Oh, Spring, it’s been too long!

To my fellow Pagans or Wiccans, merry meet and happy Ostara! It’s so exciting to welcome Spring after such a harsh Winter. I’m wishing you all bright blessings and a joyful celebration. For those who are unaware of Ostara and are curious about it, here are a few links:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/themediawitches/2015/03/you-call-it-easter-we-call-it-ostara/

http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/ostarathespringequinox/p/Ostara_History.htm

It’s a very blessed holiday considering it is also a New Moon tonight AND a solar eclipse! I’m going to deck myself out in pastels and flowers, and plants some new seeds today. Then, when I go to work, I’m going to do my best to be as cheerful and positive as possible (and maybe grab a little cake for my friends and family).

Blessed be, y’all. I hope your day is incredible.

Much love & Good vibes,

Violet XO

A reminder for ~YOU~!

Hey there, darlings. This message is made special just for you- all of you. If you’ve been waiting for a sign, or some sort of comfort from the Universe, this is it. You are unbreakable. You may bend underneath the pressures of life, but you will never be broken. Your scars are proof that you can overcome anything. You have immeasurable strength, courage, bravery, and beauty. Beautiful isn’t the most important thing for a human to be, but know that you are gorgeous- a stunner inside and out- and it is totally okay to feel that way about yourself. It’s okay to feel beautiful, and it is not selfish or vain to do so.

You deserve to love yourself. How can you help others if you’re not well yourself? “Once we acknowledge and accept the good in us we can spread the good in the world” (if someone knows who first said this quote, please let me know in the comments below). Once you light a spark of love and compassion in your own heart, it will be much stronger and brighter; it will truly help you spread that love to others.

Treat yourself kindly, whether you’re celebrating a raise or feeling disappointed in yourself over a recent failure. You deserve your love and care 100% of the time. If you had a child, would you only love them when they behaved their very best? No, even though they may be difficult or challenging for us, we still love and care for them. Why is it so easy for us to love other people, in all their imperfect glory, but so hard for us to do ourselves the same favor?

Love yourself. Love others. Give yourself a break and rest when you know you need to. If you just took a few steps back, reflect on what went wrong and see what you can learn from it. Let it catapult you towards your dreams and desires. “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop” (Confucius). Celebrate all your victories, no matter how small. Take a couple risks and learn to listen to yourself, so you can better listen to others. Go after what you really want.

Your strength is unfathomable, your courage untouchable, and your beauty undeniable.

I hope this small letter gives you a little more hope and peace to hold on to. I hope you accomplish every single one of your dreams.

Wishing you the best & lots of love,

Violet XO

Tips on psyching yourself up for a shift or work day!

Happy Friday, y’all! I hope your weekend is as fabulous as you (which is, like, super fab) and you accomplish any and all of your goals. I only work one day this weekend so I’m pretty excited to have time to complete my homework for the upcoming week and clean house. My niece is staying with us this weekend and I have tons of fun things for the two of us to do. I try to spend as much time with her as possible, since I work during the weekends and that’s the only time she visits us.

Speaking of work, I mentioned last week that I would post up a list of the ways I get myself in a positive and more relaxed state of mind before heading out to my job, so here it is: eight tips I’ve learned to use when I’m working and can guarantee some stress.

Have filling, nutritious meals. I love me some snacks and junk food, but I do my best to avoid them when I know it’s going to be a long day. So I make sure to have decent-sized meals (pretty much whatever I know I’ll be home for) that are packed with the fuel my body needs. For example, having some nuts, whole grain toast or tortilla, almond milk, a side of fruit, etc. You can get really creative with how you’re going to treat your body kindly; there is a plethora of healthy meal ideas on the internet. On days where I stick with this goal, I not only feel more energized (and therefore better equipped to work my shift) but also happier and less grumpy.

Power Poses. I already wrote a post about Power Poses so I’ll keep this short. Do them for at least 2 minutes a day, every day. Especially when you have work. It really does help to keep you as stress-free as possible. Bonus: it makes you feel confident!

Sweat out the nervousness. When we’re busy, we tend to forgo the 30 minutes of exercise that we should be doing every day. I get it, I’m still working on finding a routine that works with me and my schedule. But I’ve noticed I perform best when I’ve had a long session of Yoga or even just a 15 minute cardio routine beforehand. It helps you release some of your tension and will also make you more awake and ready to do your best.

