Thursday, February 28, 2013

☺ Ways to Create a Better Life ☺



STOP:
-Complaining all the time. 
-Playing the victim and "poor me" card. 
-Changing yourself or expending yourself trying to make others happy
-Relying on others for your own happiness
-Doubting yourself
-Apologizing for or being ashamed of who you are
-Worrying
-Saying "I can't"
-Focussing on what you Don't Want

START:
-Positive Thinking
-Being Grateful 
-Believing in yourself
-Making your own happiness
-Enjoying alone time
-Being Yourself 
-Turning off gadgets and going Outside
-Working less and playing more
-Expressing your creativity
-Acknowledging your desires/dreams/wishes
-Making everything you want to happen happen
-Believing in Karma
-Helping others to realize they can make their own happiness
-Focussing on the Good. 


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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

☆ International Polar Bear Day! (and how you can help) ☆



That's right, February 27th is International Polar Bear Day! Why is this so important? Well because there are fewer than Polar Bears left in the wild and their numbers are dwindling thanks to global climate change, and pollution. 

Take Part in the Thermostat Challenge! 
This Challenge is thanks to Polar Bears Internatonal! Take part by simply adjusting your thermostat up or down a few degrees (depending on where in the world you live) to lower carbon emissions and help save polar bears. Share a photo and inspire others with their "My Planet. My Part" actions to help save polar bears and improve the health of the planet. Even better: make every day a polar bear day by installing a programmable thermostat, insulating your home, or taking other steps to save energy. It's all part of PBI's SOS campaign!


Tips from Scientists to Help Polar Bears:

The polar bear's survival is linked to the arctic sea ice, a habitat greatly affected by climate change. Research shows, however, that it's not too late to take action to save sea ice and polar bears by greatly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

"PBI scientists have put together a list of which individual actions have the most impact. We suggest you look through these tips, find out what you're already doing—and then challenge yourself to add two or three more to help the bears. These simple steps will soon become habits and, eventually, part of a stewardship ethic that guides your daily choices and informs your everyday decisions."

Social Interactions
  • Vote for political representatives who recognize that our carbon-based society isn't sustainable and who will work to establish an appropriate price for carbon
  • Interpret the facts about global warming to your friends and relatives
  • Encourage members of your social circles to adopt sustainable lifestyles—and lead by example
  • To help create a stewardship ethic in your community and raise awareness of how lifestyle changes can make a difference, take part in local green initiatives like planting trees, recycling drives, or ride-your-bike to work days—or start your own.

Transportation
  • Walk or ride a bike
  • Use public transportation
  • Drive the most fuel-efficient vehicle for your needed task and drive at the most efficient speed for your vehicle
  • Avoid drive-through businesses; don't idle for more than 30 seconds
  • Keep your car tuned up and maintain proper tire inflation

Home & Work
  • Insulate buildings and heat/cool with efficient systems (e.g., rated by Energy Star)
  • Generate your own power with wind and solar
  • Let your utility company know that you want to subscribe to green power
  • Use energy-efficient (e.g. Energy Star) appliances and equipment. Turn appliances off when not in use. Use low-tech methods when possible (e.g., line-dry clothes)
  • Replace light bulbs with compact fluorescent or other energy-efficient bulbs (see Energy Star)
  • Use no more water than needed 

Dining Table
  • Buy and cook only what you'll eat. Don't waste food.
  • Consume foods that are minimally processed and packaged (e.g., potatoes vs. potato chips)
  • Purchase fruits and vegetables grown locally on small-scale farms
  • Avoid products that result from tropical deforestation (e.g., palm oil, coffee that isn't shade-grown, South American beef)
  • Consume less meat and animal products. Eat three meatless meals per week. (or even better go vegetarian and/or vegan)
  • (And if you are going to consume meat then choose products like pasture-fed beef, free-range poultry, and wild salmon rather than CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operations) meats.) 

Marketplace
  • Minimize consumption: reduce, reuse, and recycle
  • Research vendors and buy from those with sustainable business models
  • Avoid products with excess packaging
  • Buy products created closer to home: for example, if you live in the U.S. or Canada, purchase goods made in North America instead of those shipped from far away.

Support Conservation
Another tip I will suggest today is to donate to organizations working to help Polar Bears and climate change, such as Polar Bears International, WWF. 
You can also "adopt" a Polar Bear from either of these organizations:


Lastly...
ReLove Plan.et is having a sale on the Polar Bear Necklaces (ending Friday). I already donate every month to WWF, but all proceeds of the Polar Bear Necklace will be going towards a Polar Bear adoption! :)  

Also, remember that no action is too small. Every step, every action accounts to the bigger picture. Your actions also inspire others, so always do what you can no matter how small it may seem! 


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Monday, February 25, 2013

☺ Motivational Mondays! ☺



. . . . . . . . . .


