PinkHearts: Control

Do not, and I repeat, do not, allow someone else to have control over you. This is an incredibly broad statement but personally hits home with me. It is much easier said than done, I understand. Our outside circumstances should not dictate who we are – yes, they will mold us; they will challenge us, but they should not take away our sunshine. At work, I had someone tell me about how happy I always look – how no matter how much of a workload we have, I’m always smiling. Normally I just shrug my shoulders and smile, but recently I felt the need to explain (not like I need to defend my attitude but it was important to me to discuss it with this certain individual). To give you a brief background – she is a dear colleague whose had some very trying times as of late. In fact, the parts of her life she has shared with me had me in tears. She can’t hide her emotions and often numbs herself from dealing with them. She then sees me who, as difficult as it is sometimes, I’m smiling, often times laughing, and almost always sees the silver lining at least in the workplace. After the holidays, when we were catching up, she made a comment to me – She said “You are always so happy. I wish I had your life”. Now, normally this is a compliment but because I know her on a deeper level, it saddened me in a sense. Your life is what you make of it. So in response I said “Well, look, I was lucky enough woke up this morning. Because I know what bad days look like, I will smile as much as I can on days I’m feeling okay.” Because like everyone, I have my own personal struggles. I know the anxious thoughts that control my mind, and on days my anxiety is nearly nonexistent, I cherish even more. The following day, that same coworker came to me and expressed gratitude. Apparently, I had hit a nerve with her and it really moved her.

We are more than what we show. Unless you know me, really know me on a deeper level, you are unaware of my feelings and vise versa. Who are we to judge one another? It is often times not easy – rumors fuel people. It’s often a knee jerk reaction to spread gossip without having any facts to solidify them. I’m tired of allowing others control who I am on the inside.

Just recently, I had a couple instances of the rumor mill coming back to me. Here we are, living our lives, dealing with every day highs and lows, setting new goals for the year, fill in the blank, until bam. “Hey, so and so said this.. Is that true?” It’s not the source – I’m blessed to have caring people who bring the questions directly to me. I respect and love that in fact. But to know that people whether it be strangers or “family” are continually spreading false rumors hurts my heart. In this particular instance, I know the person directly. To think that people can be that inconsiderate and plain mean breaks me. Who are we but the words we speak and the actions we show? How about supporting one another instead of tearing others down? I was upset, enough where I wanted to call them and confront the situation. But wait, that is not who you are. Don’t do it. I was not going to let someone dictate my actions and change who I know I am. Instead, I shriveled in tears disheartened by it more than anything. How can people be so insensitive? And then I stopped. After self analysis and conversations, I realized something. I’m still me – I know who I am and I will continue living true to that.

This is not easy, but it’s necessary. I can already foresee that it will challenge me this year but maybe this new outlook can change it. Stay with me for a moment; Think of a quote you like to live by. Now, that quote is just words unless you utilize them. For example, “this too shall pass”- when going through a tough time, remind yourself of this and train yourself to snap out of it and not let it bog you down. We are not going to grow as people if we don’t make changes within ourselves. If I always stick to my natural reaction to situations, how am I going to see progress?

It’s challenging but required, and boy is it a long, enduring process; a winding road with hills and valleys which I’m randomly reminded of. We cannot control others but only ourselves. Stop giving others power and be confident that you are living your best. “Don’t let anyone steal your joy.”

2017

Exactly 1 year ago, I wrote my last blog post. I honestly don’t have a reason for that.. I’ve been itching to write but I suppose just wasn’t ready. After that, writing to me is a form of therapy and with 2016 flying by, I didn’t allow myself to sit and express in all honesty.

To give you a quick recap, 2016 has been filled with amazing memories – everything from my sister in law’s pregnancy announcement, gender reveal, my sister’s wedding, the arrival of our niece, and a million smiles in between, it’s been wonderful. As with anything, it hasn’t been perfect but what really defines perfection? I’m honored and blessed to have seen another year go by and I’m welcoming the new year with open arms.

In my last post, I spoke about my newest job – I’ve proud to say that I’m still very much happy with the position I spoke of on that final day of 2015. It has been a year filled with an enormous learning curve, and with grit I was able to push forward. I don’t know if the stars just aligned or if it’s fate, but I do know that I’m fortunate in so many ways. My anxiety remains to be my own personal burden sans work. Really, if I’m being quite honest, nowadays my anxiety stems from this ideology that I must please everyone. But again, that’s a personal demon I can elaborate more on in another post.

With every new year, I’m excited. I wrote a paper once in high school about the concept of time – how it’s much more about convenience rather than fact. It’s relative. Time is a good time keeper, allowing the world to flow more smoothly than without it. And yet, with each new year, I welcome it, open armed, excited and full of curiosity. I have heard countless people say new years eve is just another day and it’s just a big hype for no reason. Although I can understand why they’d feel that way, that’s not my mindset. I embrace it. This wonderful day where the date stamp changes; the refreshing concept of starting anew; a humbling day to reflect on the previous year and setting new ‘goals’ for the year. And sure, not all of your new year goals are attained, but they allow you to re-purpose your life. What is there not to love? Life is too short to not enjoy the small moments that make each day worth its’ glory. And celebrations rather big or small are a-okay in my book.