Stay hydrated. Yes, just because you work doesn’t mean you get to skip out on hydrating yourself! 😉 Drinking eight glasses of good ol’ H2O will keep you healthy ~and~ put you in a better mood. Studies have shown that sometimes we’re bitter grumps simply because we’re dehydrated. It’s hard to stay cheerful when you’re thirsty. Read more about it here: http://healthymonday.syr.edu/blog/student-voice/drinking-water-will-improve-your-life.html

Make room for Me Time. Whatever Me Time means to you, just do it. You need to make the time for yourself to relax and be at peace- otherwise you’ll go crazy and become too stressed to function properly. For me, that means popping a lemon pound cake-scented wax melt into my melt warmer, playing music that speaks to my soul, drinking a big cup of warm tea, and dicking around on the internet. Everybody requires some R & R. You deserve this time, okay?

Keep track of non-work-related chores you need to do. There’s something strangely comforting about writing up a daily To Do list. Of course, it’s also incredibly satisfying to cross those duties off! Keeping a small To Do list with important non-work things you have to complete will make sure you don’t fall behind- which will just mean more stress for you- and give you that lovely feeling of knowing you kicked the day’s ass.

Stay inspired. Joel Osteen said, “When nobody else celebrates you, learn to celebrate yourself. When nobody else compliments you, then compliment yourself. It’s not up to other people to keep you encouraged. It’s up to you. Encouragement should come from the inside.” This quote is 110% truth. It is not other people’s jobs to keep you motivated, it is yours. Do whatever you need to do; find that inspiration, look for more, and work at it every damn day. Your happiness and inspiration is purely yours to worry about. Keep an inspiration Pinterest board, tape up motivational words on your walls, etc. Always be seeking and soaking in that inspiration.

Lastly, remember why you started. Why are you in this position- are you getting your foot in the door of the career world of your dreams? Testing the waters? Are you doing this for some much-needed income? Do you usually enjoy your work but hate the stress it comes with? Reminding yourself of your reasons for doing this job will add fuel to your inner-fire and keep you going strong. You can do this.

I hope these little tricks help you as much as they’ve been helping me. Let me know in the comments down below what your personal tips are for psyching yourself up for a workday.

Much love and positive vibes,

Violet XO

Using Color To Help Yourself

Hello, beautiful! I feel like it’s been forever since I posted and I’ve got a bit of a brilliant life update for y’all. I’m officially employed! Yep, I started just a week ago and am starting to get into the routine of things. It’s quite a lot of work, to be honest, but the environment is very cheerful and positive so overall I enjoy it. I feel so blessed to have a job. I’m a shy/nervous person naturally and this job happens to involve a lot of social interactions. Next weekend I’ll make sure to post up something about how I psych myself up for my shifts, how I manage to stay relaxed despite a stressful schedule, and any other tricks I’ve learned so far.

Now, let’s dive deep into this week’s topic: colors and their power. By power, I’m specifically referring to the symbolism of various colors; i.e. the associations and meanings we have assigned to each of them. I’ve mentioned before how symbolism can help you achieve goals, but here I’m going to go much more into detail and focus on just color symbolism. Here is a relatively average guide to colors and their meanings (you may recognize them easily since we tend to have certain meanings attached to specific colors):

Red- love, passion, life, fierceness, power

Orange- warmth, the Sun, positivity, energy, creativity, optimisim

Yellow- brightness, warmth, success, the Sun, wealth

Green- prosperity, health, nature, harmony, balance, relaxation

Blue- tranquility, peace, relaxation, calm, rest

Violet/Purple- intuition, magic, power, the Moon, enchantment, spirit, imagination, dreams

Pink- romance, love, peace within (mind and body), sweetness, kindness, beauty, emotional healing, compassion

White- purity, magic, positivity, goodness, the Moon, freshness, hope, spirit, clarity

Black- warding off negativity, mystery, grief, power

Brown- warmth, nature, being genuine and honest, comfort

Grey- helpfulness, knowledge, wisdom, security, sadness, conservative, neutral, balance

Of course, as individuals we may also have our own personal interpretations and meanings of colors. For example, I consider green a much more positive and happy color than yellow. So take this as it is- a simplified guide- and feel free to go with what you feel is right.