We're taking back Mondays!!!
"Motivational Mondays" are fabulous tips to get you excited and pumped for the week! 
Feeling low? Moody? Down on life? Well, that's what these posts are for! Time to feel awesome again and get some Positivity rolling! Just because it's Monday doesn't mean you can't have fun, smile, and enjoy Today! Apply these tips to your week and try to tell me that you don't start to see an improvement in your life! ;)
It's all about You! Change your perception, change your attitude, love your life! xo

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Put Manifesting in Motion…  One of the most vital parts of the Law of Attraction is Believing that whatever you want is already yours. But this is where most of us fail because we don't Act as if what we want we already have. Put your plans into action. If you want to find a new place to live, or want to move, then start packing! If you want your dream partner then make sure your life and home has room for that person as if they are already there. Whatever it is that you want Make-Believe and Know that it's on its way, Act like it's already there! If you don't, then it will never come or take much longer to come.   
Learn to Laugh at Yourself! There is no need to feel embarrassed or silly any time ever. We've all done things we're ashamed of, things we're embarrassed by. If you haven't then you're magical or not being honest. But it's much easier to laugh at yourself then get all embarrassed over something. Own up to things. Take them on and learn to laugh instead of getting flustered. Stop taking yourself so seriously. We're all human after all.     
Do a Sugar Cleanse. Cut out refined and processed sugars for a week, and then see if you can go longer. And try to tell me you don't feel better. Fruit sugars are still good and so is stevia-- agave can be used in moderation. The main ones you want to be cutting out are the super processed highly bad for you ones--like table sugars (cane, white, sucrose, etc.), corn syrups and sugars, sugars ending in “ol” or “ose”--and pleeeeaaase do not opt for splenda or those crap replacements, they're even worse for you than regular sugars ;p. 
Check out Lifeologia's "Sugar Detox Challenge" for the 146 reasons why sugar is bad for you, and if you want more info and motivation in general--it's awesomely thorough! ;)  
Stop being afraid of Failure! Failures are a part of life. If we don't fail, we don't learn. If we don't learn, you'll never change. And if you don't change you don't grow. Any successful person first failed many many times before they reached success. Failures are steps. So don't get defeated, remember that it's just another step towards success.  
Don't let Grudges get in the way of what you Want. First I'm going to say that this rule applies to your life while also maintaining the upmost respect and love for Yourself first. Okay, that's out of the way… this tip was inspired by an episode of Friends, watching the dynamics of Ross and Rachel's relationship (sorry if you've never seen the show, I'll expand, don't worry). Basically, they love each other, but they continually let one detail, one grudge, get in the way of actually ever getting back together. They let one grudging detail get in the way instead of cherishing what they actually Feel and Being Together. So I'm here to tell to you to remember to Forgive, Let Go, and not hold grudges. Instead, respect your own feelings, trust your heart, and don't get tangled up in the messes of the Mind. You always have a choice to move forwards instead of dwelling on the past. And the Present Moment is what it's important. So how do you Feel right Now? What do you Want?   
"If you never tasted a bad apple, you would not appreciate a good apple. You have to experience life to understand life." ~ Leon Brown. Life's experiences are invaluable, you Need them. "Bad" things will happen and "good" things will happen, it is up to you whether or not you will allow those experience to enrich or darken your life. 
Lastly, when you're  upset…  imagine a t-rex making a bed ;) Surround yourself with silly humour at all times! Making yourself smile and laugh is so important and you should be doing it every single day! This video was another laugh for my week, hopefully it makes you laugh too. ;) 


Create the Best Damn Day ever, it is up to You to Create a Beautiful Life!!! ;)
Much Love from me to you!

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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Ⓥ Vegan Kitchen: Chickpea Fritters Ⓥ



First thing, these are not falafel, they are lovely crispy chickpea fritters. ;)
I originally found this recipe over at The LunchBox Bunch, with some very slight changes to my liking and to make them gluten free. Check them out anyways, they have a ton of amazing vegan recipes! 
Mine didn't come out as pretty as The LunchBox Bunch, but they still tasted incredibly delicious.
They are pretty easy to make though are a bit messy--but who doesn't have fun getting messy in the kitchen? They are super delicious! 
They'd be great as an appetizer or snack, or a side to a meal like we made them for. I think these would also be awesome in a sandwich or burger, though they are a tad on the crumbly side. 
Of course, these are vegan, and we made them gluten free. 

makes 12 small round fritters.

Pumpkin Chickpea Fritters
1 can Chickpeas, drained 
1/2 cup organic Pumpkin Puree (canned)
1/4 cup Hemp Seeds
1 tsp Garlic powder
2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
a touch of cayenne or chili powder
1 Tbsp Brown Rice Flour (for binding)

1 cup gluten-free panko bread crumbs for coating
Olive Oil for frying. 

*baking note: you could also bake these instead of frying them if you'd prefer. Bake on parchment paper or a lightly greased baking sheet at about 350 degrees for about 20 minutes - or until toasty. BUT the panko bread crumbs are really made for a light fry. 

In a large mixing bowl, add the chickpeas and pumpkin. With a large fork or potato masher, mash the beans until at least 75% of them have been mashed together with the pumpkin.
Add in the spices, apple cider, hemp seeds and flour. Fold together until a moist mixture forms.
Form the mixture into golf ball sized balls and roll in your panko crumbs until well covered - pat down into flatter cakes. 
Preheat a few tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan. Once the oil if hot, place the cakes in the hot oil - carefully!
Try to leave about an inch space between each cake for easier flipping--unlike what I did and mush them all together. ;)  
Cook on each side for a couple of minutes - until toasty brown. Try not to burn, although a bit of crisping is nice.
Let cool a bit, serve, and enjoy! 



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Friday, February 22, 2013

♥ {this moment} ♥


. . . . . . . . . . 
{this moment} - Joining Soule Mama, a Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.
. . . . . . . . . . 



