Just Me

“If you are never alone, you cannot know yourself.”
-Paulo Coelho

Years ago I was offered advice to write down all of the things that I wanted in my life within the following five years, seal it up and wait to open it. I stumbled across this list recently when I was organizing my office (and ironically right before leaving on my first solo vacation in over a decade). Clearly marked, “Open October 2016.” Given that the deadline had passed six months prior, I opened to see my dreams unfold.

Listed: to have found love; to be married with a child or one on the way; health; working part-time doing something that I love; security in myself; sober; have a dog and cat; feel happy.

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Soft Heart, Hard World

Many of us are feeling on edge right now. Life feels harsher in our current environment, and the weight of it all can seem overwhelming. For some, this feeling is not new, for others it’s an uncomfortable new awakening. No matter what your status, self -care is imperative. In order to give back and continue to use our voices for positive change, it’s important to rest and rejuvenate.

While we can’t control everything happening in the world, we can control our own environment and behavior.

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Stick with Love, Self-Love

Martin Luther King, Jr. was referring to opposing forces when he said, “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” This is one of my all time favorite quotes. I hold a deep belief that light is always bigger than dark; forgiveness takes far more courage than anger; and that while the path can feel slower and harder, love always wins over fear and hate. These values hold strong and true when I think of the discourse of the world. But, today for the first time I read this quote and thought about how I could apply it to myself. I immediately stopped in my tracks.

For years my self-hatred was so deep, and the burden of that hatred was so heavy. On the outside I tried to appear like everything was OK. I led with my ego, and fed it constantly to cover the amount I didn’t like myself. If I had the right look, the right job, the right friends, the right boyfriend – then I would love myself. By all outside appearances, I had quite the high self-esteem and sense of worth. On the inside, I beat myself up over the smallest of things. I lived in constant anxiety and fear that someone would see the façade to the truth. I believed the truth was that I was unworthy of love.

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Why YOU Are the Hottest Date in Town

Date Yourself When was the last time that you asked yourself out? We live in a day where we are constantly connected to other people, our phones, social media, open floor plans at offices. If you’re single, you swipe right to meet someone. If you’re in a relationship, you’re synching your smartphone calendars to find a time that works.

It’s important to slow down the pace and have some time just for you. In my early 30s, I found myself single (again) and was given some of the best advice of my life – I was told to date myself. Mind-blowing.

Many of my relationships were doomed from the start because I was a stranger to myself. I hardly knew how to share my interests because I didn’t even know my own interests. Enter self. No one to hide behind or mold my interest to. What do I want for dinner? What movie would I like to see? What do I want to do?

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Flowers can’t grow without rain. It’s OK to cry.

Research shows us that being positive is good for our overall health. Positivity can build immunity, lower stress and even increase lifespan. The benefits are amazing.

However, did you know that being positive doesn’t mean that you need to be happy all the time? Many people confuse being positive with not feeling negative emotion. Emotions are part of being human. We feel joy, pain, gratitude, anger, sorrow, love, grief, faith, fear and many more. We need to feel all of these feelings to move forward in life – to continue to grow.

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