The goal is to use the symbolism of colors to your advantage. Pick a color that symbolizes something you need, desire, or want to achieve. Dress in that color. Paint your nails different shades of the color. Use that color of sticky post-it notes and write with a pen that has that color ink. Surround yourself with a certain color and you also surround yourself with that color’s meanings and symbols. Use different colors to remind you of or help you obtain something. Test it out for a week or so and hopefully you’ll see a difference in your life.

Much love and good vibes,

Violet XO

A Confidence Booster: Power Poses

Happy weekend, friends! If you’ve traveled down the rabbit hole that is the self-help world, you’ve probably come across this phrase before: Power Pose. No, it’s not what superheroes do when they’re interrupting a dastardly villain’s evil scheme. Well, not exactly. Power Poses are positions of the body that evoke a sense of (You guessed it!) and power and confidence. Just as the mind can influence the body, the body can transform the mind as well- studies have shown that simply posing like the following…

Photos courtesy of Amy Cuddy's TEDxTalk.

Photos courtesy of Amy Cuddy’s TEDxTalk.

… can lower levels of the stress hormone Cortisol and make you feel more secure and confident in yourself. The pose depicted on the right is actually nicknamed the “Superman”, so maybe it really is a pose a do-gooder would strike before vanquishing criminals. Amy Cuddy did an incredible TEDxTalk about the subject and in it she shares the results of a study concerning the impact of strong-looking poses on the mind that she oversaw. I’ve given it a try myself, and it really does seem to work! Cuddy recommends remaining in a Power Pose for two minutes every day, or before any big or stressful event. It may just help you handle the situations better. 🙂

If you’re looking for a quick and easy boost in self-confidence, I highly recommend checking out her video:

Hoping all of your wishes and dreams come true. XO Violet

A few cool things for you.

Hello, darlings. I’ve caught a bad cold so I don’t feel up to doing much or writing much of anything. But fear not, I’ve gathered a few interesting interwebs pieces and quotes to keep y’all entertained until I can write actual posts. Hope you enjoy these!

http://www.buzzfeed.com/carolynkylstra/easy-peasy

http://galadarling.com/article/count-your-blessings-3-ways-to-create-a-regular-gratitude-practice-and-how-to-elevate-it-to-the-next-level/

http://galadarling.com/article/ty-ty-lena-yonce-and-jenna-no-bullshit-business-advice-from-babes-youd-like-to-be-bffs-with/

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-17287/4-ways-to-become-the-leader-of-your-own-life.html

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-17282/5-ways-to-be-a-body-positive-role-model.html

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-17190/are-you-taking-good-enough-care-of-yourself-6-essential-questions-to-ask.html

“Do your thing and don’t care if they like it.”~ Tina Fey

“Dare to love yourself as if you were a rainbow with gold at both ends.”~ Aberjhani

“If you celebrate your differentness, the world will, too. It believes exactly what you tell it—through the words you use to describe yourself, the actions you take to care for yourself, and the choices you make to express yourself. Tell the world you are one-of-a-kind creation who came here to experience wonder and spread joy. Expect to be accommodated.”~ Victoria Moran

“We are at our most powerful the moment we no longer need to be powerful.”~ Eric Micha’el Leventhal

Much love and happy vibes,

Violet XXOO

Hello again!

Hi y’all! Week number one of the semester is done (15 more to go!) and I had a little time to post a life/goals update and some journal prompts and ideas for you lovely people. This will probably end up being a rather short post, but I miss writing here and will write what I can, when I can.

As for my daily life, not too much has changed: I go to school Monday through Friday, spend time with my friends and family, and do my best in order to pet as many damn animals as I can haha. Life is a bit quiet at the moment but I am enjoying it to the fullest. Going to school full time- even at just a community college- can be overwhelming and busy, so I genuinely enjoy whatever peace I can find!

Concerning my goals, however, my life has been a little more exciting and lively. Although I have big and general goals for 2015, I decided to break them up into smaller and more specific goals that I will work on each month. For example, one of my annual goals is to continue learning and becoming a smarter, more informed person. So every month I aim to read at least one book (which sounds totally wimpy but when you’re a student time becomes scarce!) and keep up to date on current events. My monthly goals for January are:

★ Read a book

★ Complete & send in 3 writing submissions

★ Make good grades

★ Volunteer once a week

★ Blog daily

★ Maintain healthy habits

I’m proud to say that I’ve accomplished one of those goals already (I finished a book I started in December and then read a captivating fiction novel) and am halfway through on the second. I have also been doing my best to maintain healthier habits, which means I’ve been keeping on track with my skincare routine, staying hydrated, making and eating healthy meals, resisting junk foods (unless I’m having my daily treat), going to bed at an earlier time, keeping good hygiene, etc. This goal, along with achieving good grades, will have its success shown at the very end of the month. I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

