Posts tagged ‘self love’

2017, May 26

FYA Self-love Challenge: Week Two

This was the second week following my friend j’s Find Your Awesome Self-Love Challenge.
Every evening I sat down and wrote a short summary of my day, which adds up to a short recap post at the end of each week. In case you missed it, here’s last week’s sum-up.

Day 6 – Make a Mandala

Day 7 – Call Bullshit on “Should”
I cleaned the apartment because it looks lovely shiny and outer order definitely contributes to inner peace for me. I cooked lunch and dinner, because I love cooking and it’s great to have home-cooked meals.
And also, I read instead of packing a bag of stuff to take over to my mom’s place, because I won’t get there before the weekend anyways!

Day 8 – Be Openly Magnificent
I’m working from home, being fearlessly and unabashedly myself. The cat loves it. I love it!

Day 9 – Fill the Spaces
I took this challenge literally when I was filling in the spaces I created in my mandala. Outside of that, it was a day in which I spoke my mind. My opinion was at the very least heard before going ignored.

Day 10 – Be Wildly Creative
Before even realizing it, I got wildly creative with my lunch. I paired leftover rice, with scrambled eggs made with leftover zucchini, mushrooms and spinach, topped with leftover Parmesan. Maybe an odd combo, but it was delicious – I should’ve taken a picture!

How was your week? Did you sign up for the challenge? Do you like it so far? Even if you haven’t joined the self-love challenge, what did you do this week to love yourself?

2017, May 19

FYA Self-love Challenge: Week One

This was the first week following my friend j’s Find Your Awesome Self-Love Challenge. I talked about it before, so I won’t repeat myself.
Every evening I sat down and wrote a short summary of my day, which sums up to a short recap post at the end of each week.

Day 1 – Text Love
Texting love… was met with no reply. On the other hand, I did have a lovely Skype conversation with a friend, and a short FB conversation with another friend, which picked up my mood a bit. The love came back from the unexpected sources, and that was great!

Day 2 – Body Love
Loving my body was a bit of a challenge since my feet hurt after I’ve doubled up my Sunday athletic events. But, I am grateful for them for getting me through it, and will just give them some extra massages and let them rest before I go running again this weekend.

Day 3 – Make a Life List
I have written my Life List before, here’s the link if anyone’s interested in reading it :)
Today, I am finally taking my own advice from that blog post, and turning my year of photo challenges into an e-book – I sat down and created the document, and in it, Styles for my title, headers, and text. If I work on it little by little, it doesn’t have to be all done in one day.
That’s exactly what kept me away for the past, umm, five (?) years from that idea – the enormity of the project which I’ve made up all by myself when it really isn’t the case.

Day 4 – Put Yourself on a T-Shirt
For the past couple of years I’ve been giving a lot of my clothes to charity, so by now, I have three t-shirts with actual writing on them (one of which wasn’t planned, as I recently got it in the participation kit of a running event).
However, the text I would most love on a t-shirt and would sum me up perfectly, is this one by Myth Understood. I’ve been wanting a womens dolman t-shirt like this for literally years, but its price+shipping put me off, and I’ve been too lazy to find the design and go get it printed on a t-shirt locally for a third of the price. Maybe next time I consider buying myself a present.

Day 5 – Be Outrageously Grateful
Beyond grateful for being able to travel to Bucharest for a short weekend trip, and for little traffic on the way and making it here safe!

How was your week? Did you sign up for the challenge? Do you like it so far? Even if you haven’t joined the self-love challenge, what did you do this week to love yourself?

2017, April 7

Finding your awesome

Today I want to take a second to talk about a very cool, illustrated creative journal, FIND YOUR AWESOME, by my friend Judy Clement Wall.

It seems to me that everyone lately is only thinking about themselves, and it makes me sad.
I think when people are dealing with some things in their lives, they tend to forget that everyone else also has stuff to deal with – more or less difficult then they themselves are. This is where it’d be great to also focus on others, because it really doesn’t take much time or effort to be attentive, and if one can, why not make someone’s day better? Even by simply smiling at them, by saying hello and asking how they are, it’s already a step in the right direction.
We need to be better, to be humans and care. Thinking about others will always make you a better person.

That said, it also seems to me that among family and friends, many people rarely put themselves first, or do, or buy things for themselves.
Yes, doing things with others will help make them be/feel special in your life.
But on the other hand, I believe that we need to take care of ourselves in order to fully be able to be the better people I described above. For people to truly be able to love other people and be kind, it all starts with self-love.

This is the message my friend j transmits through her creative journal. Go read her blog post about it, and watch her very cool animated book trailer!

