’s physically, mentally, spiritually, socially, I want to keep growing. Then give myself some rest on a tropical island, and then grow some more.

My resolutions:

  • Start writing my book (it’s always been a thought. This year it’ll be an action)
  • Focus myself on my grad school courses
  • Eat more REAL food
  • Take my dog on longer walks, even in the winter
  • Continue going to yoga throughout the whole year
  • Don’t depend my mood on the weather (when it rains I don’t need to be sad, really)
  • Be more spontaneous

Cheers to a wonderful 2017!