“You’re Always On Your Phone!”

“You’re Always On Your Phone!”

Has anyone heard this from another person? Or maybe you’ve even said it to yourself a time or two? Girl, Same.

I guess more the latter of the two in my case. I used to be totally attached to my phone and social networking because I felt the constant urge to be connected with my friends and just general popular culture– What if I miss seeing what someone wore to that event I care about because of reasons!? GASP.

Now that I am out of my high school/college years, I feel myself transitioning from my role as a “social teen/young adult” to “I don’t really give a crap about what others are wearing/doing/eating/etc” adult. I was finally on my way to becoming that person who has the go-to phrase: “If I wanted you to see what I was doing, I would have just invited you. Har Har Har.” However, somewhere in the middle of that transition, I was bumped off course by a big life event–moving 1000+ miles away from home.

I’ve always been the person to put work first– Especially in the last few years. There were few times when my days off coincided with family events, and when I was lucky enough to find that my amazing co-workers were able to cover a shift so I could attend, I was oftentimes so exhausted from the double I had to work to get the day off that I felt like the zombie person in the corner of the event or that I wasn’t even there at all.  These few years jumpstarted the age of me scrolling through social media a little more often to see photos from what I was missing out on so that I wasn’t totally out of the loop with my family… And if you know my family you don’t need this explanation, but for those of you who don’t know… I have a huge family and we’re all super close (as in, ‘no secrets and everyone knows all your business at all times’ close) and I wouldn’t have any other way!

Cue the big move. I thought moving away from home would be an adventure because I’ve never lived anywhere but there. And it was! I can’t say it hasn’t been a challenge, and I’ll get to that in a minute, but I was put in this exact position for a reason. If we didn’t move here, we never would have adopted our sweet pups (who I now can’t imagine my life without!), we probably would still be living in our tiny apartment working crazy hours and only seeing each other for a few precious moments everyday in passing and for meals, and I honestly would probably have never lived even remotely close to a beach!

While there are a lot of good things you learn by moving away from home, there are also many challenges.  I’ve never been the BEST at making friends because I tend to keep to myself and bury myself in work, but I do have a few good ones–most of them being my sister/cousins/other family members.  So one of the biggest challenges upon moving here was not knowing a single person. The most social contact I had was with the cashier at the grocery store or the maintenance person for our housing company. (Did you know that it’s really hard to start a conversation as an adult that doesn’t start with how crazy the weather is?)

Anyways, after about six months of living here boarded up in my house, I came across a running group on our base. It was a good way to meet a few people, and those people are great, great women! However, they’re almost exclusively mom’s who I just didn’t feel I 100% fit in with (again, they’re all wonderful, strong women… I was just feeling that I didn’t have too much to add to the mom conversation). Now that I’m back to square one, I am again finding myself picking up my phone to scroll through social media more and more often. And since we’ve been gone for a year now, it really does sink in how easy it was to take being close to family for granted. Missing Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays, other holidays, or even just not being around for that impromptu trip to grab dinner or sit on someone’s back porch– those are all things I think about almost daily.

I may sound a little down, but worry not! Do I miss my family and everything surrounding them? YES! Everyday. But I’m also so incredibly blessed and grateful that I have those people and that type of family in my life (maybe not geographically, but spiritually) and that I have such a strong connection to them. And I am so grateful that I’m able to pick up the phone and call/text/FaceTime/ scroll through photos of that birthday party/holiday/etc. and feel included!

Is moving away a challenge? Sure. But it’s also an incredible time to grow as an individual and put all of those lessons learned into action. I didn’t even realize I knew how to get that stain out the carpet, but at some point that information was given to me and it stuck in my mind! It’s kind of awesome! I feel so much stronger as a person since being forced to do a lot of things on my own, and it only makes it that much more special when I get to visit home (or better yet, they come visit us and see our new life here!)

YOU Decide What’s Valid

For every one of you who are working hard to keep your head up, to stay positive in situations that would normally bring you down; for everyone succeeding at this task, and for those who struggle here and there, I’m going to ask you to do something challenging for just a moment.

I’m going to ask you to think of a time when another person said something to you or about you that made you question your value.  Think of a time when someone said something about you that made you burn with anger while holding back tears of defeat.  A time when everything seemed to be going well and then this one person caused your entire energy to shift to a darker place.

Stay with me here.

What did they say that caused you to shift so drastically?  Was it about your appearance? Did they insult a project you’ve been working so hard on and completely rendered it invalid to them?  Or did they simply say something critical toward a portion of your life where you’ve worked through insecurities?

Okay, now that you have those negative feelings back in focus for just a second, take a step back.

Do YOU find validity in the statement that made you so upset? Is the statement that person made out of anger or impulse during a difficult situation for them ring true in YOUR mind?