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Thursday, February 21, 2013

☺ How to Get Out of a Rut ☺



Through life's mysterious ups and downs, we sometimes get stuck. It happens to the best of us. This can feel incredibly frustrating if we've made huge progress in our lives. I mean, there we are skipping along the upbeat path of enlightened bliss with rainbows and unicorns when suddenly we accidentally fall into some pit of despair with foreboding shadows we don't understand. And then this new path seems to keep going in circles round and round again despite our attempts to get back to that place of magical rainbows and butterflies. The frustration continues in the same mannerism of the path, repeating itself. It's not always about a lack of will to simply hop right back onto the upbeat path of your desire. The truth is we may feel as if we've been doing everything Right, and that is when it's time to realize that we usually get stuck for a Reason. Perhaps we've forgotten one of our important lessons, or maybe we've met a challenge we didn't acknowledge or that we refuse to see.
But we can always change paths, it's just a matter of figuring out How, and what you need to do to make the leap.
Life will always have an uneven path. It will bring you to the top and drop you back down, and climb back up again. When we are well-equipped these become gentle slopes; we acknowledge, learn, and let pass along our journeys. But sometimes the slope turns into a steep slippery mudslide in which you may repeatedly try to climb up only to slip back down to the same place. Ah, that dark circle. 
Determination, self-work, and a consciousness and awareness to your Self and Life will be what gets you over that slope and back to riding unicorns with the sun shining on your face. Chances are you are neglecting something, whether it's love for yourself, a lesson learned, an unresolved issue (past or present), or lack of nurturing to your personal needs and emotions. Basically, you're path is rocky for one reason or another and it is up to you to figure it out. Life doesn't come with a manual, you have to get dirty and dig deeper sometimes so that the path ahead can be enjoyed to its fullest potential. Whatever it may be, take the time to Stop and figure it out. Don't continue to hopelessly scramble half way up the slope to fall back down again. Stop where you are, take a look around, and figure out what you need to make the climb back to the top.


We are all at different levels of the path of life. We all have different tools and lessons under our belts. Don't get discouraged, remember that that's all it is, a steep slope, and there is Always a way to climb it. 
Nurture your needs and emotions, work a little deeper, take the extra time to create the positive environment and attitude you require to make the climb. Accept the challenge openly instead of resisting it. Look for the lesson, for the missing piece. Resolve issues. Take the time and attention to figure it out. 
Pay extra attention to your Self. We often neglect our own needs or aren't being honest with our needs. So take extra time and attention with You. Feelings are powerful indicators of our problems so take the time to ask yourself how you are feeling. Ask questions, questions you are afraid to ask yourself. There is no point in letting them sit there unresolved when you could be blissfully enjoying life with a smile on your face all because you are too afraid to get dirty first. 
Quite often we've just lost our lack of motivation, our "umph!", our positive attitudes. In this case, it's time for a kick-starter to get motivated and get your mind on track again. Re-read "self-help" books or find new material to inspire you. Do whatever you need to do to get back that sparkle. 
But more often than not when we are stuck on these particular kinds of ruts it's something deeper. The problems are often the things we've forgotten about or neglected that are finally resurfacing, which is why these things can throw us off balance so easily when everything else in our lives seems to be going smoothly. This is also why it's important to resolve problems as soon as they arise. This is also why it's important to not neglect any past issues or traumas and work through them so you can move forward. 
Like I said, sometimes it may feel like we're doing everything right, but know that if you are in a rut there is something you are missing. This is Not something to get frustrated about. Frustration does not serve you. Ever. If you need help, ask for it, seek it out. Don't be afraid of what you might find, and don't be afraid of the answers. Life is a magical beautiful place when we learn to resist less and experience more. Let your emotions flow, let them be indicators, let them be your guide. Dig dig dig deeper. And remember that it usually feels worse right before it gets supremely better. We're talking three magical prancing unicorns instead of just one… and obviously everyone wants more unicorns in their lives right? ;)
Stay motivated, optimistic, and positive. And know there is always a way up. Always. 


If you need some more help with not getting overwhelmed by your problems then here's some more reading and homework for you:

Love you all my lovely lovely unicorn riders! 
…too much unicorn talk? Okay, well I love you and I know that you are almighty and amazing and you can conquer all of your darkest and deepest problems. Persevere and remember to smile!        

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Monday, February 18, 2013

☺ Motivational Mondays! ☺



We're taking back Mondays!!!
"Motivational Mondays" are fabulous tips to get you excited and pumped for the week! 
Feeling low? Moody? Down on life? Well, that's what these posts are for! Time to feel awesome again and get some Positivity rolling! Just because it's Monday doesn't mean you can't have fun, smile, and enjoy Today! Apply these tips to your week and try to tell me that you don't start to see an improvement in your life! ;)
It's all about You! Change your perception, change your attitude, love your life! xo

