How To: Fueling Your Passion

Good morning, darlings. I’m sending you guys hugs over the Internets and tons of happy vibes. Is the summer treating you well? Or, for those in the southern hemisphere, is it chilly where you’re at? No matter what the weather, I hope y’all are safe, comfortable, and at peace. Now- down to business.

It’s no secret that a book a day keeps the boredom away. Books keep magic alive and well in our hearts. When Nature is having a dramatic mood swing, nothing feels better than to stay inside and cozy up with a good book. It’s one of the most luxurious feelings to have, in all honesty.

If you’re feeling a bit dull- like I was- even reading a book that you might normally enjoy can seem tedious and chore-like. And since a lack of enthusiasm usually indicates a less-than-fulfilling life/lifestyle, we obviously need to fix that icky monotony. A good way to do that, I’ve recently realized, is to read a book specifically about something you feel the most passionate about. Be it about environmental issues, the conservation of the honey bees, financing or psychology, pick up a book on it! At times I felt so lack-luster that I couldn’t bear to pick up an interesting fiction novel, I gravitated towards a book on mythology and the history of religions/spiritualities. Because it’s a subject I’m so enthralled by, I was able to read and become absolutely enchanted and inspired. It feels great to learn new things about a topic you love.

And though this tip may not work for everyone, getting your mojo back is an incredibly important task to do for yourself and of a high priority. Hopefully, it will help you with fueling your fire just as much as it has done for me; you’ll never know until you try.

Best of luck and loads of love,

Violet XO

Ps: “A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.”~ Carl Sagan

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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 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

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

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!