Unfortunately, I have not accomplished the remaining two goals- blogging daily and volunteering once a week. I’m going to be honest and say that the first is completely unreasonable given my schedule during the semester, and as far as the latter goal, I’ve been damn lazy. I could get off my butt and sign up for duty at the soup kitchen, donate some items to the self-help pantry of the city’s Epilepsy foundation, etc. These things are plausible and totally doable. But I’ve been lazy and a tad selfish this month. I’ve spent so much working on myself that I’ve forgotten that part of self-love and inner-peace is helping to better the lives of others around you. So while I won’t be able to check these things off of my list, for the remainder of the month I’m going to keep writing when I have the time/energy and at least once donate my time and efforts to a good cause. I just need to do it; otherwise I’m wasting some of the life that I’ve been blessed with. As the beautiful-inside-and-out Audrey Hepburn once said, “Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at each end of your arms. As you grow older, you will discover you have two hands. One for helping yourself, and the other for helping others.” Words to live by, my friend.

Lastly, I wanted to share with you all a few of the journal prompts I thought up this morning:

★ What are the things going right in my life? What am I doing right in my life?

★ What are the things going wrong in my life, and what am I doing wrong?

★ How can I turn those wrong things around or use them for the greater good of myself and others?

I hope this post resonates with you in some way. We all fall off the wagon but we must remember to celebrate our successes- no matter how small- and get back on track and continue working hard. How are your goals going? Are you enjoying January? Let me know in the comments below.

Have a wonderful day & lots of happy moments,

Violet XO

How To Help: Easy Ways To Help Others

A big part of discovering oneself and the path to self-love is loving others. Once you begin to see the good in yourself, it becomes even easier to see the good in others. Being comfortable with yourself assists you in being comfortable around others and looking at them through a wider perspective. And after all, we have more than enough love and compassion within us- it’s time to spread some of that joy and adoration around!

The world is a huge place, with thousands of issues that need to be solved and millions of people that need to be helped. Yeah, it’s pretty freaking overwhelming. A lot of us hesitate to help others because we simply don’t know how and where to start. What can I do? Where can I lend my personal abilities? How can I make any bit of difference?

Because the world needs us all to pitch in (and because I know from experience just how intimidated and lost one can feel when trying to help out) here are ten easy ways to help others. I hope this list helps you begin the process and get y’all in the habit of doing what you can! I know I’ll be doing the same.

1. Host a food drive and donate the bounty to your local food pantry or self-help pantry. Or, buy some non-perishable foods yourself and donate them.

2. Donate blood. If you’ve never done this before and can physically do it, do it at least once. I’m horrible with blood and needles- and the experience was pretty terrifying- but I pushed myself to do it just once. It’s okay if you don’t become a frequent donor; just one donation can help save up to three people.

3. Go on a Litter Walk. I’m sure I’ve mentioned this one before. Grab a friend or a relative and take a nice, long walk outside. Pick up as much litter as you can find and dispose of it accordingly. Recycle what you can, too!

4. Purchase gently-worn clothing from thrift stores (i.e. pants, jeans, shirts, sweaters, coats, etc.) and new socks from a nearby store. Donate them (along with any gently-used clothing you want to give from your own closet) to your local homeless shelter. Another thing they are always in need of are basic hygienic items, such as travel-sized toothpaste, mouthwash, floss, plain chapstick, deodorant, etc.

5. Make blankets and distribute them to those who need them, be it at a homeless shelter, a local church’s charity, or the elderly couple down the street that have come down with a cold. An easy and efficient way to make blankets can be found here: http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Fleece-Tie-Blanket.

6. During the winter season and when it snows heavily, volunteer to shovel your parents’, grandparents’, or neighbors’ driveways. This can be a rough time of year, especially for those with chronic illnesses or disabilities.

7. Visit an animal shelter (or even your closest Petsmart or Petco) and find out if they need anyone to volunteer their time, effort, and love. Even if all of the custodial duties are fulfilled, they may want someone to take the animals on walks or just spend an hour or two playing with them. If all else fails, you can always donate cat/dog food, toys, litter, treats, etc.