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥



Have a Damn Good Day! Remember remember that You You You are in control of your day. Only You have the power to create a damn good day. Only You can wake up in the morning and Decide that you are going to have an awesome day. If you wake up in the morning, drag your ass out of bed and start off in a fowl mood and then have a shitty day, well guess what? That's on You! Change your attitude and you'll change your life. So if you want to have a Damn Good Day, then make that decision and go out and have a Damn Good Day! Stop with the excuses and make it happen!    
Have a Good Cry. When stress and emotions build we often bury them. For whatever reason we feel the need to stop ourselves from crying and truly Feeling emotions. Well, if you don't let them out then they build in your body as stress and illnesses and you're just burying your problems instead of resolving them. Learn to resolve your issues by first working through your emotion. If you need to then have a good cry and let it all out. Find ways of releasing emotions in a good way so that you do not release them in self-destructive manners. Choose to Be True to your emotions so you can truly heal and move forward.  
Value Yourself! I've talked a lot this week about loving yourself and getting through insecurities. Well, I want you to continue with these practices. It is too easy to feel insecure so make it a habit to practice self-love, to focus attention on loving and appreciating yourself. You are super duper wonderful, never ever forget that!   
Be in the Present Moment! Am I repeating myself? Absolutely! Why? Because this is a lesson that needs to be engraved into your minds. Practice makes perfect, and reminders help you to remember to practice. When we are torn from the present moment our minds easily worry, become stressed about the future, or sad about the past. The present moment is a place of good things, of receiving what you want or need. If you are not in the present moment then you could be missing out on what is most important and valuable. Plus, if you're always in the past or future then you truly are missing out on what's right in front of you and Life in general. After all, Life is Now!    
Be Spontaneous! I just got back from a very spontaneous trip with one of my besties this weekend. I was wishy washy about going and then decided that I needed to get back to being more spontaneous and saying yet again, so I did it. And who new? Had a fantastic time! ;) It's far too easy to make up excuses not to do fun things when we are feeling lazy. We get so stuck in habits and comforts that adventure sometimes doesn't entice us. Make more effort to be spontaneous and just say "Yes" to invitations and there to life. 
Make Others Happy! I take it upon myself to write these Motivational Mondays posts and all my other Inspirational posts because if it changes one person's life then I feel my job is done. Take it upon yourself this week to make someone else happy. This can be as simple as just Listening to a friend, offering some advice, and being completely non-judgmental and open. 
Listen sans Judgement… So many people have a hard time talking about their problems out of fear that they will be judged or seen as weak. Talking is great, listening is just as important. Be an open ear for people to turn to. Show them that you are supportive and always there. Lending an open ear means leaving your judgements at the door. If you haven't been in another's shoes (which you never will) then you simply cannot judge. Judging is insecurities and your insecurities are for you to deal with, not unleash upon others. So, be supportive and listen with an open heart and mind. Put yourself in their shoes. It's not difficult, and you'll learn a lot about life and yourself by just listening to other people, And you get to be a good friend. Wins all around! 
☺ "Be happy for no reason, like a child. If you are happy for a reason, you're in trouble, because that reason can be taken from you." ~ Deepak Chopra


Much Love from me to you! 
Now get out there and remember to Create the Best Damn Day ever! ;)


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Friday, February 15, 2013

♥ {this moment} ♥


. . . . . . . . . . 

{this moment} - Joining Soule Mama, a Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.
. . . . . . . . . . 



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Thursday, February 14, 2013

☺ How to have a Kick-Ass Valentine's Day! ☺



Okay, so there are so many mixed feelings about this holiday. So here is my guide to have a kick-ass Valentine's Day no matter who you are. ;)

Ditch the Jealousy and Envy:
Hate Valentine's Day? Well that sucks for you. Hate, jealousy, envy, all these negative emotions do not serve you in the slightest. If you find yourself hating on couples on Valentine's Day it's coming from a place of jealousy and envy. Jealousy and envy are dangerous emotions because it focusses our attention on what we Don't have. The more we focus on our Lack of Things the more we will experience that Lack. This is simple Law of Attraction (Law of the Universe) stuff. Instead, if you Want that perfect relationship but don't have it yet, today is the Perfect day to watch other couples not with envy but with inspiration. If you see a happy couple then look at them and smile and say to yourself "I have that." The more you focus your attention on what you Do want the closer you will get to receiving that. So ditch the poor-me card and feel inspired instead. 
Ditch the Lonely Feeling:
If you're feeling lonely then that is another issue that is perfect for you to work on today. Why? Because if you're feeling lonely then you clearly don't appreciate yourself enough to simply enjoy your own company. Loving yourself, as I say over and over again on this blog, is one of the most important things that you can do for yourself and your happiness. If you can't be happy alone then you can't be happy With someone either. Focus on being happy and satisfied with yourself first. So, if you're feeling lonely, take that time to truly appreciate and enjoy yourself instead of playing another variation of the "poor-me" card.  

Date Night! 
If you are celebrating Valentine's Day with a Date today then there are a few things to do right. 
Release Expectations. Expectations can be our biggest downfall, so be weary. Guys don't always tend to be the most romantically inspired, but that doesn't meant they don't love or appreciate you. If your significant-other does Anything nice for you then appreciate it, no matter how big or small. They may not give you a marching band and fireworks but allow them to show their appreciation in their own way. And remember that materialism is not a gauge on how much someone loves you. ;) 
Read more on my Valentine's Edition blog post here (so I'm not repeating myself ~_^).  

Make Someone's Day!
There are so many lonely and miserable people on this day, and the thought of that makes me sad. I want you to do something about that today! Take some time out of your day to make someone feel appreciated. Not only will it cheer them up and fill them up with a feeling of love, but it will also make you feel better. Win win. There is plenty of love to go around, so do your best to reach out to others and brighten their day. 

Enjoy Yourself
Above all else, today is a day that you should take the time to truly appreciate Your Self. I know, I already dabbled in that, but I am going to take a moment to elaborate and nail it into your head a little bit further. Self Love is soooooo important and far too often overlooked. If you can't Love Yourself, how can you expect to love anyone or anything outside yourself? Love must start from within yourself. 
But how does one work on self love? Every morning without fail, repeat positive affirmations to yourself about how much you love yourself. These affirmations should include things you like about yourself, things you're thriving to become. For instance, if you're shy and want to be more outgoing then you should include an affirmation saying "I Am Outgoing!" Repeat these every morning when you first get up. Before you go to bed at night, repeat them again. Take this practice one step further and write yourself a love letter filled with all the things you love about yourself. Fill an entire page! If you can't, try harder. Lastly, remember that you Are Awesome, only your Attitude towards yourself might not be. 


