Things I’m Loving Lately

Hi friends!

I hope you are enjoying your week so far! Today Cam and I did a fun little road trip to Ikea. I bet you didn’t expect to read “Ikea” after “road trip”. What can I say we’re pretty wild… Seriously though, Ikea is kind of awesome. When I see the closet organizers they have I momentarily think I would be capable of keeping my room clean if I had a fabulous Ikea closet.

Anyways, it’s been a while since I’ve done a round up of highlights or things that I’m loving lately, so here we go!

AgendaAgenda

  • My new agenda: I think I will always be one of those people that keeps a paper agenda, even if it is redundant. I love being organized, have a terrible memory for important dates, and I have a little bit of a stationery hobby/collection… ok let’s be real – it’s a bit of an obsession. Ok, now that we have that out of the way, take a look at my amazing new agenda. I seriously love it. It is full of cute surprises, including secret codes. No joke. It’s like it was made for me…

candle

  • This adorable candle that my mother-in-law gave Cam and I: Cam and I have candles going all the time, and I love vanilla-ish scents. This candle is called confetti cupcake, which is just awesome on it’s own, but the icing on the cake (see what I did there…) is the cute sparkly lid. I am a little bit like a cat…I love sparkles and shiny things.

Mandala

  • This awesome mandala colouring book: I know the benefits of mindfulness meditation; I don’t need convincing, but I honestly just have trouble sitting still and clearing my mind. Enter mandala colouring book… a book made for people like me who want to reap some of the benefits of meditation, but have trouble with traditional meditation techniques. This book is filled with mandala circles, which, for those of you who don’t know, are symbols of the universe, used as instruments of meditation. You pick whichever mandala speaks to you that day and sit down and colour it in. I find it helps me focus and is quite relaxing, and the book even has a legend of colours to tell you how the colours you chose reflect your mood. So, to summarize, you can revert back to your childhood momentarily while still doing yourself some good!

Stationery

StationeryNote

  • Making my own stationery: we’ve already covered the fact that I have a stationery obsession, so it’s only natural that I take on the hobby of making my own, right?! And yes, I know, you can buy stationary, but I really am having a lot of fun making these simple greeting cards, and there may even be a how-to blog post coming up for those of you who are quirky like me and want to try making your own.

Loving Lately

Happy Thursday!

Until next time,

Sam

3 Strategies to Love Your Authentic Self

3 Strategiesto love yourAuthentic Self

In my last post, I talked about the importance of self-love, and how much it helped me make some important life changes. Every day is a wonderful gift, and to spend any part of your day putting yourself down is just not productive or necessary. Especially when you are so AMAZING – yes, you, whoever you are, I guarantee you are amazing.

In my last post, I also told you that getting to a place where I could actually say that I love and accept myself has been a long journey. And it has; it has taken a lot of work and self-reflection, but it has been so worth it. Not all that long ago whenever I thought about making changes in my life, it was often a response to something that I didn’t like about myself – an effort to change what I didn’t like, or to ‘compensate’ for it (as though I somehow needed to apologize for being ME). I had thoughts about not being smart enough, or tall enough, or thin enough, or tanned enough, etc. etc. It all came down to my misinformed belief that in one way or another, I was not good enough. But I was wrong, and after a lot of work and reflection I started to realize just how wrong I was. Now that I can appreciate my own uniqueness and love myself for who I am I want to help you get there too, so I put together a small list of strategies to help you on your own journey to self-love.

  1. Learn to distinguish between negative and positive self-talk, and then build up the positive and dismiss the negative. I like to call the negative voice, the ‘nattering parrot on your shoulder’, and whenever I feel the negativity creeping in, I picture that parrot on my shoulder and I acknowledge that it is there and then ask it to leave and take it’s negativity with it. It sounds very silly, I know, but give it a try – it just might help! Once you learn to dismiss the negative self-talk you can focus on that positive self-talk – that is the voice you need to listen to! For more help on this strategy I recommend you visit http://adashofmeg.com/2015/03/11/the-first-step-to-bringing-freedom-into-your-life/ and watch Meg’s vlog – she totally gets it and perfectly describes this strategy.
  1. Make time for yourself to do something you enjoy. It doesn’t have to be long, and it can be simple. For me, it’s a cup of tea. I make time every day to sit and enjoy a cup of tea. Even though this is so simple, it helps in two ways: 1) It acknowledges that I am worthy of doing something that I love every single day, and 2) It gives me time to sit, relax, and refresh.
  1. Start doing positive affirmations every day. There are two kinds of affirmations that I recommend:
  • Every morning, look at yourself in the mirror and repeat your positive affirmation three times and then smile. Your affirmation can be anything you like, but I will give some ideas (below) to get you started in case you have trouble thinking of one at first.
  • The second type of affirmation doesn’t require a mirror. At various points in your day simply repeat your affirmation to yourself. You can do this at any point in your day as a reminder, but I find this technique is also really good if there’s an event or anything coming up that makes you a little bit nervous. For example, if I’m nervous for a meeting or presentation I will give myself a quiet moment to say my affirmations to myself and build myself up.

