It’s the time of year again where I get to brag about my dad.
Best dad ever.
If you have a father, stepfather, uncle, or any male figure in your life you can say is the “best” this is the day to show how much you appreciate them.
Because unfortunately for many,
They don’t have this opportunity, or they can’t.
Along with being the best dad ever he has a very “unique” sense of humor that
only those who spend enough time around him understand.
That it’s straight up weird, and doesn’t have a real solid pattern of logic to it.
One fun expression of his humor is the dry “in your face” type stuff he does, and it totally messes with me.
So for this Father’s Day I’d like to mess with him, and share with you the side of him that messes with me.
And I have to say on paper it’s kinda funny….
*Papi once had me check the fire alarm in our house to see if it worked. I held my ear up close to listen for the beep when it did that LOUD INSANE BEEP right in my ear. When I yelled at him as to why he didn’t warn me about that he looked me dead in the eye and said,
“Well now we know it works.“
*When I cook for my dad or the whole family it is a nice experience for me. Coincidentally though, every time I cook Papi takes some convincing to eat because he never seems to be hungry at that time. I think he’s jealous because I am an awesome cook, but the ironic thing is
He taught me how to cook.
*I had a friend stay over one night and left in the morning before she woke up. She found a kitty poop on my bed and when she told my dad he told her to
Leave the poop for me to find…
*Papi calls any man I date Miguel. Do we know a Miguel? No. Did I ever have boyfriend named Miguel? Nope. Now, when I actually had a date with a guy named Miguel…this;
There have been moments I have been really down on myself-because most 35 year-old women have the following: their own place (or a roomie), an established career, a significant other, and if not with, in the works of babies.
Babies are freaking everywhere when you hit your mid-30s.
Overall I am pretty happy though. Because at this time last year I was a few things I am no longer: financially unstable, working at a place I was burnt out from, and generally kinda confused about everything in my life. In some important areas.
So when New Years hit this time around, I decided since I was already mostly there I would continue to make CLARITY my 2015 “theme.” Clear on all areas of my life.
and I’ve learned that with Clarity still comes some confusion!
But it’s more what I like to label as “forward confusion.”
For example, I attended a meetup I was uncertain about directly supporting my path, but since it was CLEAR in my gut that it would be good for me, I went. The clarity came after when a woman I met from the group gave me an unexpected reading so powerful it still sits with me right now, encourages me, and has further connected me with plans for my future.
So it’s all good.
At 35, in 2015 I am going to keep it moving in forward confusion.
Because so far on the other side-there has always been Clarity.
It’s not something I force myself to do-because honestly I’m naturally pretty damn funny. Just made myself laugh right now from a text I sent someone else. With the intention to make them laugh… but it just happened to be really freaking funny alright?
The following are just a few things that make me laugh:
The thing is-when you laugh every day certain things start to happen. You find it easier to get through tough stuff. You notice there are more opportunities in your life to have a laugh. There is no longer an honest effort to have a laugh on a daily basis; you just do. You also start to really resonate with how funny YOU are in you’re own funky unique way-and you become so easily entertained by your own humor it creates a better sense of self.
You are okay being alone. Because you’re not lonely.
This is one of those posts that gives you AWESOME advice.
I know because I have taken this advice and put it into action most days (not too hard to do so I can’t complain). However, the advice and ideas shared are really geared towards the mothers, the career women, and the women who wear many (many) hats. If you’re a busy woman, Take 5, and keep reading…
Taking 5 or more minutes a day to be with yourself is an essential tool to maintaining a healthy state of mind. Not just when you are stressed, annoyed with the family, or busy at work. It is important to Take 5 when the day runs smoothly, when you’re busy but handling things okay, and when you DO have some down time. Sometimes when we have a moment to spare we fill it up with something else to do. Which is fine sometimes, but other times…you need to Take that 5.
To dig a bit deeper-sometimes it’s good to put down the phone and take a break doing something else. Whaaaa?? I know-it’s hard because we play candy crush for 10 minutes or check Instagram as a way to check out. Again, not too shabby of a break, but expanding our ideas beyond the normal things we grab to zone out is healthy for us. So below are a few ideas from yours truly; followed by responses from a few more women walking in your shoes.
~Look up an article on something you are interested in or about something you have wanted to try i.e. a new yoga class.
~Stretch. Sit down and set the timer for 5 minutes of stretching. Guess what? If you do this often you’ll become more flexible AND learn how to be more present!