Remember that You Are Loved!
Whether you have a date or not, remember that you are loved. There are so many people in your life, around you, and potentially coming into your life that appreciate and adore you so never forget that. Let go of negativities and focus on true Love, for yourself and others. 

I Love Love Love you all! I hope you have a super blissful and lovely day and make the most of whatever situation you're in! 
Much Love from me to You! Keep Smiling, Dreaming, and stay Inspired and Positive! 
*smooches* 


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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

☺ Valentines Edition; Part Two: Loving Yourself! ☺



Okay, so now that I've covered some of the Relationship bumps in Part One of my Valentine's Edition, moving on to the second reason that I say screw-it to Valentine's Day…

First I'll say, no, I'm not some lonely girl moping around hating on Love (although you probably know this by now unless you are new here). I am happily married with an amazing husband. In fact, I promote love in all forms at any chance I get. So why am I writing about this anti-Valentine's day stuff? Short answer; because it does not promote real Love. There are several negative mentalities this day entails and crams into people's minds, and it's also just another silly holiday that tells you how to act and think (buy things! Conform damn you! Conform!). 
You cannot buy love, yet what Valentine's Day suggests is, not only that you can, but that you should. It also gauges your self-worth in a few ways; that you are a bad date if you don't buy presents for each other, or that you are worthless if no one buys you a present or sends you a Valentine's Day card. It also makes you feel (falsely) good or, more commonly, bad about yourself depending on how many cards or flowers you get, and whether or not you have a date. Suddenly our worth becomes based on the attention (I say attention because it is certainly not love) coming in from other people, instead of actual values, morals, and your own Self. Suddenly Love is measured by material objects and the false pretence of others--instead of where Love actually comes from; the Self. Hopefully you can see how incredibly self-destructive all of this is, how it does not actually promote Love, and how incredibly silly it all is at the end of it all. 
Sadly, most of us have been there at least once in our lives when we were a lonely teenager feeling sorry for ourselves come Valentine's Day and we didn't have a date. Hopefully you can realize that this is not a healthy mentality to have, and unfortunately too many of us have it. And what usually starts in school often carries on into adulthood, planting those negative seeds early to allow them to stick for longer. Why do we do this to ourselves? Set ourselves up for disappointment like that? Get our hopes all high and allow ourselves to be disappointed if we don't magically have a date on one day of the year? It makes no sense in reality. And so many people end up settling for some crappy date just so they are not alone. Or send flowers to yourself (which is actually not a bad thing, but I'll get to that later) in attempt to make it seem as if someone else did. 
So, entering Valentine's Day survival mode… it doesn't have to be a negative day at all, let's get on with some Real Love! 


Part Two; Choose Self Love instead!

Most of our problems don't come from others or our environments or circumstances, it comes from a lack of self love. 

No one can wager your self-worth but yourself. Seeking out the love and attention from other people means that you are not satisfying your own needs from your own self. You're not starving for love from another being, your starving for love from yourself. Sadly, we often look for it in other people though--especially because we are taught early on (as said above) that love is measured by others and not from ourselves. We need to know others think we are worthy before we can accept that we are for ourselves. And even that is often not good enough so we'll continue to degrade ourselves, be disrespectful to our emotions, and be generally self-destructive with put-downs and feelings of lack of self-worth. It's not your fault (but it is your responsibility to change it) and you are not alone if you feel this way. Our environments growing up can be pretty hostile and we learn early on to not feel good about ourselves--because others do not feel good about themselves and take it out on other people. It's a terrible cycle that has continued forever and most people don't know how to break it. It's not as hard as you think though, it just takes some time and patience and loving attention towards your self. Whenever someone is making another feel bad, it's a reflection of how they feel about themselves--the reason they give is just an excuse. So stop allowing others to make you feel bad and realize that it's not You, it's Them--or if you're the one delivering the put-downs, realize that is Is You, Not Them. No one can make you feel bad about yourself without your consent. Brush them off. No one can make you feel good about yourself either without your consent. No one can make you happy and loved except for yourself. You have to be willing to let love into your life. And you have to be willing to Love your Self.  
Stop relying on your happiness coming from another and realize that it actually comes from within yourself. You Choose if you are going to be Happy. You Choose whether or not to experience Love in your life. Love comes from within your Self. How can you expect anyone else to love you if You don't love you? And how can you expect to love anything outside of your Self if you don't love your Self? I'm not sorry to say this, because it's true, and realizing this will help you love yourself and your life. It's time for some self-love, Gorgeous! Know that you are beautiful, that you are fantastic, fun, and fabulous! Appreciate yourself so that others will do the same. And stop looking for others to tell you how amazing you are. You do not need their approval, you only need your own. Stop feeling insecure about yourself and start loving yourself! 
This Valentine's Day, instead of allowing yourself to get all self-pitying and wallowing in a box of chocolates and some sappy chick flick that will only make you feel worse, throw it all down and declare that you are SUPER! Yeah, that's right, declare your independence, and declare your love for yourself. Remind yourself that no one else can make you happy but yourself. That you don't Need another person to make you feel loved and special and wonderful. You should be able to do that for yourself. Because you are wonderful, if only you choose to see that within yourself. You are who you want to be. Your attitude is something you can choose. Your life is something you can choose. You may be stuck with yourself, but that doesn't mean you can't change and be the real you, the happy you, the you you want to be. Go ahead, choose it. Choose to be happy and to be loved. Choose to Love You. 
Again, this is simple Law of Attraction stuff. Feel love and you will allow more love to enter into your life. Appreciate yourself and you will allow others to appreciate you as well. 
Wallowing in a shameful box of chocolates upset that you didn't get roses is not empowering. It's goddamn deconstructive. Take that energy and turn it into something positive. Go out on the night if you choose, but do it for You and plan to go home alone instead of giving into the Valentine's Day crap that you need to be in another's arms that night. You don't. Be in your own loving arms. Empower yourself! Don't hate on Love, love Love. Be Positive and Loving. More negativity only breeds further negativity, towards yourself and towards others. So be Loving, all around. 
Okay, so here's what I'd like you to do on Valentine's Day…
Take the day for yourself! Buy yourself a box of chocolates (vegan and fair-trade of course ;))--not because you are trying to make it look as if someone else bought you chocolates, but because you deserve them and if anyone is getting you chocolates that day it should be You getting them for the love of your Self. :) Pamper yourself, relax, do some of the things you enjoy. Have a warm candlelit bubble bath, a cup of tea in hand and those chocolates, and soak in the joy of being you. Write yourself a love note as well, listing all the things that you Love about You--there better be at least a page full! Dance around your living room a little. Spend the evening with yourself. Cuddle up in a blanket and watch your favourite feel-good movie. Read a fantastic book. Meditate on Love. Do whatever your heart desires. Take time to love You. Because you deserve that love. And again I come back to; if you can't love yourself, how can you expect to love anything else in the world, or for others to love you?


