Quit worrying about what they think!!

I have been working hard on accepting myself for who I truly am. Yes, like everyone I have some kinks in my life that I am still trying to untangle. However, I cannot wait until everything is “perfectly aligned” in my life to be genuinely happy. That is something that has to happen today.

It might sound silly, but I know a lot of people who struggle with the idea of ACCEPTANCE and APPROVAL.

ac·cept·ance (n): the action or process of being received as adequate or suitable, typically to be admitted into a group.

ap·prov·al (n): the action of officially agreeing to something or accepting something as satisfactory.

If there is one thing I have always noticed about myself (and have actually been called out on recently), it is the need to constantly explain myself to other people. My ideas, my intentions, my thoughts, my actions… you name it, I explain it (haha). I believe I do that because I am subconsciously seeking approval from someone other than myself.

This behavior of constant explanation for approval is not only exhausting, but it probably is not very good for our health.

You seek acceptance to get approval, to ultimately feel good or happy about a decision you want to make, or an action you desire to pursue.

However, in seeking that approval, you may find yourself anxious or stressed out about what the reaction of the other person may be. Will they think your decision is good or bad? Will they call you smart or crazy? Do they agree or disagree with you?… Are you picking up what I am throwing down?! 😉

My point in all of this is, does it really matter what they think? Does their personal input/opinion truly weigh so heavily on your desire to follow through with a thought/action, that you would actually change your mind to be accepted by them?

For so long, the answer to that question for me personally was: YES. I cared so much about getting the approval of others, that I would actually change my course of action, or stop my desire to try something, if it was not seen as acceptable in the eyes of others.

Honestly, that behavior did NOTHING positive for me at all. What it did do was stress me out, make me unhappy, and make me miss out on various opportunities that I could have been enjoying.

I believe that everything happens for a reason. There are no coincidences.

Whether it is physically being somewhere, having a certain thought, meeting different people, etc. I think those experiences are happening because you are truly meant to be having them.

My challenge – to myself and others – is this:
Listen to yourself. Follow your intuition. Act on your desires.
BE HAPPY… without the input of others.

Do something for YOU that makes YOU happy, because YOU want to do it… every day!

If people think it is strange, who cares?!
If people look at you like you are crazy, Good!

TinyFey

Follow your heart and open your mind and spirit to all of the things that you truly want out of life. Life is too short to be wasting your time worrying about what other people think of you.

*Disclaimer: I like to believe that I have a good head on my shoulders, so these thoughts, actions, experiences, etc. are all safe and legal (haha). Please do not do anything that could harm yourself or others.

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Pursuing a Dream

Life has been good great lately. Sure, I have has some emotional trials over the past few months, but lately things really seem to be falling into place.

I have always been a person to encourage others to follow their heart and pursue their dreams. This time around, I am going to follow a dream of mine… enhancing my yoga practice.

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I have become very passionate about the practice over the past few years.

It has played a beneficial role in my recovery from my… struggles, and continues to be a huge part of my daily life.

I am attending Yoga Lifestyle and Teacher Training at the Red Lotus Yoga Studio in Rochester Hills. One of the application requirements was to submit an essay to give the instructor an idea of who I am and why we want to participate in the program.

I wanted to share mine here 🙂  *Note: some of the content was taken from previous blog entries*

I see my life as a journey. A journey towards health, genuine happiness and living each day to my fullest potential. In life, difficulties are inevitable. Like most people,  I have had my fair share of ups and downs. Although no one likes to admit weaknesses, I believe that acknowledging and committing to overcome personal hardships shows strength and courage.

I started writing my essay with the intention of being discrete about how my passion for yoga truly came to be. Initially, I was going to wait to open up and share my story. However, as I read the words over and over again, I realized that I have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. One of my favorite quotes I recently came across, speaks to me on so many levels. It reads, “I am thankful for my struggle, because without it I wouldn’t have stumbled across my strength”.

Over the years, I have struggled on and off with disordered eating and over exercising. I have worked with some amazing people, and it goes without saying that I would not be where I am today if it were not for their patience and support. As valuable as those people were to my recovery, I believe that my journey back to health and happiness was strongly impacted by something in addition to them… yoga.

