Just be kind

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The other day I was driving and came to a 4-way stop sign. I got there first and had the right away, but this dude rolled right through and cut me off. Obviously, it got me fired up. Who does he think he is? This a$$ of all a$$es. He even looked like a d-bag with his gelled hair and sunglasses and car with a loud muffler. Don’t even get me started.

Less than 30 seconds later – like before I had the chance to flip him off or spout some profanities (out loud) – he made a left turn into the hospital parking lot. Oh. God. I immediately felt terrible for my thoughts. For judging when I didn’t know the circumstances. What if his wife was going into labor? Or his mother was on her death bed?

I mean, that could be total bull and maybe he really was a d-bag, but, the point is, you just never know. And that’s why I (we) shouldn’t cast stones.

Why am I sharing this?

This past Lent, I figured I’d do something meaningful instead of giving up something like gum (don’t chew) or alcohol (rarely drink) or cable (don’t even have). I picked up a copy of Gabby Bernstein’s May Cause Miracles, a 6-week guided practice with twice daily exercises that include prayers, mantras, meditations, and small assignments.

After the first week, a few things were glaringly obvious.

  • I care too much about what other people think of me
  • It’s hard for me to forgive
  • I judge others viciously

All of the above were/are holding me back from having my best life. It’s sad that I’ve allowed it, but it’s more important to acknowledge and address it.

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Finished in 2.5 days. A must-read for Millennials and Gen Z!

As Rachel Hollis so eloquently reinforced, “Someone else’s opinion of you is NONE of your business.” Powerful. Profound. And you know what? It’s so true. If I’m okay with me, others should be too. If they aren’t, that’s on them. The same goes for you. Want to live your best life? Just do you.

When it comes to forgiveness, I (we) have to realize that not everyone is going to be sorry for the things they’ve said or done. Maybe because they really don’t care about our feelings. Or maybe, just maybe, because they don’t know they’ve wronged us. It’s so hard, but it’s worth it to let go of things that are out of our control.

And then there’s judging. Society makes it so easy for us to judge others. Look at the tabloids, the news, celebrity gossip. We slut shame and call people names, accuse women of being bad moms and men of being deadbeat dads, we say he’s too fat or she’s too ambitious. The. List. Goes. On.

The fact is, there will always be judgment in the world. There will always be people on the wrong path. There will be hatred and evil and sorrow. But we can do our part and be a little kinder with our thoughts, words, and actions. Because every act of kindness compounds into something big. Together, we can create change.

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My favorite place to read is by the water – it’s so serene.

One last note…

To me, spiritual wellness is even more important than physical. You can lift all the weights and run all the miles, but if you don’t get your mind right – you’re f*cked.

Below are the personal development books* I’ve read in the last six weeks. They’ve been nothing short of inspiring. Hopefully they’ll be of interest to you too!

Current Read: Judgement Detox by Gabby Bernstein.

Peace, Love, Zen
DS

*Links are not affiliate and I will not earn a commission on any purchases made. I usually read reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, etc. and then borrow from my local library – it’s greener and way more economical for the number of books I read annually.

I tried the Commit30 Planner. Here’s what happened…

For almost the entire month of December, I was OBSESSED with the Commit30 Planner. I visited the website an excessive amount of times, downloaded a few of the free PDFs and challenges, and I had it sitting in my cart for a really long time.

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The, 2019 Weekly Day Planner, which I eventually purchased (above), comes in 5 colors and 2 convenient sizes. I opted for the larger 7″x10″ in gold for an affordable price of $34.99. Compared to most other planners out there – some only designed for 30-90 days – this is a steal!

Features

  • Full-year planner with monthly and weekly views
  • Yearly vision board (and space for a monthly vision as well)
  • Notes section for each month (bullet journal style)
  • 30-day challenge template and goal planning for each month
  • List of US holidays for 2019 & 2020
  • Bullet journal in the back
  • Pocket folder on the back flap
  • Bookmark and sticker
  • BONUS: Super-fast shipping (I ordered it on 12/28 and it arrived on the 31st – just in time!)

Stickers

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You can purchase stickers for the planner on the Commit30 site, but I’ve found Michael’s craft store to have more variety and cheaper prices – plus, you can’t beat those 40% off coupons! I loaded up on stickers to add dimension to my plans: budget, fitness, and random little things. Life is better in color – rainbow colors!

My Experience

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February’s looking good with a trip to Peru, Valentine’s Day, and snow tubing!