In her own words, she wrote and illustrated FIND YOUR AWESOME not to help people become someone new, but to help them uncover the imaginative, openhearted, amazing selves they already are. She truly believes that if one completes this book, committing oneself to just 30 days of self-discovery and celebration, it will change how they move in the world and infuse their life with love, fun, connection, and creativity.

I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of the journal! I believe that it’ll be, like everything j creates, a beautiful piece of art as well as a very useful tool for people to well… find their awesome.

J also has a challenge in store for her readers and friends – 30 days of self-love! Here’s the excerpt from her website:

“On May 15th, I’ll be embarking on my own 30-day self-love challenge using FIND YOUR AWESOME, and I’d love for you to join me. There will be a Facebook group, short daily emails of encouragement, and more animated videos to inspire you. It’ll be free, fun, and good for your soul, plus if you sign up, you’ll be automatically entered to win a signed copy of FIND YOUR AWESOME. (Even if you’ve already purchased my book , sign up. These little journals make wonderful gifts.)
I’ll be posting more about the book and the challenge over the next several weeks.”

Haven’t done a self-love challenge in a while, so I’ve already signed up, and I think I’ll post a little summary blog post every week on Fridays while the challenge lasts. They were fun to do during my year of following the 52/52 e-guide‘s assignments every week, so I’m looking forward to it!

2016, February 5

The power of small steps

Last January, during my year of following the 52/52 e-guide‘s assignments every week, I wrote a Life List. Even though I started out with the list looking more like a to-do list in the beginning, I quickly switched to dream-mode and thought of the things I’d really really want to do in this lifetime.

Now, my boyfriend is very realistic. He doesn’t like to make plans too far ahead, if at all. And it sometimes drives me nuts because I believe that the things that we focus on are the things that will surround us.
If we only focus on today, then weekend plans might fail because we’re not making an effort to think about them and make time for some things. Or if we only focus on having bills to pay and not having enough money, then that will be our reality. And we won’t be able to shift that reality until we start looking beyond our present, and start believing that things will get better. (I am quite bad at this one, after years of being in debt!) Then, we need to decide what it is we want, and take small steps toward those things.
For this reason, the other day I wrote a list of things we need to fix in the apartment, or stuff we need to buy. I’m hoping that being on a list will keep them more in focus as opposed to just in the back of our mind and never getting around to even think of them.

There are quite a few things on the Life List that I still need to start taking steps toward. Like turning my year of photo challenges into an e-book – I still need to sit down and work on it. Little by little, even if it doesn’t have to be done in one day, I ended up avoiding this item. Not sure why. But I fully intend to finally sit down and start assembling the e-book.

However, as I read it the other day, I realized that I actually achieved several things off my Life List. Also, I achieved quite a few things off the My purpose for money list that I wrote four years ago, when I had a total of four jobs at the same time by the end of 2012. It’s interesting to me how many similar items there are on both lists.
I traveled more in Romania and saw places I’ve never been to, alone and with loved ones. I re-visited places I loved (both in my country and across the border), and wrote a few travel articles. I visited friends from Great Britain and tried a lot of new kinds of food while traveling. I made a couple of my home-decor ideas reality decorating our small apartment, learned a bit how to drive, and saw the fireworks in Budapest, Hungary this New Year.

My most important item on the Life List and also on the My purpose for money list was by far to “Earn a living being a full-time writer/Turn writing into a priority and a steady income”. And you know what? I made that come true!

With a lot of support from my boyfriend, and learning more, I am now a technical author and love love love it! I recall writing a letter to myself talking about this when I was only applying for the job. It leaves me creative enough to write on my blog, too, and is still about writing, and editing and re-writing, etc. which I love doing as a full-time job. It gives me the chance to sometimes take the afternoon for reading, research and learning even more about the field.
It also gave me the opportunity to travel to London. Twice.
It pays better than any job I ever had before and now I can actually set money aside for travel and vacationing even if it takes a couple of months to save up. But I am finally out of debt.

Sure Life still gets in the way of things many times, but it doesn’t bother me quite as much as before. Because I am doing something I love and it made everything else much easier. I am definitely happier and more enthusiastic.

So if you ever stop and think about something you’d like to do as it being “unattainable”, please don’t. Try to break it down to small, achievable steps. Take one small step after the other, and it will all work itself out.

2015, July 6

Don’t ride anyone else’s rollercoaster

The assignment for last week in the year of loving ourselves fearlessly, was to keep ourselves in check and Don’t ride on anyone else’s rollercoaster.
Like I said in my last blog post as well, I think that we all do it, ride on someone else’s rollercoaster, more than we should. Or at least, I know I do. And it is time to correct that.
Even when you are  totally right to want to state your case, and believe that when you do the other people involved will act like sane, rational people – the moment they respond like spoiled brats, get off their rollercoaster and enjoy your own ride.