In the midst of my difficulties, I was looking for a way to reconnect with myself and find serenity in my life. That was when I was reacquainted with yoga. I practiced occasionally in the past, but it was not until 2012 that I experienced its power for the first time. After a few consistent sessions with an influential teacher, yoga became so much more to me than just a form of exercise and stress relief. I quickly fell in love with the practice and its countless benefits.

Yoga gave me a new and different perspective on many things. When I began practicing, I was introduced to a sense of awareness between my mind, body and spirit that I had never experienced before. This valuable introduction (which was long overdue) not only made me more mindful, but also helped me get a better understanding of what I want out of my life.

Practicing yoga makes me appreciate being in the present moment, and continues to teach me the value of patience and persistence. I have learned that discomfort, both on and off the mat, is temporary if you seek your edge and do not give up.  Although it is not always easy, being mindful has helped me to use my past difficulties as learning experiences and opportunities to grow. Yoga has given me a new sense of assurance in myself, both physically and mentally. This confidence pushes me every day to be the strongest version of myself possible.

Yoga has become a part of my regular routine and is now a huge part of my life. When I learned about the opportunity to take my practice to a new and higher level through the Red Lotus Yoga Lifestyle and Teacher Training program, I felt called to do so. I am ready to advance my own practice and understanding of the yoga lifestyle, and further incorporate it into my daily life.

Vulnerability opens the door to compassion and supportiveness between people. My most influential teachers have been those who are not afraid to open up, show their own vulnerability and share their experiences with their students. Everyone has a story, and there is something beautiful about embracing that. My ultimate goal upon completing this program is to introduce the life-changing benefits of the yoga practice with people by teaching my own classes. I want to share my experiences, in hopes of inspiring and helping others who may have gone through similar struggles as myself. I have found yoga to be one of the best things that I can do for my mind, body and overall wellbeing, and it would be an honor to be able to share that.

 

Om

 Namaste

Aside

Who is your “teacher”?

I regularly attend a Vinyasa yoga class on Wednesday nights. Each week, there is a point at the beginning of class where we set an intention to focus on throughout the practice. This intention can be anything that we choose, whether it be patience, love, strength, happiness, etc.

Last night, we were asked to think about a “teacher” that is highly influential in our life. This teacher could be human, animal, nature, spiritual, literally anything in the world that somehow shapes the person that we are.

The point of picking this teacher, was to imagine that they were there, with us through the duration of our practice. They were there to give us confidence, feed us strength and encourage us to try our best. WearetheSame

I really enjoyed this exercise. There are so many times throughout the day (and I am sure others can relate) that I am hard on myself…too hard. I easily overlook the hard work that I do, and unintentionally focus on the things that bother me. I let these “bothers” outweigh everything else, and that easily sets the tone for how I am feeling. Having my “teacher” of choice there with me throughout the practice to remind me of the ways that I am trying my best and working hard, brought an unexpected feeling of gratitude towards myself.

Although this “teacher” brought me a sense of comfort while on the mat, it also made me think about how we live in a world where we are always seeking approval and acceptance from other people. I have come to realize that we should not need to always seek validation from others, in order to know that we are trying our personal best. YOU are the best person to validate YOUR own actions.   

If I can live each day, giving 110% at everything I do, I cannot be disappointed with any outcome that I may face. Everyone has their struggles, everyone has good days and bad days… the thing that I am working on, is realizing that regardless what each day may bring, I am blessed to be able to experience it.

Namaste ❤ 

WearetheSame


This post was written as a few months ago, and I just found it sitting in my “draft” folder (oops!!). I made a few changes/updates to be more relevant for today!
 Can you tell I have been learning a lot on my mat, which can be applied to the world outside of the yoga studio?!

Lessons from my puppies.

When I look at my puppies, I cannot help but to smile. They are always so happy — full of energy and full of life. Just being around them, I sense a feeling of comfort, like everything is right in their world.

23-peanuts-happiness-is-a-warm-puppy

They are satisfied with their surroundings and content with being in the present moment. (As far as I know) They do not worry about the past and they do not anticipate the future. They just live their life as it unfolds, knowing that everything is going to be okay, just the way it is.

Imagine what it would be like to:

  • Always be happy
  • Be able to get over a confrontation with ease and just move on with your day
  • Have no worries about the world around you
  • Trust that your natural instincts will keep you healthy and in balance
  • Love unconditionally, every single day
  • Etc.