With that said, here’s to an amazing 2017. Wishing you a wonderful new year!

New Year!

Well then.. look whose been MIA! With 2016 less than some hours away, I wanted to take a minute to share the biggest lesson I’ve learned this year; something that may trigger a moment of awe for you as well.

Everything comes full circle; maybe not right away but some day. You just have to be open to recognizing it and realize things don’t just happen on accident. Now let me explain why this relates to me. I went into 2015 with an unfulfilling, anxiety-ridden job. My anxious feelings only grow day by day and the root cause of those feelings were the people I was surrounded by in that environment. I used to wake up dreading being there and counted down the hours there. It became increasingly unhealthy and affected many parts of my life, but I reminded myself that it was temporary income and that it will pass. Then, by a beautiful series of events, I left that job. I was blessed enough to have found another job within 2 weeks. I, like anyone else, had a moment of panic in that transition, but it was truly a blessing in disguise. 

My new role deals with the financial aspects of nursing homes in our portfolio. If you’ve read my previous posts, you know that this is very close to my heart, as my dad spent several months in a nursing home following his stroke. I’ve always wished to be in the medical field, but never found my niche. Finances + healthcare? Sign me up. It’s like the heavens opened up and handed me the perfect position. I go to work everyday with excitement. I’m still in the learning process and I’m sure it will take months if not years before I really have everything under my belt, but I’m excited. What are the odds that I’d be working behind the scenes of a nursing home? It’s really amazing, and it’s a passion I never knew I had until now. 

Whatever you believe, you do you. But for me, it’s a sign of a higher being. My anxiety has significantly decreased (pretty much gone away); I’m learning about a field that I’ve always wanted a piece of but never went after; I’m able to help others without the emotional aspect of working one on one with patients; and best of all, I’m happy and no longer living in denial. 

And for you, I wish nothing but amazing lessons, and good vibes. Go after it, do it, and believe that you are worthy, because you are.

hope

Sincerely, Love.

 

 

 

PinkHearts: Inside Out

Hi there! Guess who’s back! Now let’s not waste any time and jump right into it. I’ve spoken about anxiety before, and I’ve even shared my all time favorite podcast that may help you manage your anxiety, but I’ve never really discussed different tactics you could use to calm your anxious thoughts down. So I thought, why not today. Note: I’m not licensed nor do I have any educational background on this topic. These tips have helped me which have in turn inspired me to share them with you.

  1.  Remove yourself from the anxiety causing environment.  This is so much easier said than done, and I understand that it’s not always possible. But if you can, do it. Say for example you work in a job where day in and day out, you are filled with anxiety, it might be time for a change. In recent times, I was working in an office with 2 other colleagues who belittled me, criticized often, and gossiped nearly every day. It was so toxic, and the mind games began eating away at my self confidence. One minute they were professional, the next minute they were mean girls from high school. Simply sitting at my desk doing work gave me heart palpitations, and I constantly worried about the petty issues. I would listen to the anxiety podcast (see previous post), during work just to take my mind off of the office drama. Enough was enough, and I had to make a change. Since then, it has been a 180 degree change. I feel so much better with little to no anxiety symptoms, and it’s incredible how much of a positive change leaving that job has been.
  2. Get up and get going. I, like many people, have days where I lack inspiration or motivation. It leaves me feeling lethargic and like a lump on a log, until I snap back to reality. Get up and get going. Do something, anything, that makes you feel like you conquered a goal. List making is a great way to feel like you’ve completed more. Ahh, the feeling of checking off a to-do on your list will make you feel like you are one step closer to success. Don’t let a bad day cycle into a bad week, month, or year. You have today, so make the most of it. In fact, stop right now and grab a paper and pen. Make a list; whether it’s a to-do list or a list of what you love about yourself, write it down. It’s a great visual tool to remind yourself of how awesome you really are regardless of
  3. Don’t be so hard on yourself. We all have flaws; some people are just better at hiding them than others. Our flaws make us unique. What you may dislike about yourself might be what someone else admires about you. View yourself through a lens that’s honest (so you can improve), but rosy. Every day is a new day to be better and do better. Often times, we are our biggest critics. That constant negative opinion about yourself will only sink you deeper into feeling like your worst self. You will make mistakes, and that’s okay. Shake it off and move on. Stop overthinking. What’s done is done, but you still have today to try harder and be better.

Give it a go and see if the above tips help you. It may take days or months, but one thing’s for sure, you have today to be who you want to be. Be your own inspiration.

beautiful

 

Sincerely, Love.

Listen to this.

Welcome back!

