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

A little inspiration for those learning to love your inner & outer self. ♥

Hey there, beautiful! I was enjoying having the house to myself- *ahem* karaoke time *cough* – and I came across the song “Try” by Colbie Caillat. It gave me absolute goosebumps, or as my poetry professor says, “chillbumps”. Suddenly I felt  a yearning inside- damn, I wish that songs like this had been around when I was a preteen, and I hope that my two nieces grow up to love themselves. I try my best to raise them as strong and confident girls but as an aunt who isn’t with them 24/7, I can only do so much. On the bright side, I can always work on raising myself. I’m still in the process. Maybe I always will be, but I’m kind of okay with that. As long as you’re learning, a day is never wasted.

And what better way to show myself love than to indulge in some inspiration and share with my Interweb fellows? Here are some passionate and incredibly positive videos for y’all on this Sunday morning:

♥ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXoZLPSw8U8

♥ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnDgSsWnwwE

♥ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODnMaf0rB4c

I’m also going to challenge you to do something~ Take out a piece of paper and your favorite writing utensil. Write down 5 things about your physical appearance that you love, and ten things about your inner self that you love. I know you can do it.

Much love and tons of good vibes,
Violet XO

Some things to brighten your day or teach you something new!

Hello, all! Happy Easter to those who celebrate it- I hope your holiday is filled to the brim with joy and good memories. Today I wanted to share some of the cool things on the Interwebs I’ve found recently. I hope you enjoy this list- I even included a few of my favorite things this Spring.

✿ http://galadarling.com/article/feeling-burned-out-ask-yourself-this-one-simple-question/

✿ http://mysticmedusa.com/2013/05/fenging-up/

✿ http://dangerdame.com/2015/03/30/how-to-be-magnetic-4-ways-to-rev-up-your-magnetism/

✿ http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-18169/how-to-stay-motivated-when-youre-not-in-the-mood-to-do-anything.html

✿ http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-18030/are-you-sabotaging-your-authentic-self-heres-how-to-stop.html

✿ http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-17999/walking-boosts-brainpower-4-other-reasons-to-exercise-every-day.html

✿ http://everydayroots.com/how-to-get-rid-of-bad-breath

✿ Pretty much any Dog Whisperer or My Cat From Hell episode, ever.

✿ http://www.seventeen.com/health/a29642/ways-to-be-instantly-happier/

✿ http://www.seventeen.com/health/advice/a21913/boost-body-confidence/

✿ Light or Pastel colors.

✿ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnT7ZDubj94

✿ Raising some gorgeous indoor plants.

That’s it babes- I hope you enjoyed the links and learned something interesting.

Much love from my house to yours,

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

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

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!