Self-love is one of the most important things to have in your life. So learn to Love and appreciate You!

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☺ Valentines Edition; Part 1: Outlooks & Relationships ☺



I say screw it to the typical lovey dovey Valentine's Day; the let's spend money on silly red hearts, candy, and feel sorry for ourselves if we don't have someone to spend the supposedly romantic day with. I'm not much one for traditions and holidays that tell us how to feel and when to feel it. If you want a romantic evening with someone then go have a spectacularly romantic evening with someone, don't wait for Valentine's Day to pull out all the stops. If you want to be extra caring and buy a special someone a gift, then do it! Don't wait until Valentine's Day to do so. Be romantic whenever the hell you want. Yeah, you get to choose when to be super romantic, what a concept! ;) 
This is actually a long subject that I want to talk about so I've split my Valentine's Day Edition into two Parts. I will get to the self-love importance (and not crying the night away in a box of chocolates if you don't have a date), but first I want to talk about the Relationship aspects--and the way in which we set ourselves up for disappointment and create defeating expectations on Valentine's Day. I want to ask the questions; why do we set ourselves up for disappointment? Why do we get our hopes all high, and/or make these ridiculous expectations of a romantic day or evening? Here are a few reality checks I'd like to share that may help you survive Valentine's Day--and gain a new perspective.


Part One: Relationships!

First, let's be real about our partners--should you have someone to spend Valentine's Day with. I'd like to point out that guy's don't tend to be all that romantic. It's not like the chick flicks and movies where the guy is standing outside your window playing your song with a beatbox on his shoulders and a horse-drawn carriage waiting to whisk you off into some perfect sunset. I'm not saying that there aren't guys out there who do ridiculously romantic things, but there's a hell of a lot more guys who just aren't so romantically inclined. There is nothing wrong with that, they just have different parts of their brains working than women. Our expectations that men are just like in the movies is not a healthy expectation to have and usually sets us up for disappointment. Instead we should try focussing on the positive qualities of our partners, and focus on the things they Do do for us, instead of focussing on all the things we feel they do wrong.  
I'm always intrigued as to where this fairytale idea came from to begin with. That a girl must get all gushy, want presents and gifts from their partner, that their partner must do immensely romantic things all the time? Personally, I'd like to blame the movies and media, but it's hard to say at this point. There may be an innate nature within us females already that places importance on attention and caring from their partners--which in itself, is not unreasonable. Perhaps it is even some primal inner nature, like when male animals need to win over the female before courting. The male must impress the female. Truly, I'm not quite sure where it all started, but it certainly exists in many of us. Really, I don't think it matters where it came from, what does matter is doing something about it. 
Balance! The answer to all. 
In many cases guys do super sweet things for their ladies, bringing home flowers, making them breakfast, washing the dishes (??). But often these things get overlooked, comes with that negative attitude that makes you think he is not trying hard enough or cares because you have some other expectation in your mind of something he should be doing to wow you but hasn't. So you miss the things he actually Is doing. Tisk tisk. Perhaps like your expectations that he will put together some elaborately romantic date on Valentine's Day but instead he brings you home some flowers and tries to be romantic in his own way. But it wasn't what You had wanted or expected so you miss the sweetness altogether. If you want your partner to do more for you then appreciate what they do for you already, because you are probably missing it. Appreciation will make them feel good about what they're doing and encourage more nice behaviours. It's also simple Law of Attraction stuff--appreciation for what you do have so that you receive more good things. 
The other piece of advice is to let go of materialism. You don't really want to be won over by Things now do you? I understand that once upon a time the "thought" behind a gift is the important part, but let's face it, today there are plenty of girls who just want lavish gifts that they pick out themselves instead of even giving the guy a chance to pick out something thoughtful. Tell me how is this romantic again? You don't want to force your partner into buying you things, it takes away any notion of romance and caring. Let them appreciate you in their own way. If they surprise you with a gift, fantastic! If they don't, still fantastic! Remember that your love is not something that needs to be bought. Love should be showed, not bought.
On the other end of things, you don't want your partner to not put in any effort at all either. Balance, remember? And this goes both ways! Too often women have this expectation that their partner should be pulling out all the stops and dazzling her with splendid gifts and surprises. Well, what have you done lately? It may be wise to take a look at your own actions before you go judging theirs. Regardless, both people should be putting effort into the relationship, otherwise there isn't a relationship to be had. Love needs to come pouring in from both people. Otherwise it's not a relationship, it's a mildly dying friendship. Know when enough is enough or whether there is something worth saving. You are never stuck in a relationship, remember that. You get to choose. Always. 
But, again, both people should be putting in some effort. You should be doing nice, thoughtful, loving things for each other, as people often do at the beginning of the relationship because you're trying to win them over, but the longer you are together the less you feel like you need to do these things. I mean, you've won them already, so why keep trying? Do! Because it shows that you are actually still in love and care about the other person, that they are still worth the effort. Just because you are together, even "tied the knot" "til death do you part," doesn't mean you should just conclude that you don't need to try in the relationship anymore. Effort will keep a relationship strong. You Do still need to win each other over, or else the relationship becomes boring and stale and eventually the spark goes out. Keep the spark going. Do nice things for your partner! Period. Not just on Valentine's Day!


