Letting Go Of Your “Perfect Self”

Happy Monday, gorgeous! I hope your week is off to a joyous start and you’re feelin’ all sorts of good vibes. Before I head to my shift at work I figured I would share a tiny insight that I’ve realized during my “Soul-Search-Because-I-Can’t-Come-Up-With-Anything-Cooler”: ideal does not equate to perfect, and trying to have the perfect day/be the perfect self is goddamn exhausting. Seems like common sense, right? I guess it just took me a bit longer to realize some of my disappointment in life was because I was trying to live up to an ideal that went beyond responsible expectations. Trying to achieve these goals (zero junk food, 8 glasses of water and no less, working out every day, etc.) just made me feel guilty and shameful for not doing things 110% perfectly. Sometimes we’re all too hard on ourselves for not completing our marathons, when we should feel proud for running 3/4 of the way and then gearing up to try again! As Dave Willis wisely said, Be an encourager- the world has enough critics already.”

Instead of sulking around feeling defeated, I’ve recognized I need to approach myself with love and gratitude before anything else. If I had a cookie at lunch, I don’t need to give up and hate myself for “ruining” my healthy lifestyle. I can get back on the proverbial horse and make a fresh, nutritious dinner. Listen, y’all: There is no need for self-shame. There is a huge need for self-love and self-acceptance. At least for myself, living in this world makes me feel like every day needs to be a competition – and in some sense it should be- but not at the expense of my relationship with myself. Just as we should approach others with understanding and encouragement, so we should ourselves. You can live up to your ideals, but you’ll never live up to your ideas of perfection.

It’s nothing revolutionary, but I figured if it took me so long to figure that out, someone else might appreciate the realization. I’m sending you all warm hugs and tons of positive vibes.

So much love from me to you,

Violet XO

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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

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

Best Of 2014: Full of Positivity, Body Love, & Inspiration! (PART THREE, BOOKS & MUSIC)

Good morning, beautiful! The Best of 2014 series has drawn to an end- today’s shall be my last post dedicated to 2014. After all, we’re two days into the new year! It’s time to get in the groove of 2015. For more information regarding this series, you can check out my two most recent posts. Without further adieu, here are my favorite self-help books and inspiring songs of 2014…

✦ BOOKS ✦

✦ “Beautiful You: A daily guide to radical self-acceptance” By Rosie Molinary

✦ “The Re-enchantment of Everyday Life” By Thomas Moore

✦ “The Goddess Is In The Details: Wisdom For The Everyday Witch” By Deborah Blake

✦ “The Miracle of Self-Love: The Secret Key To Open All Doors” By Barbel Mohr

✧ MUSIC ✧

✧ “Miss Movin’ On”~ Fifth Harmony

✧ “BO$$”~ Fifth Harmony

✧ “Anklebiters”~ Paramore

✧ “Feeling Sorry”~ Paramore

✧ “Wings”~ Little Mix

✧ “All About That Bass”~ Meghan Trainor

✧ “Close Your Eyes”~ Meghan Trainor

✧ “Shake It Off”~ Taylor Swift

✧ “Last Hope”~ Paramore

✧ “All About That Bass” Cover (Not About Your Waist)~ Natty Valencia

✧ “Salute”~ Little Mix

✧ “Dear Future Husband”~ Meghan Trainor

✧ “Skyscraper”~ Demi Lovato

✧ “Warrior”~ Demi Lovato

✧ “Hello Cold World”~ Paramore

I hope you guys enjoyed this short series and some of the things I’ve shared with y’all! Did your favorite book or song make my list? What would you add?

Tomorrow I embrace 2015 and let 2014 rest. Much love,

Violet XXOO

Best Of 2014: Full of Positivity, Body Love, & Inspiration! (PART TWO, ONLINE POSTS/PAGES)

Happy New Year, darlings! I’m wishing all of you joyous moments and loving memories for this new year. Today I’m continuing the Best of 2014 series and the final post for this shall be up sometime tomorrow. For more information regarding the series, check out my previous post. I’m sharing many links so I’ll make the intro short and get right into it! (;

~ONLINE POSTS & PAGES~

☯ Gala Darling ( http://galadarling.com/article/how-to-make-2014-the-best-year-of-your-life/ )

☯ More Gala ( http://galadarling.com/article/the-ultimate-guide-to-making-your-period-suck-less/ )

☯ Bubz ( http://www.bubzbeauty.com/diary/312-taking-a-break.html )

☯ Miss Varlow ( http://dangerdame.com/2014/12/08/5-ways-to-punch-seasonal-depression-in-the-face/ )

☯ What do you want? ( http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-16446/want-to-find-out-what-you-really-want-ask-these-essential-questions.html )

☯ Thrive ( http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-16661/10-ways-to-truly-thrive.html )

☯ Stop Judging Your Body ( http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-14033/10-ways-to-stop-judging-your-body-so-harshly.html )

☯ Kindness ( http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-16700/how-to-approach-the-world-with-more-kindness.html )

☯ Gabby Bernstein ( http://gabbyb.tv/blogs/1-key-success )

☯ Michelle Phan ( http://michellephan.com/how-to-strengthen-your-relationships/ )

☯ More Mish ( http://michellephan.com/10-best-inspirational-quotes-to-live-by/ )

