Hello darkness, my old friend

I recently went back and read my old blog posts and was so pleased with my past self for being so strong, resilient and grounded. It is kind of funny and maybe even hubris to feel that way but life has changed so much for me in the past few years, that I feel far removed from the girl writing about love, bathrooms and happiness.

My days today are filled with diapers, 12 hours of meetings, stress, and sippy cups. I hardly get the opportunity to wash my hair (thank goodness for working from home) and I cannot respond to a text message in a reasonable amount of time.

And yet I am still the same girl who cares about love, bathrooms, and happiness (and champagne, sorry I couldn’t just leave that part out). When I created this space, I gave it the tagline Cultivate happiness through chaos, and yet somewhere along the way I left happiness out of it and quite simply allowed chaos to take over, turn into stress which quickly led to burnout. Burnout and recovery is a story for another day, but today I just wanted to spend some time happy-typing. I am on my laptop all day long, far too long for one human but at the end of the day what makes me happy is writing. Writing = rest for me, more so than crawling onto the couch and watching TV (though DO NOT snooze on Ted Lasso), or even sleeping. It restores my energy and makes me happy.

I had thought about it of course, that I missed writing. But it wasn’t until this week when two separate people told me I need to keep writing did I really stop to think about why I had stopped in the first place. The way it was said to me in both scenarios mattered, and made me reflect on why it mattered at all. I feel so grateful to have finally found my voice after searching for so long. I have to take my own advice from 2017 me, who said right here on this very channel “Never allow yourself to be in the passenger seat of your journey. It is yours, remain an active participant. It is kind to please others but never in the dispense of yourself.” And while I never did dispense myself, I certainly put her in the trunk for a bit. But she’s found a way to crawl right back into the driver’s seat.

Cheers xx

I’ll take a summer hiatus with a side of change, plz

As you may or may not have noticed, I accidentally took a hiatus from writing. Whenever this happens, I start to get antsy about writing again, because it is truly my outlet. A lot happens each summer, but especially this summer – it has been a major time of change in my life. Pretttty much everything changed, actually — most of which I plan to catch you up on.

But first I want to just talk about change for a minute, because I’ve experienced a lot of it lately and it can really be overwhelming. I am pretty accepting of change. I hate to feel stagnant, so I urge change quite frequently.

Over the course of your life, you will change, change and change again. But, it is important to remember that no matter what change comes about, you have the power to walk away if it does not suit you. Never allow yourself to be in the passenger seat of your journey. It is yours, remain an active participant. It is kind to please others but never in the dispense of yourself.

I urge you that when you are going through change, to look at who you are, and where you want to go. Ask yourself if the change in your life supports your core values, your vision for your future, and also your wellbeing. And if there is any doubt in your mind that what has just come along will hurt who you are in any way, it is completely fair to stand up and respectfully walk away.

“Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do.”

Brené Brown

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

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!

Thankful

Today I am feeling incredibly thankful for all of the things going right. It is so easy to focus on what is going wrong, because sadly those are the things that often consume our thoughts. I urge you to turn that thinking around, and you’ll find that the amount of things going right is actually pretty unbelievable.

I may not be the healthiest person, but I am extremely lucky for the health I have. I may not have the most friends, but I have the best ones. I may not have disposable money, but I finally have a savings. I am not perfect, but I’ve found someone who loves me anyway. I may not get to see them every day, but I have the best family in the world.

Thankful is seeming to be too weak of a word.

“I take nothing for granted. I now have only good days, or great days.”
Lance Armstrong

Cheers!

Avoid destination addiction

Often times when people ask “what is it that you want in life?” the answer is simply to be happy. We get so absorbed in looking for happiness, that we often look right past it. We are so concerned about the future, that we forget to look at the present and be… happy. I saw a quote the other day by Robert Holden, that explained this exactly:

“Beware of Destination Addiction – a preoccupation with the idea that happiness is in the next place, the next job, with the next partner.
Until you give up the idea that happiness is somewhere else…it will never be where you are.” 

It is so important to understand this: Happiness is not a destination. Being happy is something you need to maintain and it comes directly from yourself. We all want to be happy (rightfully so, what else would life be about?), but we need to stop believing that the NEXT of everything is where we’re going to find it. Right now is so important, because it’s part of your journey and you need to appreciate every step of the way.

Be kind to yourself and enjoy the little things. I hope you find happiness in every day.

Cheers!

Don’t you worry child

“My life has been full of terrible misfortunes most of which never happened.”

Michel de Montaigne

Same. Studies say that 85% of things that we worry about, never happen. I had heard that before but never really paid attention to it, or did anything with it. Recently, I decided to test it out. Each time a situation came up that made me anxious, I made a cognitive decision to let go of that stress, until the situation is right in front of me. It was crazy to see how many of these instances I could have spent time worrying about, never even happened! I actually had a hard time believing it at first, and just decided I was #Blessed. While I do feel fortunate in my life, that’s not it at all — it is simply true that majority of these things we get so worked up about, are just our imaginations creating situations that likely may never occur.

I challenge you to also try this tactic, let go of initial worries, and see if the situations you would have been stressed out about even end up happening. Create more space for happiness and peaceful thoughts, rather than cluttering your mind with negativity and stress.

“Rejoice in the things that are present; all else is beyond thee.”

Michel de Montaigne

Cheers!