Of course, not everything that I have to say applies to everyone, different parts will apply to different people. Or perhaps not at all. But I have a feeling that chances are at least part of this applies to most people. 
Balance. It is always the key to happy equality in all aspects of life. And a smile and positive attitude of course, that good attitude will allow you to enjoy all of your relationships and see which ones are worth having. So, to summarize a bit:
Express Gratitude for the other person and seeing their good side instead of focussing attention on their negativities. 
Let go of Expectations and welcome what actually comes.  
Always put effort into the relationship, it should be coming in from both partners. 
Spend quality time with your partner. Be attentive, loving, caring, and thoughtful always. Be respectful. Communicate. 
Oh yeah, and say "Screw it!" to traditions! ;) 

Join me for Part Two--being loving towards yourself and having a positive attitude when you're single. Basically, how to survive Valentine's Day with a beaming smile on your face! ;) 

Have a beautiful day! 


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Monday, February 11, 2013

☺ Motivational Mondays! ☺



We're taking back Mondays!!!
"Motivational Mondays" are fabulous tips to get you excited and pumped for the week! 
Feeling low? Moody? Down on life? Well, that's what these posts are for! Time to feel awesome again and get some Positivity rolling! Just because it's Monday doesn't mean you can't have fun, smile, and enjoy Today! Apply these tips to your week and try to tell me that you don't start to see an improvement in your life! ;)
It's all about You! Change your perception, change your attitude, love your life! xo


♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥


Oh my, it is the week of seeing nothing but hearts and hearing about Valentine's Day this and that. It is the time when we either thrive or crumble. Well, this week you are going to Thrive! And it's my job to make sure that happens! So, let's get that love pumping this Motivational Monday!!!

Love Yourself! Love starts with You. If you can't love yourself then how can you expect anyone outside yourself to love you? If you can't love yourself how can You expect to love anyone or anything outside your self? If you want to feel good, if you want to improve your life, your relationships, your attitude, and everything around you for the better then you must start here. Having love for yourself is the single biggest step to a happier life. So love love!    
Survive Valentine's Day… For a holiday that's supposed to be all about love there is certainly a lot of negativity associated with this day. Last year I wrote two articles to help you not only survive, but thrive, this lovey dovey week. So, yes, I'm giving you some more reading material, because reading and taking in lessons is far more useful than complaining and wallowing in self pity. ;) Valentine's Edition; Part 1: Outlooks & Relationships & Valentine's Edition; Part 2: Loving Yourself.
Celebrate Generosity Day! So the idea is similar to your weekly random acts of kindness, but in this sense we're turning Valentine's Day into something more meaningful and going beyond the hallmark consumerism based holiday. We all have love in our hearts so why not go the extra mile and spread some extra love on February 14th? Check out this article about Generosity Day and be sure to like their facebook page to share in all the goodness!  
Make Love the only answer. Make love your answer to everything. Approach everything and everyone in your life and your environment with love. Love truly is the answer and I simply can't say it enough. Your world will change completely when you learn to be loving to all beings, all situations, all things around you. It's a beautiful thing. So get into the habit of speaking, breathing, and acting out of love. 
Take time to Love You! Take a day this week just for your own self appreciation. Pamper yourself, relax, do some of the things you enjoy. Have a warm candlelit bubble bath, a cup of tea, and soak in the joy of being you. Dance around your living room a little. Spend the evening with yourself. Cuddle up in a blanket and watch your favourite feel-good movie. Read a fantastic book. Meditate on Love. Do whatever your heart desires. Take time to love You!     
Write a Love Note! This love note is just for You. I want you to take time every single day this week to sit down and write out all the things that you Love about You. There better be at least a page full every day, because if you can't fill a page then you're not loving yourself enough. See the beauty within yourself and raise yourself up onto that platform of love. Be the person you deserve and truly are. Because you truly are magnificent.  
"To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself." ~ Thich Nhat Hanh. One last time, remember to appreciate and love you for You. Stop looking for approval and acceptance from others. The sooner you learn to accept and love yourself the sooner others will do the same. 


Happy Love week! Get out there and make Love your only answer!
Much Love from me to you! Create the Best Damn Day ever! 
Love Love! xo 

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

☺ Stop Placing Yourself in a Category and Just Be Yourself! ☺




"I don't know if you're pretty or goth…"
"Why can't she be both?"