~Make a healthy snack plate. Often we just mindlessly grab from the pantry or fridge without taking a minute to put something together that would be truly satiating. I enjoy a good snack plate with crackers, cheese, and fruit.
From women via Facebook and Twitter
“I use essential oils! There are quite a few proven to help mood, so sometimes if I find myself getting overly frustrated or depressed or anxious, I march into my bathroom and get a drop of one of the oils…It takes less than a minute but helps immensely!” ~Cassandra
“Watch a YouTube video of one of my fav songs.” ~Chari
“Eat something I don’t treat myself too much. I just sit and savor the sweet!” ~Mal
“I do a Zumba dance from youtube.com.” ~Marissa
“I check Facebook. Mindlessly look at other people’s lives then face my own again.” ~Krista
“Or take a shot. Just……kidding?”
“Once in a while you have to take a break and visit yourself.”~Audrey Giorgi
I recently decided to welcome 2015 with open arms and kick it off by developing a healthier relationship with food. I already had the workouts down, but with a diet that often consisted of emotionally ruled choices I decided it was time to focus on what I was eating more than what I was doing.
The following is a true story, and clearly my catalyst for change…
I LOVE jalapeno poppers. Not just any, although I will eat most kinds, but my true addiction is the Jack in the Box ones. The gooey cheese, the seed-filled spiciness, and the fatty ranch to dip them is is the ultimate party for my mouth! There is a drive-through right by my house that I used to go by…a lot more than I would like to share…until one recent night on my reluctant last run for 2014.
I had decided to start off 2015 I would not go anywhere that had a drive-through. Alrighty, no jalapeno poppers from Jack for quite a while. This past week I was coming home from a friend’s house and realized this was the night. I had to drive-through one last time before I took a major break from crappy food.
I drove up and ordered the poppers. As I pulled up to pay the guy he smiled, and shyly made a suggestion on another sauce I could try with the poppers. Instantly I smiled and with foodie enthusiasm and replied “YES! I’ll try that!” Boy did he look happy.
“Well, I see you here so much I thought you might like to try something different with your jalapenos, and maybe if you like it we can try some more new food over dinner sometime?”
Most men who hit on me think I am in my mid-twenties (not bragging here although it IS pretty damn cool). I knew this guy was young so my turn down was an easy “I’m too old for you and no, age is more than just a number give me my poppers so I can go home [and eat these shamefully in bed].”
Not too long ago I took a quick trip to a new beautiful state. On my last day, I decided with the limited time to drop off the rental car, take a nice long sunshine walk back to my hotel, and explore the area.
Later on in the sunshine, as my tiny feet grew tired and I got closer to the end of my little adventure, I noticed a bright green grassy knoll filled with dandelions. Alongside the short wall dividing the green grass and the bright clean sidewalk my boots paved, the perfectly cotton ball-shaped dandelions were lined up, swaying in the breeze.
It was a loud busy street, but I didn’t care. Just like I did as a little girl, wishing to “save the world,” I picked up a dandelion and made a wish. Then I picked up another one, then another, and made a few more.
As a walked away from that quiet moment I realized it left me feeling really good. I knew the wishes made could come true, and I was capable of making them happen. In that moment I also remembered, in order to do that, I had to let go of the SHOULD, and be with the IS. Meaning, if I could accept life in the present, things might go a lot more smoothly. Overall, I often struggle with fighting the now, try to leap over to points anticipated, and end up getting hurt from tripping over myself. Plus, I missed out.
Because the lessons in life are mostly in the in between.
“Put your wishes out there with positive intentions! Share them with someone or write them down. How often do we make wishes with a defeatist attitude-keeping them as just far away dreams that will never come true? Do you really want to live your life never taking any chances to heighten your level of success? And I am not just writing about career or money. Wishes can be about anything…healthier relationships, reconnecting with someone, taking that trip you’ve thought about but never planned for, or starting that meditation routine you know will help with anxiety. Make a wish. Then evolve it into something outside your head and within your grasp. You can do it!”
It’s almost October right? This topic came up on a whim, but it is one I feel women in particular need to keep reminding themselves to work on.
That negative self-talk!
This ties in a bit with my gratitude post as it requires mental efforts and pattern interruptions. It is not just a one-time point in your life that all things fall into a positive place in your head…it is consistent, and constant work. Worth it? Yes. Better than taking the easy road of victimizing yourself, limiting yourself, and putting yourself down? Yes. Do better and more positive things happen to you when you flip the switch? Hell yes!