In case you aren’t sure where to start with your affirmations, here are some examples of affirmations you can use (but feel free to get creative and make up your own!):

“My mind is brilliant, my body is healthy, my soul is tranquil.”

“I love and accept myself exactly as I am.”

“All is well in my world.”

“I am enough.”

“I am amazing, and bring many gifts to this world.”

I will openly admit that when I first started doing positive affirmations I felt very awkward! The idea of saying something so self-appreciating felt unnatural and arrogant, but, with time, I have come to love my positive affirmations and I never go a day without them. I truly believe that this has made a huge difference in my journey to self-love. You might not believe the affirmations at first when you say them, and you may even feel a little bit uncomfortable like I did, but I have found that the more I say them, the more I whole-heartedly believe in the affirmation, so try to get past feeling silly or awkward!

I hope that these strategies will help you! They’re pretty simple, but they’ve made a world of difference for me.

Is self-love an area you struggle with? What other strategies have you tried? Share them in the comments below!

Until the next time,

Sam

Positivity Needs a Plan

One of the things I talk a lot about on this blog is positivity. I 100% believe that positive thinking is a powerful tool to achieving your goals, and to feeling fulfilled. But here’s the thing – positivity is not where it ends.

I was talking to my mom today about positivity and how if positivity is the only tool you’re using to achieve your goals and dreams, then you might be in for a surprise. I see so many messages on social media about positivity. Like the one below:

positivemind

Source: Pinterest

And I agree to some extent. Our behaviour is determined by our mindset and our perspective is critical. So I do 100% agree that positivity breeds positivity. In fact, I whole-heartedly agree that positivity and positive thinking are the best place to start. But, that’s exactly what it is – a start. Positivity is your foundation, but you need to build on that foundation to get where you want to go. There needs to be a plan to follow through.

I’ll give you an example.

I often use visualization as a positive thinking tool. I visualize my goals and dreams. I do it so often that it comes naturally now. For me, visualization and positive thinking are very similar to daydreaming, but with one important difference: visualization is daydreaming with a purpose. It helps me see my end goal – the big picture. What I am really trying to achieve.

Souce: Google Images

Souce: Google Images

But, it never stops there, or else it truly would just be daydreaming. After visualizing the ‘big picture’ goal, I always make a plan because I need to know the steps required to get me to that goal. So I make a realistic, actionable, clear plan, and then work hard to carry it out. And this is a critical piece that I think is sometimes missed in the wave of support for positive thinking.

Sometimes positive thinking is considered to be the notion that you must believe ‘everything will work out’. And it might, but most things will work out a lot better if you have a plan and you follow through.

To me, positive thinking also doesn’t mean that you ignore the possibility of failure. It means that you decide that you will find a way to get to your end-goal, happy-state, whatever it may be, despite the obstacles that may arise. You have the courage to accept that failure is a possibility, but you will try anyways. That has to include a plan. And sometimes, part of your plan will have to include contingencies. Because life happens.

Source: Google Images

Source: google images

I’m not suggesting that we need to plan every aspect of our lives, because that can be equally as detrimental as not having any plans. And, I do also think that positive thinking is critical in helping us maintain perspective, and for allowing us to have grand dreams. But, I do think that big dreams require good planning and hard work, and that is what I consider to be the trifecta of success.

Source: Pinterest

Source: Pinterest

So what does that mean?

Positivity extends beyond just believing the best will happen. It means being a dreamer, and being willing to work for those dreams in any circumstance that may arise.

  • Dream big, and keep a positive mind.
  • Make a plan to achieve your dreams.
  • And finally, be willing to work hard for your dreams and roll with the obstacles that might arise.
Source: Google Images

Source: Google Images

How do you use positivity as a tool to achieve your dreams?

What else do you do to reach your goals?

Source: Pinterest

Source: Pinterest

Until next time,

Sam