We live in such a strange world. To say the least. It's interesting to watch people, our behaviours, our judgements on others. In our continual strife to belong, to fit in, to feel better about ourselves we so easily fall off track and get wrapped up in concepts that truly don't matter and truly only cause us to be more lost down the rabbit hole of self discovery.  
It's just strange to really take a step back and observe the way we put ourselves and others into categories. And in today's day and age there are soooo many labels we toss around, I mean we place people into groups like goths, punks, metal-heads, scenesters, hipsters, geeks, nerds, gamers, and so forth. 
But you are Not a category. You are a Human Being. 
You don't have to fit into any one category or label. Yet people cling to these labels as if they are their very identity. Everything they do is with the conscious thought as to whether or not their actions and behaviours make them a true "insert category here." You know what I'm talking about. Or at least hopefully you can open your eyes enough to. I've seen this behaviour forever. I saw metal-heads that actually Researched ways of how to be more metal. I see the hipsters that are too cool to talk to anyone other than other hipsters, only wear clothes that their friends are wearing as well. And let's not lose sight of this new bashing of girl gamers. Honestly, seeing a lot of the pro or bashing "girl gamers" was what finally initiated me to finally write about this topic. I mean there are so many girls coming forth now, admitting and being proud that they play video games, read comic books, and are "geeks." Then there's the backlash of "hardcore" girl gamers who rebut these new gamer girls by calling them "fakes" because they've been playing video games and being geeks from the start. 
Obviously, this behaviour is not exclusive to just the gamer category, it is, of course, within every little clique. Everyone is always trying to outdo each other. Everyone is constantly trying to be the best "insert category here." And because of this, people are constantly bashing each other, whether it's within their own clique for not being "hardcore" enough, or if it's bashing another clique for being "lame" or "stupid." 
And what do we know about people bashing that I've discussed before? That it comes from a place of insecurity. If you are feeling the need to put down others it's only because you are insecure about yourself. If you are lashing out then it's your own Self crying out. It's a problem with your Self, not with anyone else. Think about that for a moment. If you had complete and utter love for yourself you would Never feel the need to put down others. You would be so filled with love that it would never even cross your mind. Period. 
So where am I going with this? Be Yourself!!! 


People are thriving to be Someone, to be Something, to be the Best Someone. You Are already the Best. You are the Best version of Yourself! So stop trying to fit in and belong to a group. One single group, clique, category, label, or whatever you want to call it, cannot satisfy you and cannot define you. You are a complex human being with a multitude of interests, loves, dislikes, ambitions, and characteristics. Trying to mould yourself into a type-cast is counter productive. 
I get it, I've been there, I mean who hasn't in one way or another? In school we try to fit in with some sort of group and it's where a lot of the type-casting and judging begins. How about it ends there? There is Nothing wrong with self-exploration, with trying out new things, with having interests within a label. For instance, just because you like a certain style of clothing doesn't make you a "insert category here." Chances are your Real Self includes a variety from most of these individual categories. If you want to fit in then start by fitting in your Own Skin. Accept what you do or don't like instead of having a stereotype define that for you. 

I remember going through my own stages. I was a bit of a goth, I was a "rocker chick" (whatever that is), a metal-head, a nerd, a hippie… truth is I think I realized fairly early that I didn't fit into one single category though I may have tried or wanted to. Part of that might have been because I never really belonged in high school--I was a "frenchie" (for being in french immersion) for a long time but it wasn't really defining which I'm grateful for--so I never got stuck in one mindset. Anyway, I still went through the motions like most of us do of questioning my identity, of trying to fit in, of trying to find a clique to belong to. It just never happened. I still blocked out parts of myself I considered "uncool" or that I felt people would judge me for. Finally, I embraced all sides of myself. And I love myself, I love every part of myself, and that's because I accept, appreciate, and embrace all that I am. 


I don't remember what it was I was wearing, but one day my brother looked at me and said "I don't know whether you're pretty or goth." My husband replied, "why can't she be both?" The gears in my brother's head were turning after that, I mean, what a concept! 
You can't put me in a category, but you sure as hell can try. I still love metal music, but I also listen to just about everything else. I don't just wear black anymore, I wear a ton of colour and I wear a ton of different styles of clothing depending on my mood (if you've seen my clothing then you know this already). I'm still an eco-lovin', tree-huggin' vegan. I also sometimes play video games, though I have a tendency to get half way through a game and then stop. I love anime, but I am in no way an expert or "connoisseur," I simply enjoy watching some shows, checking out artwork, and drawing. Oh yeah, and I draw again--the side of me I tucked away. I write my own novel and draw my own anime characters. I have a fascination and love for character artwork which is probably why I love observing video games than actually playing them. I love kawaii and cute things, and drawing them of course. I dance around like a fool (sometimes in public). I'm usually smiling. And I feel however the hell I want to feel and do whatever the hell I want to do. Why? Because I accept all sides of myself and I'm not trying to impress anyone.

So my advice is to stop trying to impress others. It's the bottom line to all of it. We are trying to fit in so we are trying to impress people--whether you'll admit to it or not. On the flip side, don't judge others for they are either, it's just another sad form of bullying and it has no place. You are not better than anyone else and no one is better than you. Stop looking to others for approval and instead look to yourself. If you like something, then like it! If you don't like something then don't let it be a part of your character. If you are the biggest nerd around, then be the biggest damn nerd around, but you don't need to boast about it or impress people. If you love metal music but you also sometimes love listing to Britney Spears, then do it and don't be ashamed. If you like hipster clothing on some days and on other days you want to dress like a punk, then Do It! 

Be Yourself and stop trying to fit in. It is the only way you will start to be genuinely Happy, to start Living life to the fullest, and forming true lasting relationships with others. Being someone you're not is a waste of you are. You are You, you are not a category. So fit into your own skin, be free to discover who you Really are, and never be ashamed. 


  

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