30 Somethings: Flip the Switch
1. Negative self-talk can be pretty powerful. Taper it down by using positive phrases or mantras to practice quieting it down. For example mine is “I am worth the work.” This is for those times my mind tells me I am a failure.
2. Think it’s silly to use mantras? Well, “I am fat,” or “I can’t ___” ARE mantras. Flip those into words that will actually serve you in a positive way!
3. Instead of “I wish” say “I can” or “I have.”
4. If someone you love isn’t showing you they feel the same don’t blame them. Don’t equate your self-worth to how they treat you. Flip the switch from “Why is so and so ___” to “What choices can I make within this relationship that will best serve my emotional health?”
5. Along with #4 take responsibility for habits and patterns that keep creating the same negative results. If 5 people you dated have all treated you the same crappy way honey, it’s not them-it’s you. Flip that switch again back onto yourself because it is always healthy to break patterns that are causing you pain, or confusion.
7. Stop thinking everyone is watching you, cares what you are doing or is judging you. They aren’t, the don’t care, and they are not judging you. The only time anyone does any of these things is usually because YOU bring it up! Stop it. Flip the switch and YOU watch YOU. YOU care about YOU, and YOU…gently reflect on your life choices.
8. If there is something you want instead of thinking why you don’t have it flip it to how can you get it!
9. Flip “I wish _________” to “I will ________”
10. If you can’t or won’t change it, please stop complaining about it. For loved ones, and anyone else having to hear it. Please just flip that switch to OFF. Thanks.
12. If you think it, is it real? Yikes…think about all those crazy off the wall thoughts you have every day. Nope. You have every right to say to yourself “I will not invest in this thought,” or “It’s just a thought.” Let it go.
13. Under anger usually lies hurt. So, if something is pissing you off-go underneath it to move forward.
14. Compete with yourself. Flip to your own goals, efforts, wins, and strides.
16. Instead of criticizing what you don’t like about your body how about you accept what is, and start changing what you can? Flip the switch on to what you appreciate and can change to make yourself into the healthier more outwardly confident you, you deserve and want to be.
17. “I am having a bad day.” Are you? Or did you have a couple of unexpected moments and now you are focused on every little thing that could possibly bug you today? Unexpected isn’t usually ideal, but it happens all the time.
18. With that said-does a bad day mean a bad life? “Today sucks.” Okay, if it does then fine-move forward into “How can tomorrow be different?”
19. Flip your “I can’t” to “How can I?”
20. “I failed.” Did you? Or did you try and it did not work out? “I tried, it did not work out, and that’s okay.”
21. Instead of criticizing someone to make yourself feel better how about flipping that switch and stopping yourself from putting out that negative juju, or finding something about them to compliment?
23. “I don’t have the time.” I have a friend who raised her son solo, worked full-time, went to college full-time, and was still able to hang with me. Revisit that phrase and flip it to “What are my top priorities to make time for?” If you ask yourself this on a daily basis the answers will change, and that is where you will find the time.
24. “I can’t”-excuse my french, is often bullshit. It usually means “I won’t.” Think about all those times you shut down when bumps come along the way. You throw your hands up and declare “I can’t!” Can you really not, or do you not want to put in the effort so you can?
From followers via Facebook and Twitter:
26. “I’m 70% muscle instead of 30% fat.” ~Quisha
27. “I catch myself in the moment of negative thought or vibe. Force a smile. And say “no! I have”… and confirm with something good about myself or the situation. I sometimes fail. But I TRY. Not trying is failing.” ~Ana
28. “Sometimes I have 2 tell myself to STOP IT! I use a firm voice lol&even say it outloud. I might look a little nuts but it works! lol.” ~Twitter
29. “My favorite quote is ‘To dream of the woman you wish you were is a waste of the woman you are.’ Thats how I flip it. When I start thinking of what I lack, or jealous of those around me, I try to think of those things I am great at.” ~Marni
30. Go back to #28-Just stop doing it. Just stop. Sometimes, on some occasions, it is that easy, and furthermore, that simple. Flip the switch.
This month’s theme is things I have done or still do to stay internally balanced. In the moment, or in general. It is important to have tools to use in the moment when feeling unsettled inside, but it is also just as important to create time in your life to maintain some balance.
It might feel like you are wasting time to take time out when you feel okay, or family keeps you incredibly busy, but the payoff comes when that balance is inevitably shifted by outside sources and you have established a foundation of practices to utilize.