Dexter Selfie IMG_2740[1] Dack Attack LaughIMG_2699[1]
(Pics 1-2 are of Dexter and Pics 3-4 are of Dack)

It is hard not to envy that mentality. Sure, they may be dogs — but I think people could learn a lot from them if they took a moment to truly think about that.

I’ve written about dwelling on the past, and being preoccupied with what the future holds. As frequently as I have these thoughts, I find myself wondering WHY?!

  • Why do I let the past dictate the present?
  • Why do I worry about what may (or may not) come in the future?

I know it is cliché, but I love to think about the American Proverb:
“Today is the first day of the rest of your life.”

First Day

Well I think I need to take those words into consideration. I need to see the present – every single moment – as a new opportunity to begin a new chapter and to embrace change.

I am starting to realize more and more each day, that I am in charge of my own life. I hold the pen to my life story, and whatever unfolds is ultimately up to me.

So  here is a dedication to myself. To remain present in the moment, to not fear the future and to not dwell on the past.
After all, right now really is the first opportunity to start something new and wonderful.

Lessons Learned from a Trip Up North

It has been awhile since I have written, and today I feel inspired to write about my trip up north.

My family has a cabin in northern Michigan, where I have spent a significant amount of time at over the years. For my entire life, I have always considered it to be one of my favorite places in the world. It is the perfect “escape” from reality. A quaint cabin on a beautiful lake, in a small town that most people have never heard of…Oscoda.

When I was younger, it was so easy to find time to go up north (I’d go whenever my parents wanted to go, haha). There wasn’t the issue of taking time off work, or having other adult responsibilities competing with my weekends. I have found that as I get older, I spend less and less time up north, and that makes me sad.

Last weekend was Memorial Weekend. For anyone who has a cabin, it is typically the kick-off to summer, and everyone and their brother seems to be headed up north. I was able to escape from the hustle and bustle of Southeast Michigan, to enjoy some quality time with my immediate family.

For some reason, this trip up north really meant a lot to me. Since I have moved out, I don’t have as many opportunities to hang out with just my parents, sister and of course Riley! Although there was nothing super elaborate about the trip, just being able to hang out, talk and laugh, tell stories, play games, etc. made me realize how important these moments in life really are.

Before moving out, I don’t want to say that I took these moments for granted, I just never really realized how much they meant to me.

I have an amazing family. Although we do not always see eye-to-eye on everything and sometimes have our disagreements and moments of tension, I would not trade them for anyone or anything in the world. They are always there to listen to me vent, to make me laugh, to give me advice, etc. Knowing that I always can rely on them, through the good times and the bad times, is a fulfilling feeling that only a family can provide.

So this short, but heart-felt article is dedicated to my Mom, Dad, Sarah and Riley. I love you all, and appreciate everything you do for me, big or small. I wouldn’t be where I am today without you all, and I truly feel blessed to have you in my life.

Brode Family Selfie!!

Brode Family Selfie!!

xoxo

Don’t be afraid to express your thoughts.

Have you ever had something you want to ask or talk about with someone, but you didn’t know exactly how to approach it?

For example, something is lingering in your mind, clouding your thoughts, but you are afraid to express it because you don’t want to upset anyone, or get them worked up?

I absolutely HATE having to bring up uncomfortable topics and/or having to ask awkward questions… especially when the overall “mood” is positive and happy.

But is the atmosphere truly happy when there is something so deeply weighing on your mind?

Keeping thoughts and questions to yourself, when they are truly bothering you, is an easy way to avoid confrontation. You hold on to the thoughts, in hopes that you they will just magically go away, or you will find some creative way to ignore them. However, what good does that do for you when there are unexpressed feelings that are weighing you down?

I have been working on trying to be more vocal with my thoughts and feelings lately. Too often in the past, I keep these feelings to myself- and they just end up “eating away” at me emotionally. I have kept deep thoughts internalized, and it does nothing but make me sad, upset, crabby, etc.

I have learned that although addressing certain things may be “uncomfortable” or “awkward” initially, they generally get sorted out and better understood once they are laid out in the open.

Open communication between people you care about – family, friends, significant others, etc. – is key to maintaining happy, healthy relationships. If you cannot be honest and open with them, you probably won’t be with anyone else.

It is not always easy for me, but for my own well being and “peace of mind” I need to be able to step away from my comfort zone at times and speak up when something is on my mind.
Express Your Feelings