☯ A goldmine of Louise Hay affirmations! ( http://www.louisehay.com/affirmations/ )

☯ Justine Musk ( http://justinemusk.com/2014/11/17/heroines-journey-soul-happiness/ )

☯ Musk Again ( http://justinemusk.com/2014/10/19/heroines-journey/ )

☯ Make Your Own Desire Map ( http://www.daniellelaporte.com/thedesiremap/graphic-maker )

☯ Loving Light ( http://galadarling.com/article/50-ways-to-put-the-light-back-in-your-heart/ )

☯ Happy & Healthy ( http://galadarling.com/article/new-year-new-routine-10-things-i-do-to-keep-myself-feeling-happy-healthy-magical/ )

☯ RSL! ( http://galadarling.com/article/100-ways-you-can-start-loving-yourself-right-now/ )

☯ More RSL ( http://galadarling.com/article/10-really-easy-ways-you-can-love-yourself-more-today/ )

☯ Be a Love Letter ( http://galadarling.com/article/100-ways-to-be-a-love-letter-to-the-universe/ )

What were your favorite posts/website pages of 2014? Did you like any of the links I’ve provided? Let me know in the comments!

Positive & Easy Visualization!

Good morning, you stunning mega-babes. It’s finally the weekend (and one after a stressful holiday at that). I hope it treats you kindly and you get to do what you want.

I’ve become a frequent XOJaner because occasionally they have magnificent, beautifully written, and thought provoking posts. And while most of the time the comments sections are a shitshow, I’ve noticed that the XOJane community can also be a loving and compassionate place of support and kindness. People use it as an outlet to express troublesome feelings or talk about their problems, and a lot of the time the responses are positive and caring.

As I pondered what to check out on the Interwebs today, I visited the most recent open thread. One of Jane’s questions was “what’s at the top of your Best Of 2015 List?” and explained a visualization technique that involved jotting down ten things you want in 2015 and write them down as if they have happened. Personally, I think this idea is GENIUS, so I wanted to share it with you lovely people. Bonus points if you meditate on it once a day. 😉

Here is my Best Of 2015 List:

☼ I was published again.

☼ I won a writing contest.

☼ I tried tons of new, positive activities and healthy foods.

☼ I volunteered to help animals and various other causes.

☼ I pet, like, ALL the animals.

☼ I made straight A’s in both semesters.

☼ I dyed my hair purple again and looked like a fabulous mermaid.

☼ My skincare was steady so my skin cleared up completely.

☼ I increased my confidence and self-esteem

☼ I gained 10 more followers to my blog and people commented on some of my posts.

That was surprisingly easy to write! Tip: Don’t let negativity try to put a damper on your dreams for 2015. You might have a small voice saying “I can’t do that well” or “This is unbelievable and impossible to achieve”; tell that voice to suck it and keep on dreaming big. What are your Best Of 2015 moments? Share ’em below!

Blessed Yule & Spreading the love ♥

Good afternoon, babes! I’m wishing y’all a happy and merry Yule. 🙂 Yule is the time of the winter solstice and one that Christians and their holiday Christmas borrowed a few traditions from. It’s a time of celebration- it is when some Pagans and Wiccans observe the story of a god being reborn. Sound familiar? It’s also a time where we are invited to look within ourselves for wisdom and guidance and plan ahead for the next wintry months. If you’re interested in learning more, a couple basic informative webpages are: https://wicca.com/celtic/akasha/yule.htm & http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/yulethelongestnight/p/Yule_History.htm.

I’ve had my altar decorated for a while (glittery pine cones, deep and royal jewel-tones, gold/silver/white candles and all) and I can’t wait to spread the holiday cheer. Since my family and I still celebrate Christmas, I’m saving the gift giving for the 25th. Other acts of kindness, however, are fair game for today. It’s always nice to have a reminder to be your kindest, most loving self!

For those who would like to join me in making a small piece of the world a little brighter, I’ve listed a few things I’ve done/will be doing today to invoke the jolly holiday spirit!

♥ If you’re on any virtual gaming websites, spend some of your points to buy kind gifts and gift randomly to strangers! An example for a virtual pet site could be giving out food that someone could feed their pets, a toy the pet can play with, etc.

♥ When you’re browsing the comments section of a post or article, be an encouraging soul! There’s usually a few bummed-out people on there, and sometimes a few kind words or a *hugs* can help cheer that person up. You can also write a “Good job! Thank you for writing this!” or “Well done!” if you enjoyed the piece.

♥ Pamper your pets! Whether it’s giving them a special treat, carving out more time of your day to play with them, super-cleaning their living space, or taking them on an extra walk, our furry friends (and non-furry) deserve some love and affection.

♥ Write out a spontaneous Thank You letter or send a random loved one a card listing some of the reasons why you think they are great!

♥ Spend time outside today; we can’t forget to show Mother Nature some love! Grab your bestie and pick up some litter, then treat yourselves to some yummy hot chocolate or heated beverage of your choice.

♥ Compliment a stranger who you genuinely think looks good in that scarf or has their makeup done gorgeously!

♥ Smile at other people!

♥ Do some extra chores around the house! Do a kind deed without someone asking you too, do a loved one’s chore that you know that they strongly dislike doing. I guarantee it will make their day a little easier.

I hope you have a great Monday and a blessed Yule. What do you do for others on days like this? How do you spread your kindness?