Sit back, and enjoy your special Sunday with this light read. I am fairly certain you have done or do some of the listed things, and I am very hopeful you will find some things on this list to add to your tool box.
30 Things of Mental and Emotional Health
1. Gone for a long drive and sang to my favorite tunes. At the top of my lungs with a few enthusiastic arm gestures.
2. Pet something-an animal, a soft pillow, a significant other’s hair…getting in touch with a few of your five senses helps you get outside of your head.
3. “Word vomit”-as in text, call, or share with someone in person who I trust EXACTLY what is going on in my mind; no matter how ugly it might look or sound coming out.
4. Go for walks with some tunes I enjoy and make sure to ignore all messages or calls. Don’t worry, your loved ones will still be there if you are not electronically available for a bit.
5. Looked at old pics of loved ones from a time in my life I recall fondly. Not to ignore the present, but to remind myself all things are temporary. Good or not so good-this too shall pass.
6. Blocked someone on Facebook because I knew otherwise I would leave myself open to potential drama. Any opportunity I have to block that anywhere in my life, I do. It is not avoiding-it is letting go.
7. Checked in with someone I haven’t spoken with in a bit-it’s nice to reach outside yourself and reconnect for within that time you do, you feel more present.
8. Cried in the bathroom at work. Wiped the tears, smiled in the mirror, and went on with my day a little less burdened.
9. Played hooky from work and hit the beach. How great does it feel to be a little naughty and come back to your job refreshed?
10. Meditate-sitting, laying down, on my walks, and in the car. There is no right way to meditate. Only your way. Perhaps prayer is what keeps you grounded. Even something as simple as checking in with your breath. Stop. Take 4 deep breaths. Be still.
11. Gone to Target (or another store I like) and bought something I don’t need. Would not encourage this as a regular activity, but it is fun to indulge once in a while!
12. Screamed at the top of my lungs. Into a pillow, or in the car.
13. Let go of friendships after realizing we were living in the past, the present was unpleasant, or I needed to create more space for a positive future. Sometimes all of the above.
14. I take naps.
15. Tell the people I love-that I love them. How often do we hesitate though when we feel it? Get over that moment of hesitation, and tell the people you love that you love them. Often.
16. Thrown something-again not a highly recommended activity to do frequently and you will need an appropriate object (I have lost a few phones in the heat of the moment), but if you can align something nonperishable it can feel GREAT.
17. Blasted some fun music and had a solo dance party. Jumping on the bed or couch was always part of the choreography.
18. Written furiously in my journal like a hormonal teenager. Keep in mind as far as this goes it can be about all the extremes we go through emotionally at times, and everything in between!
19. Done a vigorous short workout to blow off some steam. Even if you are not a member of a gym or super active if you can find one activity to do with all your energy for a short amount of time-it WILL help.
20. I like to cook. It would add more stress to my life to bake as I am highly unskilled in this area, but for many it can be a relaxing experience. Does it mean you have to eat the entire project when the kitchen timer goes off? No! Share it or take a portion and put the rest away. The action of creating something is the point.
21. Let out a huge, throaty, dramatic :SIGH: combined with an extreme eye-roll…
22. Forced myself to try something new-even something as little as trying out a new restaurant or meeting new people with an old friend can stretch out my ever-so-tightly wound comfort zone.
23. Got on YouTube for a bit to see where it took me. If you have not done this yet please do. You will understand.
24. Cuddle. There are generally so many options-I cuddle my pets and family. Again, using one of the five senses brings you to the present and keeps you still during those moments of affection.
25. Accepted the fact that I will not always be balanced. Sometimes I don’t do a darn thing, and let whatever it is run its course.
It always does.
From followers via Facebook and Twitter:
26. “Books help also. Just escaping from the noise, entering a place of fantasy for awhile. I get lost in them often.“
27. “I like to sing when I am stressed out. (I asked where)…Everywhere!”
28. “Being balanced it can mean not being balanced for a moment and just saying forget it. Like throwing your hands up in the air and letting go of whatever you thought something was supposed to be like.”
29. “I like to play with my kids on the floor. Sit down with them and pretend I’ve got nothing but Barbie’s playhouse to worry about. Then I bond with my daughters too.”
30. “I keep journals, meditate, exercise, and cut off anyone or anything that no longer grows me.“
Thank you for reading! Please feel free to contribute an idea for this monthly post via email: firstname.lastname@example.org