While I love this planner so, so much, I need to keep reminding myself that I’m not a planner girl. A sticker girl for sure, but I always end up preferring a digital (or mental) account of my plans and to-do list. The only section I’ve used religiously is the monthly layout, where I can track EVERYTHING that’s important to me:

  • when bills are due
  • how many times I fill up my gas tank
  • what I spend on groceries
  • number of workouts
  • starting and ending weight
  • weekend plans
  • meal prep
  • housework
  • and pretty much everything else

I’ve never been a fan of keeping a detailed daily workout log (it records on my phone) or writing down my meals (for the most part, I follow my weekly meal plan). I thought this planner would make those tasks more fun, but daily tracking will never be my cup of tea.

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Each month has a few words of wisdom at the start. 

The Bottom Line: This planner/journal is amazing and I love the idea of it. It’s perfect for someone who loves keeping lists, planning EVERYTHING, tracking food and workouts, and carrying around a journal to make note of random things. It would also be great for people looking to set and track goals, keep a physical schedule, or replace an unfavorable planner.

Count Your Blessings

2018 was filled with many great experiences, memories, and fun times spent with friends and family. My husband and I rode our first hard-core roller coaster, we traveled to California for the first time too, bought new cars, went back and forth to Florida (our second home) to be kids in Universal, we set up and broke down so many campsites, put hours on our jet ski, trekked to Canada twice, got our fill of haunted houses in October, celebrated a year of marriage and then a year of homeownership, went to see the tree in NYC, and have more plans for December.

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This was the best tree I’ve seen – so pretty and full – and it was cut locally!!

On my own, I finished a 21-Day Sugar Detox, a 21-Day weight loss program, a round of 80 Day Obsession, and am currently in round, two week 3 of LIIFT4. I all but eliminated my migraines, started up a crochet shop, perfected a recipe for macarons, found out that baking really is my superpower, and learned which foods aren’t my friend.

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A shop in honor of my granny.

I could keep going because, in all, it was a great and productive year. But I’d be remiss not to mention the not so good. I mean, I don’t live in storybook land (although sometimes I wish I did!).

You can’t have a rainbow without a little rain…

For a while, I was feeling depressed and sad and just overall emotional about half of the time. HALF. OF. THE. TIME. There were moments when I didn’t want to do anything but stay in my pajamas. I didn’t want to go to work, wash my hair, work out, or do any of the things I actually love to do. And when I did, I was just going through the motions – there wasn’t any joy to it. After months of misery and monotony, I decided to talk to my doctor.

Thankfully, it was an easy fix. Long story short, my body couldn’t handle the drastic dip in hormones during my menstrual cycle. My doctor suggested I skip the placebo pills, and within days, my mood – and life – did a 180.

Side Note: I don’t need to get into all the details, but I will say one thing on the matter of birth control pills. It’s a personal choice that I fully believe in because of my own experience with hormone regulation. For some, the problem is The Pill itself – the side effects can be brutal – but for me, it was the lack of one – the side effects of which were also brutal. Moving on.

29 and feeling fine!

Yesterday I turned 29, something I’ve been dreading for a while because it’s so close to 30, which is even closer to 40, and it feels like the prime of my life is over, and what have I even accomplished?

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Birthday present from my husband – a “Rooster” tribute bear. Because binge watching The Ranch is one of my favorite activities.

Now that I’m feeling better, I’m able to coast into my 29th year with a positive outlook and some pretty big goals to tackle including reading 12 quality books, saving more money, traveling to three new places, and completing a round (or two) of Shaun T’s new program, Transform:20.

The power of gratitude.

Sometimes it’s hard to remember all of the good when things feel sucky or unfavorable. This year, I’ve decided to journal a little bit each day so I can focus more on the positives. In the morning I’ll write down five things I’m grateful for and at night I’ll record the best thing that happened during the day. Super simple! I’m sure it will take less than ten minutes, and the compounded results will be invaluable.

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I love the play on words. And this mug. And pretty much everything about this snarky photo.

Daily reflections serve two main purposes:

1) Long Term – At the end of the year, it will be fun to look back at accomplishments and happy moments.

2) Short Term – When skies are gray, it helps to reflect on the good and know that a sunny day is just around the corner.

I encourage you to start a gratitude journal or practice. You’d be surprised by the magic that happens when you start counting your blessings.

Peace, Love, Zen
DS