A few months ago, a colleague of mine had an unexpected death in her family. After talking to her and discovering that her feelings of grief were truly affecting her every day, we realized that both of us deal with our own levels of anxiety. Well after weeks of discussing these issues with her, she introduced me to an amazing, uh-maze-ing, resource to help you cope.

The Anxiety Coaches Podcast – You can google it and go straight to their website, or download the podcast for free through itunes. It has truly been a life changer. The hosts of the podcast are 2 former ‘anxiety sufferers’ who have overcome it through therapy, etc. They really shine light on many issues that most people face, but never really talk about. Every time I listen to their podcast, I’m left with so much more knowledge and different perspectives that really hit home.

Trust me when I tell you this, it doesn’t hurt to give this podcast a try. It’s totally free, easy to access, and informative. Even if you don’t feel anxiety, it’s filled with so much information that can uplift you. The hosts are honest and passionate about this issue, and they are constantly talking openly about their own specific hardships.

It would be unfair of me to not share such an incredible podcast. This is the first, and only podcast I’ve ever listened to, and I’ve been hooked since day 1. Give it a go. I would love to hear your feedback.

Sincerely,

Love.

 

Anxiety Speaks.

Hello there!

I don’t know if I’ve ever openly ‘announced’ this but I suffer from anxiety. I hate labels, or judgments, or being boxed into a category. And I never want to undermine the issues that others deal with. Since there are different levels of anxiety, it’s hard to assimilate with all of the symptoms of anxiety. All I know is my own personal journey and feelings of self doubt. It’s so often unspoken about because of the illusion that it’s a sign of weakness. It’s not, and I’m sure many of you deal with your own level of anxiety as well.

This past week was a bit rough, and for no particular reason. All I know is that the feeling of uneasiness and worry kept popping up in my inner thoughts. Our thoughts essentially dictate the way we feel and how we react to situations. When our mind is clouded with unnecessary worry, it’s absolutely pointless and debilitating, yet powerful. DON’T GIVE IT THAT POWER.

I’m a deep thinker. I can’t help it. So often, I wish I could be more laid back and have more of a ‘go with the flow’ mind set, and stop being to tightly wound. In some aspects, I am like that i.e. social situations. But when I’m alone with my thoughts, I begin to worry and over-analyze. I think about the past, and worry about the future. But for what? The past is already gone, and the future is in God’s hands so what there’s to worry about? Lucky for me, I have an incredibly supportive husband who listens to my issues and reminds me of these things.

Regardless, this past week reminded me that anxiety isn’t a one stop shop. There isn’t a necessary cause and effect that occurs, or some traumatic event that brings it to life. It is a mysterious, invisible enemy that gives you unneeded stress. Recognizing it and coping with those feelings is what makes you the boss of your own thoughts. With so many resources available, it’s important to do your research and find what works for you. I will be recommending an incredible resources in another blog post soon.

Until then, remember to breathe, take it slow, and enjoy the present. Don’t be so hard on yourself.

 

Sincerely,

Love.

Is it really over or is it just beginning?

Hi and welcome! I know, I haven’t posted in so long – I can think of a million excuses but let’s skip that part and get right to it!

I wanted to share a quick realization life taught me recently. In the building my husband and I live in, we had an elderly man living in the unit above us. He’s been in this building for about 15 years. We no nothing about his personal life – our only encounter with him was in the common areas. Our exchanges were always friendly; when the Chicago snow created havoc with driving, my husband even gave him a ride once since his car was stuck. Anywoo, as I mentioned, it’s always been pleasant. We would hear him almost every night moving furniture? or making noise in the middle of the night. Because we very understanding, it was never an issue.

Our landlord recently asked us if we had seen him lately. Hmm, I thought. No it was atleast 2 weeks since we saw him last. Then we got to thinking – his car had been parked in the same spot for days now, there hasn’t been any noise coming from upstairs. Strange. The landlord also mentioned that she was getting worried because he had diabetes and had a health scare a few years ago.

We thought about it for hours. What should we do? Should we call the authorities and they can handle it? What if he’s simply away on a trip or visiting family? We don’t want to create any problems for him. Since we know nothing about him, we didn’t know what to do.

This morning, we were awoken from noise from upstairs. Oh good, we thought. He’s back. Since our bedroom window faces the street, we peeked outside, and saw police and a forensics team. Upon leaving our unit, there was a powerful scent throughout the whole building. All of his windows were open for ventilation. That was it.

He’s gone now. And even though we were simply neighbors, it saddens me. Life really is that short. It makes me sick to think that he had nobody that checked on him. Now, I’m no one to jump to conclusions. Perhaps he didn’t have children or a wife. Who knows. But to think, boom. Life is over. It’s sad but beautiful at the same time. I wonder what his story was – his life, his dreams, and goals. What was his biggest accomplishment? What made him happy? What saddened him?

EMBRACE EVERYONE. Love and learn about others. Our own thoughts and feelings will be even more powerful when they grow from those around us.

Sincerely, Love.