8. Sign up on DoSomething.org. This is a reputable and incredible website and organization that is specifically meant for helping people find ways to help others. I highly recommend it! They have a large variety of causes and campaigns, from animal rights to helping Syrian refugees. If you do only one thing on this list, do this one. And make sure to find a cause that suits your needs and talents. (:

9. Spread kindness around your school or workplace. After learning about operationbeautiful.com, I spent most of my high school days writing positive and inspiring notes and posting them all around when no one was looking. I still do it to this day because I’ve had friends (who didn’t know it was me, at the time) who found a note or two and kept them in their room or something because it made them feel so good and happy about life and themselves.

10. Lastly, help out around home. Do your normal set of chores quick and early in the day so your guardians aren’t stressed about it. Help them when they go grocery shopping and put away the produce for them. Pick up things that are too heavy for them to safely pick up. Do the chore they like the least so that they have one less item on their To Do list.

I hope this helped you get in the mood of helping others and spending your free-time wisely. Let me know in the comments section what you do to help others. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Much love,

Violet XO

Temporary Goodbye

Happy Wednesday, loves! I hope your days have been incredibly wonderful so far. I start school next week, so unfortunately, I will no longer be able to post as frequently as I have during this winter break. This is my temporary goodbye to all of you beautiful souls. I hope to be able to post at least once a week, but depending on my workload for classes I can’t promise anything. Until then, I’ll be wishing you all the best. Take care of yourselves, babes! You are worth it. 🙂

When surrounded by stressful people.. -_-“

Good morning, internet lovelies. How was your weekend? What’s the weather like where you are? I hope that these past few days have been whatever you wanted them to be and you had nothing but positive moments. As for myself, this weekend has been hell (as is every weekend when my brother and his family stay over). These people are the opposite of my parents and I- we like quiet and calm, we stick to a normal routine/schedule, and we go to bed at a decent hour most of the time. My brother and his family, on the other hand, are consistently late (3 hours tardy to their own wedding, hello), loud and obnoxious at most hours of the day and night, and they thrive and feed off of petty drama. Every single time we’re in contact they cause problems and in short they’re just very disrespectful to themselves and others. I love them, because they’re my family, but I hate what they do with their time. Most of the time I can distance myself from them since they live in another state now and can no longer pop over uninvited every week. But on weekends such as these, I have no real choice in the matter.

So what does a person do when they are unfortunately surrounded by drama-fueled, stressful people?

To be honest, I’m still figuring the whole shebang out. But I can share my tips with y’all that seem to work with me; I will share them because I know shitty, negative people are a part of life a lot of people deal with and we need all the help we can get.

1. Garner alone time for yourself. This is especially important when the Negative Nancy’s happen to live in your humble abode. Carve out time to be spent by yourself, whether that means holing yourself up in your room, going outside for a long walk, listening to your iPod, etc. If you want to survive this, you need some You Time. Otherwise you’ll not only stay stressed, but you might become increasingly resentful towards your loved ones for encroaching on your space- anger does not do the body good.

2. Be positiveIt’s ridiculously easy to fall into a disgruntled trap of feeling annoyed and angry at the universe for doing you this disservice. It’s totally fine to feel angry or upset in general, but be very careful not to wallow in it- both your mind and the universe are listening to you. When you focus on what you don’t want/what you’re upset about/how terrible you feel for too long, the world is going to grant your wish. And no, it’s not the wish that these people go away that will be granted, but your feelings and thoughts that will be repeated and brought into the world. For example, when you get caught up in feeling shoved around by whomever is being a little shit, you’re going to find more instances of the situation occurring and you’ll only become more irritated, and sure that the universe is out to get you and your life is miserable. Instead, focus on what you desire to feel- free, firm, at peace, whatever you’d like. It’s the same sort of sentiment, except you’re actively choosing positive words and thoughts. This is the kind of wish you want granted.

3. Lastly, gratitude is the attitude. It’s an easier life for us when we remember all of the things we are blessed to have. I may have had annoying and rude people in my house, but in order for that to happen I must have a home- a roof over my head, walls shielding me from outside annoyances, etc.- so I am grateful. It’s an interesting spin, right? Try a similar exercise with your current problems and you may discover your burdens are a much lighter load than your blessings. Writing down a gratitude list or praying about what you’re thankful for is also very effective and calming. To be grateful is to be given a new, greater perspective on your life.

I hope these little tips help you when you feel overwhelmed by stressful people. Let me know in the comments if they helped or if you have any life-savers of your own!