While being conscious of not getting on and riding other people’s rollercoasters, I remembered the following quote:
“How often do you let other people’s nonsense change your mood? Do you let a bad driver, rude waiter, curt boss, or an insensitive employee ruin your day? Unless you’re the Terminator, you’re probably set back on your heels. However, the mark of your success is how quickly you can refocus on what’s important in your life.” by David J. Pollay, author of The Law of the Garbage Truck.
So this past week, I payed more attention to both strangers and those close to me.

With the people I know personally, when a rollercoaster-jumping situation appeared, I focused and thought about times when I reacted inappropriately and thought what might be going on in their personal lives to make them react rudely. It wasn’t easy(!), but I tried to have more compassion towards those who were dumping their frustrations on me, probably unknowingly.

I kept my cool and responded politely. I kept in mind that I am in control of my responses to how others treat me, that I am the one who can let people ruin my days, and this helped me have happier days. I kept a smile on my face, stayed on the high road and didn’t get on anyone’s rollercoaster, or at the very least got off the rollercoaster quickly.

The assignment for week 27 is to Say Yes! To an outing even when you feel like you’d rather go straight home after work, to helping someone with what will take you ten to fifteen minutes instead of the hour it might take them, or most especially say yes to that wild, inadvisable dream you have. 
And as j explained it in the 52-52 guide, the most important thing during this week and this exercise is to “question every no. Understand where it comes from. Understand your reasons. If they’re sound, go ahead. If they’re based in fear, stop. Take a deep breath.” and say Yes.

How was your week? Did you manage to keep yourself from riding other people’s rollercoasters? Or did you cave in and felt miserable while trying to keep your own sanity? Did you remember that you are the one who can let others ruin your day, or keep them from doing so?

PS: If you’re interested in joining us, you don’t have to have the e-guide to play, but if you’d like it, you can buy it in the shop.

2015, June 29

Organizing something, or seven somethings

This past week, the assignment in the year of loving ourselves fearlessly was to Organize something, or seven somethings. And I took it very seriously.

I do love organizing, and even though I finished my Spring-cleaning-in-the-middle-of-Summer two weeks ago, there were still things I wanted to better organize. So here’s what my week of organizing looked like:

  1. I organized our closet (in three rounds), because I brought home clean clothes from my mom and after putting them away, figured the rest could use a little tidying up.
  2. Took the BF’s ties and sorted them into “Nice, “Okay” and “No way in hell” categories, and tied each one, placing them neatly back onto two hangers so they’re not all crowded onto just the one.
  3. I folded up his shirts because he doesn’t really wear shirts that often, and when he does he irons them before wearing anyway, so now they don’t occupy space on hangers unnecessarily.​
  4. This led me to organizing my own shirts, since there was all that free space to play with. After it was all done, I took all the left over hangers and placed them in a bag, then put them away.
  5. At my mom’s, I sorted and put away stuff I hadn’t even looked at since packing them up before the remodeling last year. It’s funny how easy it was now to get rid of the stuff I didn’t need from those boxes. Out of sight, out of mind, for sure.
  6. Still at my mom’s, I rearranged the plants on the window sills. I decided to also do some “gardening” (re-potting, clearing off leaves, etc.) so this took most of my Saturday to tackle, but I bet the plants will be prettier and happier now.
  7. And last but not least, I wrapped a box in X-Mas paper, and placed in it all the Christmas decoration we had in our apartment (which I took home to my mom’s because of the lack of storage space here, and was storing them there on top of my desk of all places)… I wonder why it took me 6 months worth of procrastination before finally putting that stuff away in less than half an hour?

The assignment for week 26 is, Don’t ride on anyone else’s rollercoaster.
In the 52-52 guide, j describes it this way:
“Don’t get on anyone else’s rollercoaster. If you’re the target of someone else’s crazy, don’t engage. If you’re the hand someone’s trying to grab, stand still, let them settle down and come to you; don’t feed the crazy by jumping onboard. Mark your sanity boundaries and stand firm.”

I think we all do it, ride on someone else’s rollercoaster, more than we should. So even when you are  totally right to want to state your case, and believe that when you do the other people involved will act like sane, rational people – the moment they respond like spoiled brats, get off their rollercoaster and enjoy your own ride.

How was your week? Did you organize something? Or did you organize seven somethings, same as I? Do you feel lighter now?

