Beautifully Broken

daylight environment forest idyllic
Photo by Pixabay

Aren’t we all a bit beautifully broken? Don’t we all need time for reflection? During our lives we are shaped by so many experiences- some of them good, some of them bad. Regardless, they help us to create the whole package we become. For me, I have had so many wonderful experiences: having children, getting married, falling in love, seeing beautiful places. And yet there have been times of hardship, where I’ve experienced grief, physical pain, mental unrest, and felt like “where do I go from here?”. But that’s the beauty in what God has given us: each day is another chance to start fresh. Literally every time we wake, remind yourself that YOU are in charge of your actions and responses to what happens around you. If you tell yourself today will be a bad day over and over, then guess what? It probably will be. The same goes for good days. Positive affirmations and reading daily devotionals can truly help us to create positive reinforcement in our lives.

With that, there’s a few books & journals I’ve read lately which I’d like to recommend. Even if you feel like you’re on top of your game, these are still good reads:

Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis .

  Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be by [Hollis, Rachel]

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*CK: A Counter intuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by [Manson, Mark]

The Universe Has Your Back: Transform Your Fear to Faith by Gabrielle Bernstein

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Let that Sh*t Go by Monica Sweeney

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Good Days Start with Gratitude: A 52 Week Guide To Cultivate and Attitude of Gratitude  by Pretty Simple Books

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AND FINALLY, one of my favorite books for anyone looking to de-stress their life, de-clutter their mind, find clarity, or simply relax, I highly recommend The Living Clearly Method by Hilaria Baldwin. This book and it’s yoga poses literally changed my daily life.

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Happy Reading & Journaling-

xoxo Robin 

Challenge Days 6 & 7: Meditation & Music

Yesterday and today were days 6-7 of my ten day Positivity and Productivity Challenge. Appropriately, one task was to do at least 5 minutes of meditation, while the other was to create a kick butt playlist.

Let’s begin with the meditation. This is a practice I’ve been trying to integrate into my daily life for months. Some days I get in 20 minutes, and other times weeks go by and I get zero. Today, however, I found myself 10 minutes of solitude and took advantage of it. One particular app I enjoy that provides some guided meditations is Headspace. Or you can simply go to YouTube and play one. If you’re not one for traditional meditations, you can also go alternative routes. One such route is utilizing sound meditation- which explores how sounds (ie: gongs, singing bowls, or simply music) are connected to our consciousness. A great website to learn more is www.soundmeditation.com. Another great idea that I love is walking meditation. Remember in my previous posts where I say nature helps you clear your head? I wasn’t kidding. Walking meditation involves the concept of focusing on the walk itself. I enjoyed reading about it here: http://www.stylecraze.com/articles/simple-steps-to-practice-walking-meditation/?ref=pin pexels-photo-797403.jpeg

However you decide to meditate is up to you. The point of this mental exercise is really to calm our mind & bodies. Science has proven that regular meditation truly has it’s perks. So, challenge day 6- success!

Onto Day 7: creating a playlist. I honestly don’t think I’ve created a “playlist” since college. I remember buying my first iPod freshman year, and bringing it to the gym with me 6 days a week (Can you tell a lot has changed since then? iPod? Gym EVERY day? HA!!!) Anyway, I created my own loose interpretation of this task. While cleaning the house, I finally utilized our Amazon Echo Dot and asked Alexa to play each song that came to mind. By the time I was finished, I was not only very productive with my cleaning tasks, but also in a great mood. I had heard every genre from Eminem to Madonna to Bush to U2, and all I can say is: music is awesome. It’s very therapeutic. I’m not surprised it was part of this challenge.

At this point I’m 70% through and looking forward to the next 3 days of positivity and productivity. Wishing you a “happy hump day” as well.

Until tomorrow.

xo Robin

Challenge Day 2

Today’s task in my ten-day Positivity and Productivity Challenge was to try to do 3 things to remove negativity from my life. These don’t have to be dramatic displays, but something as simple as saying “no” to something I don’t want to do, or removing people from my social media feeds.

So, where to begin? I decided to start by looking at our family calendar. I thought to myself, “Is there anything on it that we can eliminate?”. Some items were exciting, such as a Girl Scout Pinewood Derby event my 7-year-old is taking part in, and others not so much- like double long speech sessions for my 4-year-old, which we have to squeeze in right after preschool but before nap time and pickup for religion. Still, does speech class count as negativity? I didn’t think so, and it stayed. Next, I took a few minutes to reflect on the girls’ extracurricular activities. Between dance, girl scouts, religion, and starting next month, lacrosse, we are quite an active family. Add in birthday parties and family events, and we are booked solid throughout most of the year. Therefore, I made the tough decision to take my middle child out of one of the two dance classes she takes. If she loved it (as she did when we started), I would have never taken her out. But, over the last month, my daughter has really not had a good experience. This has NOTHING to do with the instructors or her peers- everyone at the studio is WONDERFUL. But I think the stress of going to preschool, speech class, then errands, then dance class every Tuesday was just getting to her. Instead of running into her class, my little one would have to be coaxed in, crying that she’s tired or “wanted mommy”. I have vowed to never be that parent that forces their own ambitions on their children, thus, I called the dance studio and dropped the class. My hope is that this action will remove negativity and stress from our Tuesday evenings, and make a little more happy time for the kids and I to share together.

Ok, one down, two actions to go. Next on my list was to go through some of my social media feeds. If you know me, then you know I try to be super nice to everyone, as well as sympathetic to anything they’re going through. But, let’s be real. Sometimes there’s only so much crap you can tolerate online. I’m sorry girl from High School, but I don’t want to see your five thousand daily selfies and singing in the mirror with a snapchat filter on 24/7. {Defriend}. I’m sorry family member who constantly complains about their job or their “awful life”. You have a healthy family, a roof over your head, a job, and clean food & water- so please stop.{Defriend} I’m sorry random girl from college I had one class with who shares post after post of children with cancer and abused dogs. {Defriend} **NOTE: Yes, I am 100% on board with eliminating both childhood cancer and animal abuse- but i have to admit that it’s a bit depressing to see that plastered all over my news feed every day.**

And let’s not forget those who constantly share SUPER ANNOYING chain letters. Aghhh please don’t send me chain letters via any way possible. I will simply delete them.

All right, social media purge: complete.

For my final task, I decided that I would remove negativity by meditating and go for a run. Despite being 35 degrees and windy, I layered up and set out on our local rail trail for a quick workout. I originally only challenged myself to go for 15 minutes, but it turned into 35. As I walked, then jogged, then ran {for like a minute lol}, a smile appeared on my face. It wasn’t until I was almost back to my car that I noticed the smile, but I was genuinely happy to be back out in nature, where I feel most at peace.

On to the meditating.

Once I got home, I found a quiet space upstairs in my bedroom, put lavender essential oil in my diffuser, and did a youtube search for a short meditation.  Here’s the one that I used earlier today: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZQ9GfmzR14. I loved that this meditation was only 10 minutes long ( as I had only a 1/2 an hour to spare before picking up my youngest two) yet, it felt like time well spent. Afterwards I honestly felt lighter.

End Result: Today’s challenge was a great one. It was almost like a personal mini detox. I think in the future I’ll have to work on personal relationships, specifically, distancing myself from toxic ones, but this was a really good start.

Looking forward to tomorrow’s challenge!

xo Robin