If the answer is NO (spoiler alert, the answer is no), then you have already shifted back to your positive energy where you belong.

For example, working in customer service for so long, I’ve been called many things besides my name.  I’ve actually been impressed many times by how creative customers can be with their insults when they’re angry.  I used to let these outbursts get me down so quickly because I was putting all of my positive energy on the back burner by putting invalid truth into their statements, rather than keeping my own truths forward.

Remember this next time.

If there is no truth to a statement someone puts in front of you, give it the same attention you would give to someone telling you that the grass is purple (i.e. nonsense).

 

New year, high vibes.

-Briana

Good Vibes 101

When’s the last time you sat down and thought about nothing? Like actually nothing… As in, listen to your breath and forget about what you should be doing, or that thing that happened yesterday. Have you ever actually taken the time to meditate? To feel yourself sitting in a chair with the energy and weight of the universe holding you in place, allowing your mind to feel the release from the everyday hustle.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been taking time out of my day to meditate.  I thought that starting rituals would increase my vibe for the day.  I wake up, drink my lemon/ginger tea, diffuse some oils, light the candle in my salt candle holder, and breathe.  This has done wonders for the way I approach my day.  But this morning was different.  I did all of the things I usually do, but my mood was guiding me toward something new.  I had the uncontrollable urge to throw on some vinyl and listed to music. After sifting through my box of records, I found the Fleetwood Mac album that I was gravitating toward.

As I started up the music, I had an equally irrepressible urge to let go and dance to the music; to feel Stevie Nicks’ voice radiating through my entire body.  It was liberating!

While my morning rituals do start me off with a good vibe for the day, I realized today that I had just been going through the motions.  I needed to deviate from my routine in order to find the breath of frankincense-filled air I was looking for.

Take some time out of your day to throw the proverbial wrench into your daily routine. Find something your soul is naturally gravitating toward and choose the path you wouldn’t normally take today. You never know what you’ll find.

If Nobody Told You… I Will.

I sometimes have a small, stray thundercloud that follows me around.  It makes me act a little sad, a little impatient, and maybe a little angry at trivial things.  This thundercloud feeds on anxiety and apprehensiveness. It amplifies sadness and uncertainty.  It tends to rain on those around me who didn’t realize they needed an umbrella.  It floods my head with thoughts that are not my own, and sends residual uneasiness into the lives of those I care about the most. I really don’t want to feed the thundercloud any longer, but sometimes it’s easier to weather the storm than it is to reach through and try to find the sunshine.

Living with this storm is a challenge.  It’s the first thing that comes to mind in the morning, and the very thing that initiates sleepless nights.

Sound familiar?

If so- if you are feeling lonely, unworthy, or getting eaten alive by the hole that lives in the pit of your stomach, then hear me out.  If nobody told you today, I will.  I will put my arms around you and tell you what needs to be said.

You are worth it. You are valued. You are loved.

Don’t give up. There is sunshine behind the clouds.

Write that down and repeat it to yourself until you believe it.

Because it’s true.

“Because Why?”— Getting to the Root Of Your Problems

Most of us are familiar with the ever popular “Because Why?” banter that often occurs during conversations with young children. No matter how deeply you try to explain something, they always want to know more. While it is flattering that they think we know all of the answers, their persistent curiosity can end up being slightly irritating after awhile. Why can’t they just accept a definite answer and move on with the day? A very interesting question— which leads me to another: Why do we only accept a definite answer and move on with the day? Getting to the root of your problems can be easier than you think.

Even the most positive, happy, and successful people have challenging days; the ones when you feel like you’re in a rut and you can’t find the way out. Now and then, challenging days can result in a bit of a bad mood.We’ve all been there— a bunch of silly “bad” things happen which lead you to feel frustrated. You then take it out on someone else, leading you to feel remorse because you realize the other person literally had nothing to do with your flat tire or that you spilled coffee all over your white shirt. These are the moments when we need to take a step back and channel our inner 4-year-old:

“I’m angry with you.” Because Why? “Because my day is ruined.” Because Why? “Because I was late to work.” Because Why? “Because I woke up late.” Because Why? Because I was up late.” Because Why? “Because I was searching online.” Because Why? “Because I was looking for other income options.” Because Why? “Because I’m living paycheck to paycheck and need some relief.”

Therefore, you’re angry because of your current financial situation, not because Bob in the cubicle next to you was tapping his pencil too loudly. Take the time to find the root of your problem as opposed to letting trivial things build up and create a massive breakdown that doesn’t result in addressing the real issue.

What’s your problem?