PS: If you’re interested in joining us, you don’t have to have the e-guide to play, but if you’d like it, you can buy it in the shop.

 

2015, June 22

Letting go, and doing what I believe

For week 23, the assignment in the year of loving ourselves fearlessly, was to Let go, deeply.
Truth be told, and proven by the fact that I had no blog post up last week, I have a hard time letting go of stuff. In my previous post I said how lately, I’ve had so much on my plate, and so much worry overall, that this assignment will either come in very handy, or make me feel like I failed if I can’t fully let go… I hoped it’d be the first.
But that didn’t really happen before my second go at it this past week.

Reading a friend’s e-mail on Monday really helped me see that I was going about this from the wrong angle, and that I could be much better at it if I re-framed how I think of things.
She talked about how at one point in time she was engaged in what she felt was an unequal relationship with a longtime friend. She was sometimes accepting, sometimes felt angry, sometimes mourned something special that wasn’t a part of her life anymore. And, the truth is, this is one of my biggest issues lately, so her e-mail resonated with me in a way that nothing else has when thinking or talking about this.
My friend resolved this issue when she decided to let go. To let go of her own expectations around that friendship, and that way she didn’t have to let go of her friend, or the friendship itself.

This is something I tried my best to do this week. To let go, deeply.

There are a few relationships which chronologically frustrate me, and leave me feeling small or disappointed. Old friendships where we make plans to go out for weeks in advance because something always comes up.
And if we go out I feel like I’m just tagging along, or like I am kept out of the loop for the sole reason that in 99% of the time I don’t share my writer’s Facebook account and previously existing, real-life friendships. I recall my friends talking about some detail of their lives and asking when that happened, only to get the “Oh, you don’t have Facebook, so you don’t know” response. I didn’t get up and walk out right then and there, only out of respect for our long time friendship.
Now, I’m thinking that I don’t want to give up on the friendships altogether, but I don’t want to feel like this anymore, either. So, I’ll let go of my expectations from said friendships and call it a day.
This past week, I made a point of this and let go of the expectations that my friend should call me when school finishes as she said she would, or that my other friend reach out when she got back from her trip as she told me before leaving. I haven’t heard from either of them.
But I let go of these expectations, and I feel so much better this way. I did look forward to talking to them, but after letting go of my expectations, it didn’t bother me. I think this is one of the best decisions, and one of the most powerful acts of self-love I made so far this year!

For week 24, the assignment was to Do what we believe. And I have to tell you, it was a little bit harder than I expected. However, this assignment somehow resonated with me, backwards. It made me really think of my life and actions.
Because, even though I believe in leading a life where love is my religion, I sometimes do things that I’m not proud of. For example, I dislike gossip, yet I sometimes do it when I’m upset over something/someone instead of being more accepting.  I believe in leading a healthy life, yet I usually skip breakfast and sometimes have unhealthy food. I believe in supporting local businesses, but in this day and age of finding many good books online with minimal effort I don’t own a library card anymore.
I thought of many things that I believe in, and even though I found several things that I could be better at, it was such a great exercise to pay attention to what I advocate for and to what I absolutely know to be true no matter who tells me otherwise!

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The assignment for week 25, is to Organize something (or 7 somethings).
Here’s what j says about this assignment in the 52-52 Guide, and her recipe on how to go about it:
“This week is devoted to organizing: clearing, decluttering, simplifying. Here’s how you do it.
1. Pick a space; it can be as big as your garage or as small as your junk drawer.
2. Sort everything in that space into piles: a “throw away” pile for anything broken; a “donate” pile for anything you haven’t used in the last six months; a “moving on” pile for anything that makes you feel small or constricted or unbearably sad. (You might throw these things away or donate them as well, but they get a little send off, a formal, cleansing recognition from you that they no longer serve you. If they have sentimental value, or if dealing with them makes you squirmy and uncertain, you can have a friend store them until you’re ready to part with them for good.)
3. Take everything that’s left and make it pretty (or logical, or alphabetical, or color-coordinated).
4. Stand back. Gaze at your beautiful new space.”

Oh, this will be easy. I think. I do love organizing, and even though I finished my Spring-cleaning-in-the-middle-of-Summer a week ago, there are still things I want to better organize (like the closet, for example, or the 3 left-over boxes at my mother’s place which haven’t been unpacked since last Summer.)

How was your week? Did you let go, deeply? Or do you generally have issues with this, same as I? Did you do that you believe? How did it feel and turn your week around?

PS: If you’re interested in joining us, you don’t have to have the e-guide to play, but if you’d like it, you can buy it in the shop.

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