There are times in my life where I have an experience that seems totally unrelated to anything of value, but then I later come to realize that there was a lesson there even if it was buried way deep down.  A few nights ago for example, I was laying in bed tossing and turning; trying to get comfortable when I realized that the wax melter in my room was bothering me.  It has a light bulb on the inside that happened to be shining right through the side hole and directly onto my closed eyelid- obviously causing a disturbance that it hadn’t before (it has been there for months; get over it, Me).  Anyways, I rolled over and stuffed my face into the pillow to shade myself from the beaming rays of lightbulb that had overcome me.  This clearly wasn’t the answer because I was now asking for a stiff neck in the morning, and/or suffocation from the pillow.  So I roll over, tired and grumpy at this point, and I throw my forearm over my eyes; again, in the market for a neck cramp with a side of shoulder pain.  Finally, after moments of discomfort and exhaustion from the day, I had had enough of the light. So I crawl out from underneath my heated blanket and soft sheets and turn the light off; knowing all along that it was the reason behind my brief fit of insomnia.

After that night, I thought about the problematic light and my wheels started to turn; why didn’t I just get off my butt and turn the dang light off to start with? — I knew it was the problem, and instead of turning it off and drifting off to slumber-land, I tried every other lackadaisical option I could think of in order to try and find a way around the real problem because I was just too lazy to address it directly.  This has been a theme of mine over the past few years; If there was a shortcut, I took it. If there was a way around it, I’d find it. Most of this came from having too much on my plate and I was trying so hard to get everything done that I ultimately ended up with a bunch of half attempts.  What I’m getting at is that if you have a problem (most of us can think of at least one) chances are there is an immediate answer to that problem, it just may not be the one we want to hear.  It might be too hard, or too far away, or causes us to leave our warm beds (aka the Comfort Zone), but the answer is almost always there staring us right in our closed eyes.

If you really want to address the problem you have, you’ll do it.  If your problem is that you need $100 for bills, you will make that money appear before the grace period ends- borrow it, sell that bag you spent way too much on and never carry, pick up a few extra hours at work– either way, you’ll make the money appear by addressing the problem directly even if it’s not exactly the way you wanted to do it.  If you hate your job, go find another one– I’ve done it! It is difficult, especially if you’re financially strapped (see example above), or if you really like the people you work with and you felt like THE WORST when you walked in to your super nice boss and told them you’re exploring other options.  Happiness doesn’t have an age limit, it’s never too late.  Everything is a puzzle that can be figured out if you get up and turn the light off already.

eat the yogurt.

About a year ago, I travelled to Chicago to meet up with my best bud and go to the Justin Bieber concert. We are nowhere close to being ashamed, nor should we be, that we were planning this for months.  We even tried to get #BrunchwithBiebs trending.  Needless to say, four retweets later, we drag ourselves, empty-bellied and Bieberless, to brunch and indulged in bottomless mimosas like nothing ever happened.  Regardless of our attempts to hang with Justin in Chicago, we were just as excited to see the show than we ever were.  We hopped in car and drove to the venue, stood in line for our $9 beers (because Biebs), and found our seats amongst our much younger co-fans.  After the opening performances were done, we anxiously awaited the main event.  And as we sat in the the middle of the scream-littered audience, beaming with excitement as the strobe lights turned on and the fog machines warmed up, we could not imagine anything better in that moment.

At the exact second Justin’s backup dancers started their show and the music blasted the beginning chords of the song everyone actually knew all of the words to began, I looked around me; drinking in not only my beer, but the experience we had been waiting for for months! The music, the dancing, the Beibs! How could it get any better??

And then I looked to the woman next to me; She was probably in her 30’s, a few years older than us.  Amidst the screaming and jumping that surrounded her, she was seated in her chair, legs crossed, phone in hand, eating yogurt. My only thought was “What?? Justin Bieber is right there! RIGHT THERE! Jumping and singing and dancing! And you’re eating yogurt…”  I could not wrap my head around the fact that I physically nor mentally could fit one more ounce of excitement or joy into my being right now and all this lady cares about is whether or not her yogurt had enough granola.

For months, I was baffled every time I thought about that woman.  But since then I have found myself in situations where everyone around me was ‘in your face’ excited about something and I was the one sitting there, smiling politely, eating my yogurt.  The point is, don’t bring people down because of their level of excitement.  If something is really in your heart and has you beaming, you should be excited about it! How many things actually bring that genuine happiness? Drink it all in! Don’t think that other people are purposely trying to bring you down because that’s not always the case. And if you’re the one eating yogurt, that’s okay too! Sometimes yogurt is really good actually and it could be the best thing in that moment because you were looking forward to it all day.

We should be celebrating the excitement of others, even if it doesn’t emanate from within our own hearts.

 

Cheers!

-Briana